Sexually Transmitted Disease Testing
It’s a test no one wants to do, but it could be one of the most important tests you ever take. The high occurrence of sexually transmitted diseases means that anyone who is sexually active in any capacity needs to be tested. Even people in monogamous relationships can benefit from regular testing, as many STDs can lie dormant for years and show no symptoms.
STD screening should be a judgement-free zone and general anonymity is preferred. At Test Smartly Labs we understand the sensitive nature of these tests and we work hard to provide the most comfortable experience possible, because checking to see if you have an STD is not the most thrilling experience of your life—we get that.
But, it’s an extremely important one. Why? Because one in two sexually active persons will contract an STI by age 25.
For many years the instances of STDs were declining, but they have been on the rise since 2013. Between 2013-2017, syphilis cases nearly doubled, gonorrhea cases increased by 67%, and chlamydia remained at record highs.
This is why Test Smartly Labs offers confidential, low-cost STD testing.
Why STD Screening Matters - STD Statistics
- According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), nearly 20 million new STDs occur every year in the United States - half of which are among people aged 15-24 - despite this, only about 12% of young people were tested in recent years
- The CDC estimates that undiagnosed STIs cause 24,000 women to become infertile each year
- Data from 2013-2014 showed that about 42% of men and 40% of women aged 18-59 had genital HPV at that time
- About 1 in 8 people aged 14-49 in the United States has genital herpes
- From 2016-2017 the CDC reported an increase in gonorrhea cases of 75.2% since the historic low of 2009.
- In 2015, approximately 1.5 million cases of chlamydia were reported - the highest number of annual cases of any condition ever reported to the CDC
- In the US there were 39,782 new HIV diagnoses in 2016 and of the estimated 1.1 million people in the US living with HIV, about 15% don’t know they’re infected - so get tested today
Most STDs Are Curable - Get STD Testing So You Can Get Better
A lot of young people are negatively impacted by STD stigma that paints STDs as “dirty,” life-altering afflictions which can lead people to fear testing as they think their life will be different forever if they learn they do in fact have a sexually transmitted disease.
This is not remotely true. Most STDs can in fact be cured with a round of antibiotics and others can be managed with medications. Because of how easily cured most of STDs are, many organizations have taken to referring to them as sexually transmitted infections (STIs) rather than STDs, since the word “disease” does not accurately represent what these infections are. STD and STI tend to be used interchangeably; we continue to refer to them as STDs for consistency’s sake.
It’s important to get tested regularly because many STDs have no symptoms at all, but can be damaging to you in the long run if left untreated and may affect a sexual partner differently than it affects you.
Human papillomavirus (HPV)
HPV is the most common STD and unfortunately it’s one that condoms are not 100% effective against. In fact, HPV is so common, you will likely have it at some point in your life whether you know it or not. Some strains of HPV cause genital warts, but most strains do not have any symptoms at all. HPV often goes away on its own in time (there currently is no treatment), so for those who are under 30 years old HPV tests are not a part of regular STD screening. Generally you will not need to be tested for HPV unless you are a woman who gets abnormal results from a Pap smear.
Chlamydia is known as the “silent” infection and is the most common STD in women under the age of 25. Most people will never experience symptoms from chlamydia, though for some they might experience abnormal vaginal discharge or a burning sensation during urination. Untreated, chlamydia can lead to serious infections and even infertility. Coupled with the fact that most people will never experience a symptom from it, being regularly tested is incredibly important. The CDC recommends women under 25 be tested annually for chlamydia - it can be easily treated with antibiotics if it’s caught before damage is caused.
Like chlamydia, gonorrhea is most common in women under 25 who are sexually active. In fact gonorrhea, while a separate infection, is very similar to chlamydia due to the fact that most people never get symptoms, but the ones who do see symptoms will see similar ones to chlamydia; burning and irregular discharge. While it can also be easily treated with antibiotics, if you have it and are not tested so it goes untreated you could find yourself with pelvic inflammatory disease, scarring, and damage to your reproductive organs.
Herpes is a viral infection caused by two types of viruses that can present on your mouth or genitals. Up to 90 percent of people with herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV-2) are never diagnosed - so while this infection can cause the red blisters many people imagine when they think of herpes, it’s clearly not always the case. Herpes is most infectious if there is a breakout, but it can be spread even without sores present. Unfortunately there currently is no cure for herpes and because of this the CDC doesn’t recommend regular herpes screening. However it is still important to get tested if you think you may have been exposed in some capacity, because there are treatments that will help you manage the infection.
Options That Work For You
Test Smartly Labs offers confidential STD testing options. Our costs are low compared to some doctor’s offices and hospitals. Our promise to you is that your results will remain confidential – this is information about your health and we take that seriously.
If you’d rather not work with your doctor’s office or the hospital to get an STD test, we’re here for you.
We have tests that can check for a specific STD if you think you know what you may have come into contact with:
… or, we can do a comprehensive STD panel and check for all of them.
What matters most is that you calm your worries and fears and get the test done – as we explored above, the biggest danger when it comes to STDs is from not knowing, as most can be treated and all of them need to be managed responsibly.
You should also remember that if you do have an STD, most likely it’s not just impacting you.
To get started, contact us or drop by our office – walk-ins accepted.