Getting Tested For Stds
STD tests are usually ordered by a doctor. Before prescribing a test, the doctor asks about your risk factors for STDs, including your sexual and health history. The doctor also asks about any signs or symptoms of STD infections to determine the most appropriate testing strategy.
While STD testing is often performed in a hospital or doctors office, many people get tested for STDs at clinics and other community health programs. These programs may offer free and confidential STD testing.
When interpreting STD test results, its important to remember that STDs have window periods, the time between when you are infected with an STD and when it shows up on a test. If an STD test is taken too soon after infection, the results will not be accurate and the test will need to be repeated after the window period ends.
What Are The Signs And Symptoms
As most people do not have any early symptoms, it is often difficult to tell whether you are infected. This is why it is important to get tested regularly. For those people who do get symptoms, these may include:
- Burning or painful sensation when urinating
Did you know?
Chlamydia is the most common STI in Ireland, however, 80% of women and over 50% of men have no symptoms. The only way to know if you have it is to get tested.
How Can I Get Tested
To get tested, you can:
- Ask your doctor to test you.
- Go to a local clinic or community health center.
- Go to National HIV and STD Testing Resources to find a testing center near you.
- Buy a test at a pharmacy and do the test at home.
Many testing centers will do an HIV test for free. Ask if there is a fee before you go for testing. In most states you do not need a parents permission to get tested for HIV. And you can buy the test at the pharmacy without a parent.
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How Long Does It Take To Show Up In People With Penises
Theres no significant difference in the amount of time it takes for chlamydia symptoms to show up for people with penises as compared to people with vulvas.
The only major difference in the time it takes for symptoms to show up among people of various sexes may be related to how often symptoms show up.
According to the Childrens National Health System, 90 percent of people with vulvas dont ever experience any physical symptoms, while 70 percent of people with penises never notice any symptoms.
This difference in who actually experiences symptoms between these two groups may have some effect on how long it takes for symptoms show up. But theres never been any definitive link between your sex and when your symptoms appear.
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What Does The Test Measure
Chlamydia testing looks for evidence of infection with the bacteria Chlamydia trachomatis. There are several types of tests that can be used to detect chlamydia, including molecular testing, also called Nucleic Acid Amplification Test , and cell culture.
Other types of chlamydia tests are available but are rarely used given the accuracy and availability of NAAT.
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How Long Should You Wait To Retest For Chlamydia
You should wait at least once a year if you have only one partner. If your partner has other partners aside from you or if you have multiple partners, then get tested every three to six months. It is common to get infected with chlamydia again if you or your partner have multiple partners. Just because you have taken chlamydia antibiotics does not make you immune to future re-infections from others. That counts as a new infection and has to be treated again. Thats why it is so important to wear condoms and use dental dams. Also, have open conversations with your partners to see if they have other sexual partners so you are aware of the risk factors.
Anything Else I Should Know
Chlamydia is spread through any form of unsafe sex. So if your test shows that you have chlamydia, its really important that you let your sexual partners know that you have it, as they may have it too. Your current sexual partner and any recent partners should all get tested and treated.
The staff at the clinic can get in touch with your partners confidentially if youre not up to it.
To make sure that you don’t re-infect each other, you must not have any sex or share sex toys with your partner until seven days after you have both completed your treatment.
Re-test after six weeks to confirm that treatment has been successful and that the test result was accurate.
If your original test was positive its also important to get a repeat test after three months. We will contact you to remind you.
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Can Stis Be Treated
Most STIs are easily treated. Lots of STIs are treated with antibiotics. Other STIs need creams and other tablets.
Some STIs remain in your system for a long time or forever, and their symptoms are managed, for example, herpes.
HIV, the virus that leads to AIDS, cannot be cured but it can be controlled by medication.
Family Planning has clinics located throughout New Zealand. Use the clinic finder to find your nearest clinic.
What Will The Results Show
The results will state either detected or not detected. If your results say not detected, then you have not been infected with chlamydia or gonorrhea. If your results say detected, that means that you had a positive result for the test and will be able to discuss treatment options with one of the physicians that we work with. You will not be charged anything extra to speak with a physicianthat consultation is included with test.
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How Often Should I Get Checked For Chlamydia
Sexual health check-ups are recommended for anyone who is sexually active. Frequency of testing also depends on your STI risk:
- An annual sexual health check-up is highly recommended if you are sexually active especially if you are under 25.
- Get checked more often during the year if you frequently change sexual partners.
