Because sexually transmitted diseases and infections can often live within your body for some time without developing symptoms, some of the complications that can develop include more serious health issues. This includes certain cancers, organ damage and infertility. Getting tested per doctors recommendations is critical to making sure you receive the right care and that you do not have more severe effects forming. If you have not been tested or fear you have been exposed to one or more STDs, consult with your doctor to determine the tests you need.
Who should undergo STD testing?
If you are sexually active, you should undergo STD testing. Further indicators that you should undergo testing include:
- You are beginning a new relationship
- You and/or your partner have multiple partners
- You have been exposed to or exhibit symptoms of an STD
Can I be tested for specific STDs and STIs?
There are specific tests available for specific STDs and STIs, as well as specific guidelines for when to get tested.
- For chlamydia and gonorrhea, you should be tested at least once a year if you are a sexually active woman under 25, a woman over 25 at risk for STDs, a man who has sex with men, if you have been forced to engage in sexual activity against your will or if you are HIV positive. Both infections do not have outward symptoms and can lead to serious health problems if left undetected for long periods of time.
- Syphilis and hepatitis should be tested for if you have more than one partner or have had more than one partner since your previous STD test, are pregnant or trying to become pregnant, have had unwilling intercourse or have used intravenous drugs.
- A herpes test can be performed through a tissue culture or blood test. While results may not be entirely conclusive, your physician may be able to use the results in order to determine the strain present.
- You should undergo testing for HIV at least once during a routine examination between the ages of 13 and 64 and receive annual testing if you are at a higher risk for an infection. Patients who test positive for other STDs should request testing for HIV because they are going to be more at risk for additional STIs. After an initial test, you should undergo an HIV test at least once a year, or more often if you have been exposed to the virus.
What should I do if I test positive for an STD?
If you test positive for one of more sexually transmitted diseases, you should undergo further testing and consult with your doctor about starting treatment as soon as possible. Many STDs are easily treatable with medications when caught early, and symptom management is available for more serious or progressed infections. Many medications, when taken properly, can greatly reduce your chances of transmitting an STI to your partner or future partners.
Walk-In STD & STI Testing in Southcenter, Kent, Renton, SeaTac & Tukwila, WA
If you have been exposed to an STD or are unsure of your status, visit AFC Urgent Care Southcenter for walk-in testing today! Our center has a laboratory on-site, allowing us to quickly process your samples and give you your results within a few days, rather than waiting up to a week for results from a facility processing samples off-site. Most major health insurance carriers are accepted. For questions, please call 425-970-8117.