First-Time STD Testing? Here’s What You Need to Know
It’s STD awareness month, so, what better time is there to get tested? Whether it’s your first or fifth time getting tested, we understand getting tested can be stressful. That’s why, if you live in the Tampa area, 24-7Labs has several locations for convenient STD testing on your schedule. That way, you don’t have to worry about dealing with the stress of trying to schedule an appointment at your doctor’s office.
Stressful or not, STD testing is imperative not only for a happy relationship but also for a healthy life. In this blog, we’ll discuss everything you need to know about STD testing, as well as what to expect. In turn, you’ll find yourself feeling much more comfortable with the process.
How Does STD Testing Work?
Medical-related anxiety is a very real thing, not to mention the anxiety that comes with the subject of STDs and testing. So, if you feel nervous about upcoming STD testing, just know that it’s perfectly normal. However, you can take solace in the fact that, as Planned Parenthood explains, STD testing can be both quick and painless. And sometimes, it’s available at no cost to you.
Deciding Which Tests Are Needed
First off, you’ll want to decide which STDs/STIs you’d like to test for. From HIV and hep C to herpes, gonorrhea, chlamydia, and beyond 24-7Labs provides an array of comprehensive testing options to ensure all your bases are covered. With our Comprehensive Sexual Health Panel, our experts will test for the following STDs/STIs.
- HIV a/b
- Herpes ½
- Hepatitis B
- Hepatitis C
If there is an STD you suspect you might have due to symptoms or coming into contact with an infected individual, be sure to mention this when scheduling your appointment.
What Happens During STD Testing?
In terms of the testing itself, there is no one test that encompasses all STDs. Rather, each STD has its own test. Luckily, STD testing doesn’t hurt and is over before you know it. Below, you’ll discover an overview of the testing process so you know what to expect.
- Urine Test – Using a specimen cup, a medical professional will have you urinate into a cup.
- Cheek Swab – Much like how doctors test for strep, an elongated swab is used to swab the inside of your cheek(s).
- Blood Test – A medical professional will take a quick blood prick from a fingertip or arm.
- Physical Exam – The genital area is checked over for any signs of rashes, lesions, or sores, testing them if necessary.
- Fluid Testing – The genitalia is gently swabbed to collect cell samples from the genital, anus, urethra, or throat.
What Happens if I Have an STD?
Should you discover you have an STD, the last thing you want to do is panic. Especially when you consider that most STDs, especially bacterial and parasitic ones, are curable with the right treatment, as the World Health Organization explains. Should you visit a lab and discover you tested positive for an STD, your next step is to schedule an appointment with your doctor.
Your next step is going to be disclosing your infection to your partner(s). That way, they can seek testing and get treatment as soon as possible. Of course, failing to tell your partner about the presence of an STD can result in a further spread of the infection. In the end, STDs are a perfectly normal part of relationships and sex. You should never feel too ashamed to talk about the subject–especially if the end result is a healthier, happier life.
What Does Treatment Look Like?
STD treatment is easy and convenient to obtain. So, if you’re unsure what to expect, you should know it comes in two common forms.
Typically prescribed in a single dose, antibiotics have the ability to cure many STDs and parasitic infections, including gonorrhea, syphilis, chlamydia, and trichomoniasis. Be sure to complete your antibiotics to ensure their effectiveness.
- Antiviral Drugs
For STDs like herpes and HIV, antiviral drugs are typically prescribed. This type of medication can keep HIV in check for several years, reducing transmission rates. Typically, the sooner you begin treatment, the better.
Choose 24-7Labs for Your First-Time STD Testing
If you’re still nervous about getting tested, the experts at 24-7Labs are happy to answer your questions. If you’re ready to schedule your appointment, either on your own or with a partner, grab a time today and we’ll have you seen within 15 minutes of your arrival on the day of your appointment.