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STD Testing

Why Is It Important to Get Tested for STDs?

Most importantly, get tested to protect your health, your partner’s health, and to stay informed. Getting tested can alert you to an infection you may not know you had, or that may have long-term effects like infertility. It can also allow you to start treatment if you do have an infection, and create peace of mind when you think you may have been at risk. Everyone should be screened for STDs at some point, but the tests depend on your personal risk factors. Sometimes testing isn’t necessary. But if it is recommended, and you do get diagnosed, there is some good news: Most STDs are curable, and all of them are treatable.

 

What Is STD Screening, Exactly?

Just like you get a mammogram, or screen for colon cancer, it’s also important to screen for transmitted infections (depending on your risk). There are no specific times or tests that we recommend for everyone. These testing recommendations depend on your lifestyle and risk level.

The STD Lab Panel contains the following tests:

  • Chlamydia Testing
  • Gonorrhea Testing
  • Syphilis Test
  • Herpes Testing
  • Hepatitis Testing
  • Conventional HIV Blood Testing

 

Gonorrhea and Chlamydia

These STD’s often co-exist in the same infected individual and can be passed simultaneously to a partner. Since treatment for each of these conditions may differ, it is an excellent medical practice to test for both if either one is suspected. Furthermore, these serious STD’s may not cause any symptoms at first. Later, if they are not treated, they can cause pain and serious health problems, such as arthritis and infertility.

 

Syphilis

Syphilis is a serious bacterial infection. It is usually passed from one person to another by sexual contact. If it is not treated, syphilis can lead to permanent brain, nerve, and tissue damage.

 

Herpes (HSV)

Genital herpes is a common STD caused by a virus. The virus is called the herpes simplex virus, or HSV. It causes painful blisters that break open and form sores in the genital area.

 

Hepatitis

Hepatitis refers to an inflammatory condition of the liver. It’s commonly caused by a viral infection, but there are other possible causes of hepatitis. These include autoimmune hepatitis and hepatitis that occurs as a secondary result of medications, drugs, toxins, and alcohol.

 

HIV

HIV is the abbreviation used for the human immunodeficiency virus. HIV is the virus that causes AIDS (acquired immunodeficiency syndrome).

There are three types of HIV diagnostic tests: antibody tests, antigen/antibody tests, and nucleic acid (RNA) tests. Antibody tests detect antibodies, proteins that your body makes against HIV, not HIV itself. Antigen tests and RNA tests detect HIV directly. Effective treatment keeps HIV infected people healthy and living longer. Studies indicate that all people with HIV infection, including those with early infection, benefit from antiretroviral medications. Treatment with antiretroviral medications lowers the level of HIV in the blood (viral load), reduces HIV-related illness, and reduces the spread of HIV to others.

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