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The best way to stay sexually healthy is to get tested for sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) regularly. Frequent testing is recommended by most health care professionals.
STDs are often not noticeable, but can cause serious medical problems. That’s why it’s important to test for them – and to tell your partner about the results.
What to Expect
Getting tested for sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) is a normal part of your health care. It can be quick, painless, and often free if you have health insurance.
You can find STD testing services at sexual health clinics, community centers, walk in clinics, or with your family doctor. Many sexual health clinics also offer anonymous HIV testing for people of all ages and genders.
When you visit a clinician for STD testing, they’ll ask about your sexual habits and history. This can help them know how much risk you have and what types of tests to include in a screening.
They may do a physical exam, and if sores or bumps are present they’ll take samples to send to the lab for testing. Results will typically be available within a few days or weeks for HIV testing, and even sooner for other types of testing.
Preparing for Your Appointment
Getting tested for sexually transmitted infections (STIs) can be an important part of staying healthy when you’re sexually active. Regular testing can help prevent health complications associated with untreated STIs, such as cervical cancer, pelvic inflammatory disease, and infertility.
During the screening process, your doctor may ask you questions about your history and risk factors for acquiring an STD. Make sure to provide all of this information.
In addition, it’s important to understand that not all STIs are detected with a single test. Depending on the type of STI you have, you may need to take a blood sample, urine screen, or throat swab for your test, says Nao Medical’s STD expert Ali Ghanem.
STIs are very common, but most people are not aware they have them. Luckily, many of these infections can be diagnosed and treated. But if they aren’t, they can cause severe problems over time.
During Your Appointment
If you’re a sexually active individual, it is important to get tested regularly for STDs. Even if you don’t experience any symptoms, getting an STD can cause long-term health problems such as infertility.
Your appointment will be quick, simple and confidential. You’ll be greeted by a staff member and will be asked to fill out some basic paperwork.
The testing process is usually painless and involves providing a urine or blood sample. You’ll likely need to answer some questions about your sex history and intimate details.
Some STDs can be prevented by safe sex practices like using condoms and limiting your number of partners. However, some STDs are not preventable. It is important to be tested for all common STDs, including HIV, chlamydia, gonorrhea and human papillomavirus (HPV).
AFC’s Urgent Care locations provide fast, convenient and confidential STD testing. No appointments are necessary and you can walk in whenever you’re ready.
Chlamydia and Gonorrhea are two common STIs that can be tested with a simple swab. They are primarily asymptomatic, but they can lead to painful urination and discharge.
These infections are often curable with antibiotics. However, they can also be fatal if not treated quickly and properly.
The CDC recommends all sexually active adults get a routine test for STDs. In fact, the sooner you know you have an STD, the better able you are to treat it and prevent reinfection.
Before your appointment, prepare a list of your concerns and questions. It can be helpful to discuss them with a friend or family member immediately before and after the appointment.