Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) and sexually transmitted infections (STIs) are more common than you might think. In fact, one in four people will contract an STD at some point in their lives. However, many don’t get tested because they think it will be embarrassing or uncomfortable.
It’s important to be aware of the risks associated with unprotected sex and to know about the different types of STD and STI testing available. We’ll discuss the basics of STD and STI testing, including the available tests and how they work. We’ll also talk about the importance of early detection and treatment and dispel some of the myths that keep people from getting tested.
What Are Common STD and STI Testing Options?
STD and STI testing is important for maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Depending on the STD or STI, testing may involve a blood test, urine sample, swab test, or physical exam. For some STDs, treatment may be administered after testing to reduce the risk of transmission. It is recommended that STD and STI tests be done regularly to identify any infections quickly. You should speak with a healthcare provider about your particular circumstances to determine which STD and STI tests are necessary for your well-being.
How Does STD Testing Work?
STD testing helps detect the presence of a sexually transmitted disease.
Our sample collectors at BUSINESS typically use the following testing STD/STI testing methods:
- Swab/culture tests for infections that can be localized to one body site, such as gonorrhea, chlamydia, syphilis, and genital herpes.
- Blood tests that check for antibodies to certain viruses like HIV and hepatitis B and C can also provide insight into disease status.
- Urinalysis is commonly used to test for bacterial STIs, such as gonorrhea and chlamydia. It may be difficult to detect diseases like HPV (Human Papillomavirus) using a urine test.
Depending on the testing method, you may experience slight discomfort during specimen collection. Bacterial culture swabs, for instance, require sample collection from the urethra or cervix, which can be uncomfortable and invasive.
Still, before the test, your physician will want to perform a pelvic exam, at which time they will likely collect a sample to test for bacteria. Our laboratory will process the specimen and return results either through traditional mail or through an online patient portal in one to three business days.
It’s important to note that results must be interpreted by one of our professionals or another specialist since some response patterns may suggest other diseases or clinical scenarios. Trying to interpret your results alone may lead to misinterpretation and incorrect self-diagnosis. As always, open communication with a healthcare provider is key when making sound medical decisions.
Why Is It Important to Detect STDs and STIs Early?
Detecting STDs and STIs early is critical to efficiently treat them and prevent any possible long-term effects. If left untreated, many STDs and STIs can cause serious health complications, ranging from infertility to even death. Additionally, an individual who is unaware of their HIV or Hepatitis B status can possibly transmit the virus unknowingly. Early detection is also important to provide proper care to those with an STD/STI and reduce the risk of community spread. Ensuring everyone has access to proper medical attention and education regarding these conditions is integral in preventing further cases within our community.
Where Should I Get Tested for STDs?
If you think you may have been exposed to an STD or STI, you should get tested as soon as possible to prevent negative outcomes. Before deciding where to get tested, you should consider factors such as the cost and the kind of testing offered. Low-cost or free clinics often provide STD testing, but they may not offer the most comprehensive package of tests available. Furthermore, different types of tests are available for different STDs; discussing your symptoms with a healthcare provider can help determine which test is right for you.
Some companies may even offer at-home STD testing kits, though if you choose this option, it’s important to consider accuracy and your personal privacy needs.
At ARCpoint Labs of St Augustine, we offer STD/STI testing that’s fast, reliable, and accurate. You have access to confidential and discreet testing options to ensure you get the answers you require. No matter what type of testing you choose, your personal information will always be protected and not shared with unauthorized parties without your consent.
Myths Surrounding STD and STI Testing
Despite the advances in technology and medical care, myths about STD and STI testing remain among the most significant barriers preventing people from taking proper precautions to protect their sexual health.
Unfortunately, these myths can lead to misunderstandings of the facts that can have serious consequences. For example, some would falsely believe they are safe if they do not engage in unprotected sex. Others may think they will be stigmatized if they get tested.
In reality, if an individual decides to take all necessary steps to protect their health by getting tested regularly, it is a responsible decision worthy of commendation rather than criticism. The truth is that seeking knowledge and understanding of one’s own health should be encouraged so everyone can make informed decisions.
ARCpoint Labs of St Augustine Can Help You Take Control of Your Sexual Health
STD and STI testing are vital for anyone who is sexually active and may have questions about their or their partner’s health history. Though some discomfort may be associated with the tests, it’s important to get tested early and often to prevent community spread, serious complications, and more. There are various STD and STI testing options available, depending on the disease or infection being tested, so speak with your doctor or one of our experienced staff about which option is right for you.ARCpoint Labs of St Augustine offers convenient and confidential STD and STI testing services. Schedule an appointment today by calling (904) 217-0479 or scheduling your appointment online to get started on your path to good sexual health.