- Remember, you are at greater risk if you have sex without a condom with 1 or multiple sexual partners.
Am I At Risk For Chlamydia
If you are sexually active, have an honest and open talk with your healthcare provider. Ask them if you should get tested for chlamydia or other STDs. Gay or bisexual men and pregnant people should also get tested for chlamydia. If you are a sexually active woman, you should get tested for chlamydia every year if you are:
- Younger than 25 years old.
- 25 years and older with risk factors, such as new or multiple sex partners, or a sex partner who has a sexually transmitted infection.
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When Should I Call My Doctor About A Chlamydia Test
A note from Cleveland Clinic
A chlamydia test is essential to limiting the spread of this sexually transmitted infection. Its especially important to get screened for chlamydia regularly if youre at a higher risk of this STI. Untreated, the infection can cause health problems and you can spread it to your partner. While youre waiting for results and during treatment, avoid having sex. Wait until your provider says its safe to have sex again. Be sure to use a condom and practice safe sex to avoid getting an STI.
Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 01/28/2022.
How To Check If You Have Herpes
Many people mistake herpes symptoms for a skin rash or experience such a mild outbreak that they dont become aware theyre infected until subsequent outbreaks occur.
Its also possible that you might experience no outbreaks at all after being infected with HSV-1 or HSV-2.
Luckily, there are several ways to check whether or not you have herpes.The best and most obvious way is to talk to your doctor about herpes testing. There are several herpes testing methods in use today, ranging from swab tests that check for viral activity to blood tests that check for the presence of IgG and/or IgM antibodies.
Each testing method has strengths and weaknesses, meaning your doctor will recommend the best option for your symptoms and potential infection type.
Most of the time, youll need to wait 12 to 16 weeks from the last possible exposure date before taking a herpes test. This gives your immune system time to produce a large enough amount of antibodies for an accurate test result.
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Infidelity And Std Disclosure
The question of disclosure is certainly more complicated for people who have been unfaithful to a current partner. However, I have to believe that more people would be willing to forgive an infidelity that didnât unknowingly expose them to STDs than one that did. When someone discloses an infidelity, they at least give their partner a chance to minimize their emotional and physical risk.
People may use STD transmission as a tool of manipulation. However, infecting someone with an STD isnât a healthy way to make a partner stay with you or to convince them to overlook an infidelity. Fortunately, once most people get over the initial shock and the stigma of an STD diagnosis, they realize that fear isnât love.
Most people would consider intentionally infecting a partner with an STD to keep them around as a form of abuse.
Dating with STDs may not always be easy. However, itâs better than staying with a partner who is emotionally or physically abusive.
How Do You Catch The Infection
Antibiotics are effective in treating Chlamydia. However, if chlamydia is not treated, it can cause serious health problems in the future. Thats why STD testing is so critical: the sooner you know you have chlamydia, the sooner you can treat it.
Even if you know someone well, you may not be able to tell if they have an STI because people can appear healthy while harbouring chlamydia.
Remember that you can get chlamydia and other STIs from a new sexual partner who has previously had sex with an infected person. It can also be passed on by a long-term partner who has had sex with others.
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When Should I Do A Home Test For Chlamydia
If you had unprotected intercourse not too long ago or you are worried your partner might have carried an infection, then you should get tested. The best time to do a test kit for chlamydia is two weeks after youve been exposed.
Gonorrhea and chlamydia need around two weeks to show up on test results, but for any other infection, like HIV, for example, you will need around four weeks.
Chlamydia is easy to detect and treat, so its crucial that you get tested as much as you can. The best way to know for sure if you are carrying the infection is by getting tested every 3 to 12 months. If you have a history of STIs, you should get tested more often.
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The Incubation Period Has A Role To Play
Every STIs has an incubation period chlamydia is noexception. This period is a span of time from the moment you are exposed to theinfection to the moment the antibodies start to form.
Chlamydia tests search for these antibodies, and ifyou dont wait for the incubation to end, there wont be enough antibodies thatwill show up on tests. This will, in turn, result in a false-negative chlamydiatest.
But, even if you do wait for the incubation to end,you still might not experience symptoms or signs of chlamydia. This is anextremely common problem with STIs, which is why most of them remain undetectedfor a long time.
To be 100% sure, you are chlamydia-free, you shouldget tested, there is no other way to know if you do carry the infection or not.If you do test positive, you need to repeat the same test 2 weeks after yourtreatment has ended.
