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December 23, 2021 | Farah Jassawalla

What are the Common Questions About STD Testing and Treatment

If you fear being exposed to a sexually transmitted disease (STD) or suffering from its symptoms, you may be hesitant to consult a doctor. Let us assure you that doctors are not only skilled at treating STDs, but they're also your best defense against the severe and long-term consequences of untreated infections.

Here are a few of the most common STDs, all of which we provide testing for:

If you think you've been exposed to an STD, the only way to know for sure is to be tested and get treatment. Let's go through what you can trust and what you should leave to a doctor.

Which STD should I get tested for?

The STDS for which you will be tested is determined by your age, gender, lifestyle, and other factors. In general, you should adhere to the following guidelines:

  • You should get tested for HIV at least once if you're between 13 and 64.
  • If you're a sexually active woman under 25, you should have a chlamydia and gonorrhea test once a year.
  • If you're a woman over 25 who has multiple partners or had sex with a new partner, you should get a chlamydia and gonorrhea test once a year.
  • Sexually active homosexual and bisexual men should have their chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis checked. You should be tested every 3 to 6 months if you have anonymous or multiple partners.
  • You should be tested for HIV once a year if you have unprotected sex or share needles.
  • If you have unprotected intercourse with a new partner or discover that a partner has an STD, you should be tested.

Is it possible to test yourself for STDs at home?

Yes, indeed. According to the research, home testing kits are accurate and reliable. Furthermore, they're widely acknowledged and frequently used to screen for sexually transmitted diseases.

Studies have demonstrated that home-based testing yields higher testing rates than typical office or clinic testing, implying that the home approach yields better overall STI screening rates, particularly among younger individuals.

However, when you choose home testing, there's always the risk of performing the test wrong, increasing the risk of a false-negative result. When you get tested in a doctor's office, you can get assistance, counseling, and therapy all in one visit.

What Kinds of Tests Are Available?

Several tests are available to keep you informed, but no single test exists for every STD. Most tests require a urine or blood sample, as well as a swab of the area suspected of being infected. If you have a sore and want to figure out what's causing it, a swab can also tell you if a specific virus or bacteria is present. You can also buy STD kits for home use, which results in about 20 minutes.

STD Tests: How Reliable Are They?

The objective of STI testing can be undermined if the results are inaccurate. A false negative could lead you to believe you don't have an infection when, in reality, you do, placing you at risk of infection transmission and causing you harm by leaving the condition untreated. A false-positive result can be upsetting and potentially embarrassing for you and your partners. It could lead you to take medication for an infection you don't have, which can have serious side effects. The more accurate the test, the less likely it is that another test will be required.

Is it possible to treat STDs naturally at home?

Antibiotics were developed to treat diseases caused by bacteria in humans and animals by either killing or inhibiting the bacteria's ability to grow and multiply. In the fight against sexually transmitted diseases, antibiotics are our best weapon.

There is no alternative therapy for treating an STI that has been proven effective. Antibiotics, antivirals, and testing are the only treatments available.

Prevention and patient counseling are two of the most successful STI supplementary treatments — that is, treatments used in addition to standard medical treatment. Some strategies include monogamy, condom use, avoiding unsafe sexual activities, and medication compliance. Many use vitamins like A and C, zinc, and carotenoids to boost immunity as a preventative measure.

While they are suitable preventative measures, antibiotics are still required to treat the infection and any complications.

Is it possible for an STD to go away on its own?

In almost all cases, the answer is no. An Std isn't going to go away on its own. Ignoring symptoms, noncompliance, or denial can put your and your partner's health at risk, as well as cause long-term health issues. Even if you don't have any symptoms, you still risk complications and infecting your sexual partners. Because STDs are often asymptomatic, it's important to note that the lack of symptoms does not rule out the possibility of infection. Similarly, just because you have symptoms connected to an STD and they go away doesn't mean the STD is no longer there. Even if you're having STD treatment, it's essential to keep this in mind. Many people quit taking the medication they've been prescribed as soon as their symptoms go away, but it's necessary to finish the course of drugs that the doctor has prescribed. Failure to complete an antibiotic course can cause the infection to persist and lead to the development of antibiotic-resistant strains, making it more difficult to cure in the future. That's why it's critical to be tested regularly and engage in safer sexual activity.

What happens if you don't treat an STD?

If left untreated or treated improperly, infections like gonorrhea and chlamydia can cause pelvic inflammatory disease, infertility, ectopic pregnancy, chronic pain, heart disease, and arthritis. STI transmission to the fetus during pregnancy can result in stillbirth, pneumonia, or blindness, to name a few complications.

Are there any STDs that cannot be cured?

Herpes (HSV), hepatitis B (HBV), human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), and human papillomavirus (HPV) are the four sexually transmitted diseases that are incurable. Other STDs are frequently curable with medication, which means that if the correct treatment regimen is followed, the infection may usually be eradicated from the body. While the four STDs mentioned above are not curable, they can be managed because medication and other therapies are available to help reduce their negative impacts on health. It's essential to seek proper treatment as well as appropriate support. Ignoring a sexually transmitted disease won't make it disappear; in fact, it could harm your internal organs irreversibly. It can also create a great deal of stress in addition to physical damage. You might want to seek counseling or join a support group, and there's no guilt in doing so; you mustn’t feel alone while undergoing treatment.

How to prevent STDs?

The most important prevention step against STDs is to practice safe sex. This can be done by using condoms, the most cost-effective method for safe sex identified so far. It is essential that once an STD has been diagnosed in a person, all the sexual partners of that person be contacted, screened, and treated for the same infection to stop the spread. Certain STDs, particularly viral STDs, can be contagious, so healthcare workers should be given prophylaxis before handling such patients. Some STDs can be transferred from the infected pregnant mother to the baby; hence diseases such as syphilis and gonorrhea are routinely screened in pregnant females. Patients diagnosed with other forms of STDs should always undergo screening for HIV due to its life-threatening characteristics, as the symptoms for STDs can be overlapping

Farah Jassawalla

Farah Jassawalla is a graduate of the Lahore School of Economics. She is also a writer, and a healthcare enthusiast, having closely observed case studies while working with Lahore's thriving general physicians at their clinics.