The Best STD Testing Services 2020
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Where to TestTest CoverageTime to ResultsTelemedicineAt a Lab13 STDs1-2 DaysBy Healthcare Specialist
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Where to TestTest CoverageTime to ResultsTelemedicineAt Home10 STDs2 - 5 Days24/7 By Nurses
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Where to TestTest CoverageTime to ResultsTelemedicineAt Home/a Lab10 STDs1 - 2 DaysBy Healthcare Specialist
Why Get Tested for STDs?
With over 20 million new infections of STD (sexually transmitted diseases) every year, it’s no surprise that statistically one in two sexually Americans will contract an STD by age 25. More alarmingly, over 65 million Americans have an incurable form of STD. Diagnosis and treatment are of great importance because letting such a disease go unchecked can lead to significant health issues down the road, including:
Damage to Body Tissue and Organs – The infection caused by STDs may lead in some cases to permanent damage to body tissue and organs, including mouth, throat, anus, and even the eyes, where it will eventually result in severe loss of eyesight and even blindness.
Infertility – In most cases, untreated STDs such as chlamydia and gonorrhea, are relevant causes of both Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) and infertility. Testing for these STDs is of great importance, as PID is known to be a “silent” infection, developing in (~20%) of STDs and leading to permanent damage of the Fallopian tube and other surrounding tissues, which for instance cause infertility in women.
Malignant Cancer – Evidence demonstrates STD/STIs increase your risk of several cancer such as cervical, penile cancers, as well as other parts of the body (anus, mouth, throat) both in males and females.
So, with this in mind, it’s important to understand what an STD is and isn’t, and how you should act if you suspect you have an STD or are even just sexually active.
What Is an STD?
STD Stands for Sexually Transmitted Disease and is defined as “an infectious disease that spreads from person to person during sexual contact.”, this is the most-commonly used term, to describe those infections and medical conditions which their primary mode of transmission between humans is via sexual contact, including vaginal intercourse, as well as oral, anal sex, and skin-to-skin contact with an infected person. Among these, we can find diseases such as syphilis, trichomoniasis, and HIV. Please note that, some diseases and conditions may vary in the likelihood of their transmission depending on the type of sexual activity. Additionally, the term STI Stands for Sexually Transmitted Infection and is a terminology used commonly as a synonym of STD as well.
Should I get tested for STDs?
It is well known that certain activities are specially considered risk factors for STDs: Needle sharing and drug Use, men having sex with men, young age, etc. Besides this, any person who may had any sexual activity in the past, or which has sex activities with multiple sex partners (+1 person during lifetime or in the last 12 months) is at risk of having contracted an STD, additionally, this risk will increase depending on the number of sex activities.
The only 100% guaranteed methods of preventing any STD or STI are either not having any kind of sexual contact or having it inside a monogamous and faithful relationship with a non-infected person (a person who has received a negative result from a high sensitivity test after the window time has passed). Otherwise, if you are outside one of these two groups, please consider you possess a considerable risk of developing or having contracted an STD. In this case, receiving a test can be the best thing to do.
How to get tested for STDs?
STDs should always be tested by a trained medical professional. The tests themselves involve the acquiring of your blood, urine or saliva sample, which will then be tested using an FDA-approved STD test. For certain types of STDs, a doctor may request a swab from the inside of your mouth, genitals (urethra for men and cervix for women), or of a discharge from sores (if present). In certain cases, the tests can be carried at the clinic, however in most cases the samples will need to be sent to a lab for more advanced and comprehensive testing.
Do I Have an STD or an STI?
Unfortunately, in many cases the STD or STI may not present any symptoms at all, for this reason, and with common STDs leaving you vulnerable to some of the harshest long-term complications, including infertility, organ damage and even cancer, testing is usually the best option to properly know if you have or not a STD.
Recent evidence shows that asymptomatic, or symptomless STDs, are far-more common than those that do present symptoms, especially in the case of women. In fact, most people who get infected with a disease can never even know they contracted an STD or develop symptoms only years after. i.e. Chlamydia, (75% of women and 50% of men never present any symptoms) Gonorrhea (only 50% of women and 10% of men present symptoms), etc. It is in this time-window or asymptomatic period that they may inadvertently spread the disease to another person through sexual activities.
Private STD Testing
There’s no way around it – one of the most critical points of concern, especially when it comes to STDs, is privacy. Perhaps more so than other medical conditions, STD and STI testing that isn’t handled responsibly could reveal private information about us that we don’t want to share, as it could have unforeseen consequences.
Don’t Let Privacy Concerns Stop You from Getting Tested
There are too many cases in which a person has decided to skip STD testing out of privacy concerns, even when suspecting exposure. The good news is that you have nothing to worry about in terms of privacy. You have full control over the information you share, if you’re doing it the right way.
Good News for Privacy
Private STD testing services are aware of this concern and have gone to great lengths to make sure privacy is not an issue. For example, you’ll notice that these services employ highly capable safeguards on their website, including industry-standard encryption protocols. Many companies will also allow you use an entirely unidentifiable digital code that you can use instead of your name.
Reputable and reliable STD testing services are fully compliant with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability ACT (HIPAA). This act ensures that your private information is protected from any unsolicited access and gives you the right to decide who can access your private health data.
Please take note you can have an STD even if you feel good. The information above leads to only one conclusion: just because you haven’t noticed any of the symptoms usually associated with STDs, such as skin sores, warts, abnormal discharges from the genitals or a rash, does not mean that you don’t have a dormant STD that can be spread to others, that is the reason testing is of great importance.