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How Can I Prevent Chlamydia
Itâs easier to prevent an STI like chlamydia than it is to treat it:
- Donât have more than one sex partner at a time. The safest sex is with one partner who has sex only with you. Every time you add a new sex partner, you are being exposed to all of the infections that all of their partners may have.
- Use a condom every time you have sex. Latex and polyurethane condoms keep out the viruses and bacteria that cause STIs.
- Be responsible. Donât have sex if you have symptoms of an infection or if you are being treated for an STI.
- Wait to have sex with a new partner until both of you have been tested for STIs.
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What Is Being Tested
Chlamydia is one of the most common bacterial sexually transmitted diseases in the United States and can cause serious complications if not treated. Chlamydia testing identifies the bacteria Chlamydia trachomatis as the cause of your infection.
The preferred method for chlamydia testing is the nucleic acid amplification test that detects the genetic material of Chlamydia trachomatis. It is generally more sensitive and specific than other chlamydia tests and can be performed on a vaginal swab on women or urine from both men and women, which eliminates the need for a pelvic exam in women.
Screening for, diagnosing, and treating chlamydia is very important in preventing long-term complications and spread of the infection to others. Chlamydia infections are especially common among people 15 to 24 years of age. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that 2.86 million Americans are infected with chlamydia each year and notes that women are frequently re-infected if their partners donât get treatment. The actual number of cases may be higher since many people do not experience any symptoms and do not get tested and diagnosed. Still, over one million new cases are reported each year.
Chlamydia is generally spread through sexual contact with an infected partner. Risk factors include having multiple sex partners, infection with another STD at the same time or previous STD infection, and not using a condom correctly and consistently.
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When Should You Get Tested For Hiv After Condomless Sex
Keep in mind, if you believe youve been exposed to HIV, its important to see a healthcare professional as soon as possible.
Theres no HIV test that can accurately detect HIV in the body immediately after exposure. Theres a time frame known as the window period before you can be tested for HIV and receive accurate results.
Regardless of the type of test you take after a potential HIV exposure, you should get tested again after the window period has passed to be certain.
People at higher risk of contracting HIV should get regularly tested as often as every 3 months.
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How Long Does It Take For Herpes To Show Up
Herpes simplex viruses come in two main types: type-1 that is also referred to as oral herpes and type -2 that is referred to as genital herpes. The first type causes sores around the mouth and lips. The second type causes these sores around the genital area. Both are distinct. This means that you cannot get oral herpes from a person who is infected with genital herpes.
HSV1 & HSV2 Incubation Periods: the initial incubation period for a herpes infection is between 2 and 12 days with an average of 4 days. When the vesicles break, leading to ulcers, it will take the person 2 to 4 weeks to heal.
HSV1 & HSV2 Window Periods: the seroconversion period of this STD is 3-6 weeks. This is the time needed for the person to produce antibodies that can be de detected by testing. The majority of infected individuals have reported detectable antibodies around 16 weeks post exposure.
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What Is Std Screening Exactly
Getting a screening test means that we look for an infection when you may not have any symptoms. Just like you get a mammogram, or screen for colon cancer, its also important to screen for sexually transmitted infections . There are no exact recommended times or tests that we recommend for everyone. These testing recommendations depend on your lifestyle and risk level.
What Is The Treatment For Chlamydia
Chlamydia can be easily cured with antibiotics. HIV-positive persons with chlamydia should receive the same treatment as those who are HIV-negative.
Persons with chlamydia should abstain from sexual activity for 7 days after single dose antibiotics or until completion of a 7-day course of antibiotics, to prevent spreading the infection to partners. It is important to take all of the medication prescribed to cure chlamydia. Medication for chlamydia should not be shared with anyone. Although medication will stop the infection, it will not repair any permanent damage done by the disease. If a persons symptoms continue for more than a few days after receiving treatment, he or she should return to a health care provider to be reevaluated.
Repeat infection with chlamydia is common. Women whose sex partners have not been appropriately treated are at high risk for re-infection. Having multiple chlamydial infections increases a womans risk of serious reproductive health complications, including pelvic inflammatory disease and ectopic pregnancy. Women and men with chlamydia should be retested about three months after treatment of an initial infection, regardless of whether they believe that their sex partners were successfully treated.
Infants infected with chlamydia may develop ophthalmia neonatorum and/or pneumonia. Chlamydial infection in infants can be treated with antibiotics.
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