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Do I Need to Get Tested for Sexually Transmitted Diseases?

Do I Need to Get Tested for Sexually Transmitted Diseases?

When you’re sexually active, you have a responsibility to yourself and others to get tested for sexually transmitted diseases (STDs).

Certified physician assistant Amneh Amro, PA-C, offers the convenience of STD testing services in your home, hotel room, or wherever you are through her telemedicine urgent care services available at Revival Health Clinic in Houston. Amneh can test you for a variety of common STDs and also offers resources to reduce your risk of infection.

Common sexually transmitted diseases to know about

Sexually transmitted diseases are bacterial or viral infections you spread through sexual activity, including oral sex, vaginal sex, and anal sex. Common types of STD to be aware of include:

Chlamydia

Chlamydia is one of the most commonly transmitted STDs in both men and women. If left untreated, the infection can damage a woman’s reproductive organs and make pregnancy difficult.

Gonorrhea

Gonorrhea also affects men and women, causing infections in the genitals, rectum, and throat. The infection can also pass from a mother to a baby during childbirth.

Herpes

Herpes is the result of an infection with either the herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) or type 2 (HSV-2). These viruses can cause sores to form in the mouth, on the genitals, and in the rectum from having vaginal, anal, or oral sex.

Hepatitis

Hepatitis is a viral infection. The infection can lead to liver cancer and permanent liver damage that requires a transplant.

Human papillomavirus (HPV)

HPV is a common sexually transmitted disease that can cause genital warts. This infection can also increase a woman’s risk for certain types of cancer including cervical cancer.

When you need STD testing

Because you can have many types of STDs without symptoms, you should schedule routine testing if you’re sexually active and have more than one partner. If you’re just entering a relationship with a new partner, both of you should be tested before starting sexual relations.

You should also schedule STD testing if you have unprotected sex with someone or if you’re showing symptoms that may relate to an STD, such as:

The National Coalition for Sexual Health also offers in-depth testing recommendations based on your age, your medical history, and your lifestyle.

What to expect during STD testing

There are several ways Amneh tests for STDs. She starts by reviewing your medical history, your general health, and your history of sexual activity. Based on the information you provide, Amneh can determine which screenings you need.

Urine screenings

Urine screenings are available for chlamydia and gonorrhea. You will provide a urine sample at the time of your test for further evaluation.

Blood screenings

Blood screenings are used to test for STDs like hepatitis, syphilis, and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV).

Pap test

During a cervical exam, Amneh uses a cotton swab to collect cells at the opening of a woman's cervix for evaluation under a microscope to diagnose HPV. There’s currently no test for HPV in men, but if you have genital warts, further testing is available to confirm your diagnosis.

Tissue scrapes

In some cases, a scrape of genital tissue is necessary to confirm STDs like gonorrhea, chlamydia, and herpes.

Treatment options for STDs

If your testing confirms that you have an STD, Amneh will customize a treatment plan based on the condition and symptoms you have. She can use antibiotic or antiviral medications that you take orally or apply to the affected area to treat conditions like chlamydia and gonorrhea.

You may need long-term treatment to reduce your risk for herpes flare-ups, as there’s no herpes cure available currently.

If you have HIV, hepatitis, or treatment-resistant STDs, Amneh can refer you to a specialist for additional testing and treatment.

Don’t put off STD testing any longer. Schedule a telehealth visit online or by calling Revival Health Clinic today. 

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