|HIV I & II|
|Herpes Simplex Type II|
What STDs can you test?
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How do you test for STDs?
Depending on your symptoms – if you have any at all – there are a few different testing methods available.
The easiest and least invasive is a urine sample. These are collected by you and sent to a lab for analysis. Urine testing can be used for chlamydia, gonorrhea and urinary tract infections (UTI) and can be done at home or in a clinic.
If urine samples aren’t appropriate, a swab test can also be done yourself. Swabs can be taken either of a particular sore or the general genital, eye, anal and mouth areas. They are also analyzed in a lab and can identify chlamydia, gonorrhea, trichomonas and herpes.
The most complicated test is a blood test, which can be used to find most STDs. These are usually conducted by a medically trained professional and sent to a lab for examination but can be done at home using the finger-prick method! The infections that can only be identified in the blood are HIV, Syphilis and Hepatitis.
Pap smears (smear tests) are used to test for HPV in women. It is the most invasive STD test as it requires a nurse or doctor to take a sample from the cervix. There is a swab that you can do at home, but doctors and clinics typically do not offer this.
What are STDs?
Anyone sexually active can catch a sexually transmitted disease (STD). Just like non-sexual diseases, there is a range of different STDs with an even bigger range of symptoms.
Some STDs are harmless, while others can lead to more serious health complications, so it is best to avoid them as much as possible.
How harmful are STDs?
Some STDs, like chlamydia and gonorrhea, are harmless if treated immediately. If left untreated, however, they can cause lasting health issues and even infertility. Others are more serious, such as syphilis and HIV, but these are generally less common.
Herpes is a viral STD, meaning it cannot be cured. Instead, it stays in the body without causing any symptoms and occasionally travels to the surface where symptoms show.
How do you avoid STDs?
The best way to protect yourself against STDs is to use condoms as a primary form of contraceptive. They won’t guarantee you not to get an STD, but they will make it much easier to avoid.
Once you are comfortable with an exclusive partner, and you have both tested negative for all STDs, you can resume a relatively safe sexual relationship without contraception. You should still consider the chance of pregnancy.
What do you do if you have an STD?
If you think you might have an STD, don’t panic. As we mentioned, the most common STDs are usually the least serious, but getting yourself treated quickly an important next step.
Get tested quickly if you notice any symptoms. Test regularly if you have multiple sexual partners. If you test positive make sure you receive treatment as soon as possible.
How soon can you get tested for an STD?
Even if you have great health insurance, it can take weeks to get a doctor’s appointment. While some states have sexual health and family planning clinics, access to these is limited for others. At-home STD testing can ship to your test kit within 24 hours of ordering so that you can get tested within days.