WHO SHOULD TAKE AN STD TEST? There are times when getting tested for STDs becomes a matter of necessity and responsibility, regardless of where it lies on your priority list. You will find below, essential reasons that will contribute to your overall health. Getting tested at one of our local STD testing centers is not only easy, but quick and private. It is always a best practice to get tested for an STD regardless of whether your partner agrees with you or not. Never assume you are clean just because you are not experiencing any symptoms. It is always possible for symptoms to gradually show up as everyone experiences symptoms differently. People might be infected and not be aware they are carrying a sexually transmitted disease. Getting tested is the only way to know for sure if you are “clean” for not. STD tests are available through simple blood and urine screening at one of our convenient STD testing centers. There is someone that you’ve just met and are really into. You’re thinking of taking it to the next level- unprotected sex. When considering participating in unprotected sex, it is highly recommended that both partners get tested. Some STDs are not readily visible, blinding you to the possibility of being vulnerable to infection. STD testing is a healthy practice for relationship growth as it eliminates any doubts from previous relationships. You’ve engaged in promiscuous behavior in the past. It is highly recommended that you get tested regularly, more so when engaging with multiple sex partners. In cases where symptoms are not visible, it is always a good practice to get tested. Getting tested early on at a STD test center can be a major deterrent in transmission. TESTING for HIV Getting tested regularly is a very effective method of preventing the spread of HIV. HIV can remain undetected due to the lack of symptoms and signs. The most common test is the Elisa (antibody); after 3 months of exposure the test is conclusive. When exposure occurs early, the PCR can determine if you’re infected within 9 days to 3 months. PCR testing is a very sensitive method of testing. The infected white blood cell that the HIV virus integrates into is looked for by the HIV DNA PCR. The test is good after 2 weeks and conclusive at 1 month. HIV RNA PCR looks for flowing particles of HIV that are located in the blood stream. It is thought to be accurate after a 7 day period. TESTING for STD's Testing of STDs usually consists of testing for gonorrhea, syphilis, chlamydia, herpes, and HIV. These diseases are very common and are included in the test. Never assume that taking an STD test at a doctor or clinic means that everything was tested for. The majority of doctors and clinics don’t test for herpes. Conducting an STD test is important for sexually active persons. Most of the time people assume that because their symptoms are not obvious they are “clean”. Testing is more about knowing your status. Below is some information on the majority of STDs that exist today. Testing for Herpes A common STD is genital herpes; however, most people are not aware that they have it. Often, there are no symptoms. The most common symptoms of genital herpes are blisters and sores which are very painful. Genital herpes has no cure, but treatments for the symptoms are available. The majority of people test positive for herpes simplex-1 which is found around the mouth. Type-1 can also be found around the genital area. Genital herpes type-1 covers roughly 30% of all genital herpes. Type-2 herpes can be found orally and is also considered genital herpes. Knowing your status is always important. Herpes testing is conducted by doing a blood test or swab if there are blisters. Testing for Chlamydia Many people are not aware that they have Chlamydia. If this disease is left untreated, serious health problems can occur, for example, women may become sterile. About 50% of men and 75% of women don’t show symptoms. By taking a simple test you will be able to know if you have Chlamydia. Testing for Chlamydia is done through a urine sample. If you are a female, young and sexually active, it is advisable that a test be taken every year. Testing for Gonorrhea In women, those infected are usually not aware of their status. By getting tested at Advanced Testing Center you will know if you have gonorrhea. Testing is done by taking a urine sample. Gonorrhea can be treated and cured. Testing for Syphilis During vaginal, anal or oral sex, syphilis can be passed from person to person through direct contact with the syphilis sore. This sore can go unnoticed and is usually painless. Taking a blood test at Advance Testing Center you will let you know if you have syphilis. This disease is easily treated and can be cured within its early stages. GUIDELINES FOR STD SCREENING It is important to follow guidelines so as to get an accurate result when testing for a STD or infection. Based on the type of STD testing you and your partner will undergo, you will have to wait a specific amount of time from the moment of possible exposure, to the moment the sample is taken. The moment of exposure, to the time the blood sample is drawn, is known as the window period. When you and your partner make the decision of taking the blood sample, it is important that you wait through this period. This is done so that the false negative results are not shown for STDs. For instance, if your partner has any sexual contact with a person who has an STI, no evidence of this infection will be shown until 1 week to 3 months. The standard period for STD testing is 1-3 months. A herpes 1&2 test, Chlamydia, Gonorrhea testing, HIV antibody test, and an RPR are all a part of the standard panel of blood and urine testing. There are no genital symptoms for HIV. Moreover, painful ulcerations around or on the genital or vaginal area are symptoms of herpes. Possible signs of herpes also include tingling and burning on the upper thighs, and around, or on the vaginal area. If ulcerations are present due to recent contact, ask your doctor to perform a culture for HSV. In order to do this the doctor will take a sample of the fluids found in the ulcerations. Painless bumps in the vaginal and genital area are symptom of syphilis. Another name for the bumps is “chancre.” After taking the blood test, you and your partner will need to wait a few days for the results. This procedure is non-invasive; it will not consist of an exam on the vaginal or genital area.