STDs are although very common but STD testing depends on the conditions and types of STDs. Different STDs have different tests.
If one goes through some unsafe practice of having sex, have multiple sex partners and if one is sexually active as well, one needs to get tested on regular basis. If individual is under the age 25, he/she is more likely to receive syphilis, gonorrhea, HIV and chlamydia.
So individuals should take yearly STD tests. Whenever an individual practice unhealthy and unsafe sexual activity, it is a real good idea to see the doctor and take complete tests.
Should I get tested for STDs?
One should definitely get tested for STDs if one is sexually, active because at the initial stages of many STDs there are no visible signs and symptoms, so most of the time, you are unaware whether your or your partner is healthy and uninfected or not.
If you ever feel irritation down there or have painful urination or something that is bothersome, immediately see a health care provider. Don’t forget that many of the STDs so unchecked due to their being asymptomatic, so one needs to get tested regularly.
How do I get tested for STDs?
To get tested for STDs is not a difficult step. All you need to do is to see your physician and ask to refer you for respective tests. Tests can be simply the examination of the affected areas or some sample taken from the affected area.
The tests for STDs are not like the normal tests and you need to take specific tests for STDs detection.
Which STD test do I need?
The answer to this question depends upon the character and type of STD.
For chlamydia get screened annually if one is sexually active and have multiple partners. For gonorrhea and chlamydia screening can be done through urine tests or scraping specimen from male or female genitals.
Doctors test for syphilis by taking sample of blood or fluid from sores of the individual. A blood sample is taken for thee screening of HIV and hepatitis.
Genital herpes can be tested by scraping or culturing sample from the blisters of infected individual and some blood samples are also taken to identify the type of virus.
Some types of Human Papilloma Virus can cause cervical cancer and sexually active individuals experience this disease somewhere in their life. There is however, no symptoms visible of HPV it can goes away on its own within 23-25 months.
Pap test can be taken for screening of HPV in which the cervix for abnormal cells is checked.
STDs can be tested at home through home-test kits. Individual can collect urine or sample of fluid and take it laboratory for testing but the fluid collected at home may show false positive results.
PID can be tested through pelvic examination or by taking samples from genital tract.
Scabies can be screened through self-test according to the symptoms, otherwise through biopsy that is rarely required.
Vaginal discharge can be taken to laboratory for the screening of trichomoniasis.
Physical examination or cell tests for detecting moluscum contagiosum can be done to prevent such lethal STD.
Pubic lice can be diagnosed easily as they are visible though naked eye through examination.
Genital warts can easily be examined as they can be see with naked eye or some special tools can be used to diagnose very minutes warts that a naked eye can’t see.
If individual test positive for and STD he/she should consider the next step and go through further testing. Individual should not feel embarrassed or ashamed and should see the doctor for concern.
How are STD tests done?
Sometimes the STD test can be performed right at the health care provider’s office otherwise, at the STD clinics.
Depending on the area of infection and character of disease STD tests can be done through a blood sample, a urine sample, a swab from the inside of mouth, a swab from the urethra of a male or from the cervix of a female, a swab of any discharge from the sores or genitals and a by scraping the growths on the skin.
Do people under 18 need their parents’ permission for STD testing?
There is no restriction of age for taking STD tests because STDs can infect individuals at any age, so there is no need to take parents’ permission to take STD tests.
But taking parents’ permission can help individuals under 18 to get guidance through them but there is a condition of good communication of kids with their parents.
As you reach the age of 14 you need not to ask your parents for permission to get tested for STDs and you health care provider will examine you confidently.
STD Testing Quick Reference Guide
HIV/AIDS can be diagnosed by following some tests.
Blood test-HIV antibodies are detected in blood if present. HIV antigen test and PCR test can also be done.
Urine analysis-HIV-1 RNA can be detected.
Oral swab test-can also detect HIV antigens.
Bacterial Vaginosis (BV):
Bacterial vaginosis can be diagnosed by the tests that include:
Vaginal discharge test– vaginal discharge is tested under microscope by mixing it with specific salt. Unusual cells can be seen if disease is present.
Whiff test-odor of vaginal discharge specifies bacterial vaginosis if present.
pH test-vaginal pH increases from 4.5 if BV is present.
Pap test-pelvic examination help diagnose BV.
Physical examination-helps diagnose chlamydia by looking at infected area.
Discharge test-urethral, anal or vaginal fluids are tested to detect the bacteria.
Cell sample test-detects DNA of bacteria if present.
Blood test-antibodies are developed in blood if infection is present.
Urine and saliva is also tested for same antibody levels.
Physical examination-visible swellings are enough as they can be seen with naked eye for the diagnoses.
Tissue biopsy-a part of abnormal tissue can be tested for detecting HPV(Human Papilloma Virus) if present.
Discharge fluid test-fluid is tested to diagnose bacteria responsible for gonorrhea.
Urine analysis-urine can be taken to lab to detect neisseria gonorrhoeae, bacteria that causes gonorrhea.
A gram stain or gonorrhea culture-can also be done to discover the causative bacteria.
Blood test-blood test like LFTs(liver function tests) help to find the virus in blood.
Blood test-PCR tests are performed to discover the viral load.
Cell test-cells from the sores of infected area are examined under microscope to look for herpes simplex virus.
Stool test-stool of individual to be tested is taken to discover the parasite.
Proctoscopy-a test performed by entering a tube in rectum to see the parasite.
Physical exam– pelvic examination is enough to diagnose the disease.
Cell test– cells from infected area are taken to look for molluscum contagiosum.
Pelvic Inflammatory Disease:
Physical exam-pelvic exam can help detect the inflammation.
Blood test-help to find out the load of infection.
Ultrasound-help to check the size and shape changes due to inflammation.
Laparoscopy-test performed by entering a lighted tube through navel to look for scar tissue presence.
Physical examination-a self exam is enough to see the lice and no other test i required.
Physical exam-burrows made by mites can help detect the disease.
Cell test or biopsy-scraping infected area and taking sample under microscope can detect the presence of mites.
Blood or spinal fluid test-Venereal disease research laboratory (VDRL) test checks for antibodies against bacteria that cause syphilis.
Fluid test-Rapid plasma reagin (RPR) test also detects syphilis antibodies in the sores produced in this disease.
Physical exam-visual examination is performed in both men and women to check the red spots.
Discharge fluid exam-fluid discharged from male urethra or female vagina is tested for odor and color.