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STD Testing: Who Needs to Get Tested and Why?

Aug 22, 2022

STD Testing

std-testing

STDs (sexually transmitted diseases) are not uncommon. In fact, according to the CDC (Center for Disease Control and Prevention), there are nearly 68 million individuals in the US who suffer from a type of STD. Furthermore, these numbers refer only to cases that have been reported, excluding the several cases that aren’t. Also, STDs do not have symptoms to show. Even if they do, these symptoms are very vague. 

Moreover, the stigma around STDs prevents several people from coming forward for STD testing. STDs need to be addressed as soon as possible to prevent them from worsening. Especially if you’re someone who’s sexually active and has had multiple partners over the course of time, due to the lack of STD testing symptoms, it can be hard to figure out if you’re infected or not. Sometimes when you do figure it out, the infection might’ve progressed. This is why STD testing should be the need of the hour.

Who Should Be Tested for STD?

If you’ve been sexually active with multiple partners, then you’re definitely a good candidate to have an STD test done. Here are a few other scenarios in which it is highly encouraged to get an STD test done: 

  • If you’ve not used protection 
  • If you’ve been cheated on by your partner
  • If your partner had multiple partners prior to the meeting you
  • If you experience any symptom that suggests the presence of an STD

Several individuals who are currently in a long-term relationship feel like they do not need to have an STD test done. However, it is advised as a measure of precaution for your health and your partner’s.

Signs & Symptoms of Getting Tested for STD

Several STDs do not have any symptoms to show. To know what you should get tested for, talk to your doctor. Here are a few common STDs for which people get tested; also mentioned here are their symptoms.

  1.  Chlamydia
    • Painful urination

    • Vaginal discharge (women)

    • Pain in testicles (men)

    • Discharge from the penis (men)

  2.  HIV
    • In the early stages: Rash, Fatigue, Soreness (throat), Fever, and Weight-loss.

    • In the late stages: Night sweats, Unusual infections, and Persistent fever and headaches.

  3.  Gonorrhea
    • Painful bowel movement

    • Swollen testicles

    • Itching near the anus

    • Burning sensation while urinating

  4.  Trichomoniasis
    • Vaginal irritation

    • Pain during sex

    • Pain while urinating

    • Vaginal odor

  5.  Hepatitis B
    • Dark urine 
    • Fatigue

    • Loss of appetite

    • Muscle/joint pain

  6.  Syphilis
    • Fever

    • Soreness

    • Paralysis

    • Dementia

Importance of Getting Tested If You Are Sexually Active

STD testing is important, especially if you’ve been sexually active for a long time. Here are a few reasons why getting STD tests is important:

  • Untreated STDs may cause complications or lead to cancer. 
  • Even individuals who have not had sex can contract STDs via skin-to-skin contact (syphilis)
  • Getting a test before entering a relationship can allow you to discuss and consider the future of your health and relationship. 
  • Getting an STD test before entering a relationship also helps in keeping your partner safe from potential STDs

Reasons to Get STD Testing Even If You Use Protection

STDs are quite the risk, and the same message has been spread; as a result of that, a lot of people now use protection. Protection like condoms and female condoms can reduce the chances of STDs spreading across but not entirely.

Here are a few reasons:

  • STDs can be spread without sexual contact 
  • The protection you use may not work. (condoms sometimes tear)
  • STDs spread via bodily fluids (pre-cum, semen, or vaginal discharge)
  • If you’ve ever had a sexual encounter with someone whose health history you don’t know, then you should get an STD test.

How Does STD Testing work?

There are quite a few tests based on your sexual history, and your doctor will suggest the most appropriate one.

  • Physical Examination

Doctors will conduct thorough physical tests to assess if you’ve STDs or not. They basically look and feel the body for unusual growth/marks.

  • Blood/Urine tests

    Several STDs can be assessed via blood/urine tests. Even then, the result may not be accurate

  • Swabs

    Here, the doctor uses vaginal swabs or rectal swabs to check for STDs.

  • Pap smears and HPV testing

    A pap smear is not an STD test but an anal/cervical cancer detection test for its early signs and symptoms. In the event a pap smear does not work, doctors will resort to HPV testing.

What Tests Are Included in STD Testing?

There are a lot of tests for STDs, depending on when you take them. You can take tests at any time, and you can take ten days after an incident or 14 days even.

Here are a few tests included in STD testing:

  • HIV 10-day RNA PCR Test
  • High vaginal swab (women)
  • Herpes I/II by swab 
  • Hepatitis Screen
  • Blemish screen
  • Hepatitis Comprehensive Screen
  • HIV I/II and p24 antigen DUO test
  • HPV typed DNA (14 High-level Risk and 6 Low-level Risk HPV types)

Final Thoughts

STDs are a great cause for concern when they aren’t addressed. Several STDs are easily treatable and curable if you visit the doctor on time. So, remember, STD testing is very important; it can save your life and your partners.

Consult 8-2-8 Urgent Care for STD Testing Today!

So, if you’re now looking for an STD testing center, don’t worry; visit 8-2-8 Urgent Care today. We offer in-house testing for gonorrhea and chlamydia; you will receive results in 30 minutes. If you and our providers determine that additional testing is required, we also will send samples to the lab; results usually take 2-3 days to get results.  Our providers can start with immediate treatment if it is medically necessary. Just contact 828 Urgent Care, and our staff will assist you with our easy self-check-in process. Call 760-216-6253!

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