THE RECOMMENDED STI TESTING FOR YOU

THE RECOMMENDED STI TESTING FOR YOU

It is no longer news that sexually transmitted diseases, STIs are common and different STIs require different tests. The test you need may vary based on your level of exposure or risk factors.

Find out what test is right for you as you read on.

For all sexually active persons, especially those who have multiple sex partners, the advice on the use of protection and getting tested cannot be overemphasised.

Most STIs do not have any disease symptoms thus, you might be infected without knowing it, which is why the above advice is very important.You might probably be wondering what type of STI test you need and how often you should be screened. Anyway, these depend on your age, sexual life and your lifestyle generally.

STI testing does not come with a gynaecology exam or Pap test. If you need it, you'll have to request it. Consult your doctor for a full STI test and any concerns you have.

You can visit the STI clinic for STI testing in London.

HOW TO TEST FOR SPECIFIC STIs

We will give you some tips for testing for specific STIs. They include:

HIV, SYPHILIS AND HEPATITIS

HIV testing is recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, CDC at least once a year, especially as part of medical care if you are aged 13 to 64 years. This is very crucial if you are at high risk of infection; yearly HIV testing is paramount.

For persons born between 1945 and 1965, screening for hepatitis C is recommended because it is high for people within this age group. Hepatitis C symptoms do not appear until later in life. However, there are available vaccines for hepatitis A and B if you haven't been exposed to these viral infections.

You should have an HIV, syphilis and hepatitis test if:

  • You are a man sleeping with other men
  • You're pregnant or have plans to get pregnant
  • You test positive for another STI which increases your chances of catching other STIs
  • You have multiple sex partners
  • You've been sexually abused
  • You use intravenous drugs

In testing for syphilis, your blood sample or a swab from any genital sore you may have will be taken for laboratory examination. For HIV and hepatitis, a blood sample will do the test. But a full STI test is very necessary.

HUMAN PAPILLOMAVIRUS, HPV

Some HPV can cause cervical cancer, while other types cause genital warts. HPV usually clears off within two years. It has no symptoms.

For men, HPV is diagnosed by visual exam or biopsy of genital warts; there's no routine screening test for HPV.

For women, HPV test includes:

  • Pap Test - this involves checking the cervix for any abnormal cells. Women aged 21 to 65 years are recommended to do this test every three years
  • HPV Test - for women aged 21 and 30 years, they will have an HPV test if their Pap test shows abnormal results. Again, women well past 30 years will be recommended for an HPV test plus Pap test every 5 years if previous test results were normal.

Cancer of the vagina, vulva, throat, penis, mouth, and anus have been associated with HPV. There are some HPV vaccines for men and women but, it is best to use them prior to having sexual activity.

GENITAL HERPES

This is a viral infection that can be passed on even when the infected person has no visible symptoms. There's no good screening test for herpes but your doctor may take a culture of blisters or early ulcer (if you have any), for laboratory testing. That the test is negative doesn't undermine herpes as a cause of genital ulcerations.

Blood tests for herpes are good but are always inconclusive. But blood test can show if you have Type 1 or Type 2 herpes. Type 1 herpes causes cold sores and sometimes genital sores, while Type 2 is well known as being responsible for genital sores. There's also the possibility of having a false-positive and false-negative result.

CHLAMYDIA AND GONORRHOEA

Yearly screening is recommended if you:

  • Are a sexually active woman below 25 years
  • Are a woman above 25 years and at risk of STIs
  • Are a man sleeping with other men
  • Have HIV
  • Have been sexually abused

A urine or swab test is used to screen gonorrhoea and chlamydia. Full STI test is important because you may not know if you're infected especially when there are zero symptoms.

AT-HOME STI TESTING

This test procedure is becoming popular. With at-home test kits, you can collect samples like urine samples or an oral or genital swab for some STIs such as chlamydia, HIV, and gonorrhoea. This is then sent to a lab for full STI testing.

While this method encourages privacy, there are some drawbacks to this testing. There is an increased rate of false-positive results when you collect samples yourself. This means that you may not have an STI as indicated by the test result.

If your home test proves positive, you can contact the STI clinic or your doctor to confirm the test. But if it proves negative and you have symptoms, please contact a doctor for STI testing in London to be sure.

POSITIVE TEST RESULTS

If after an STI testing in London and you are diagnosed with an STI, don't panic. Just consider additional testing and treatment based on your doctor's recommendation. You can see a doctor at the STI clinic for full STI test. Most importantly, ensure you tell your sex partners so they can be diagnosed and treated as well. This is to avoid an STI recurring.

It is normal for you to feel nervous, embarrassed or scared. But you've done the right thing by going for a full STI test and informing your partners too. You can talk with the doctors at the STI clinic; they are friendly and experienced in handling STI cases. Feel free to open up to them about your concerns.

For more information, visit anSTI clinic. If you need STI testing in London, you can walk into any of the STI clinicsin London near you for a full STI test. Remember that untreated STI is dangerous and can cause serious problems if left that way. Take care of any STI you have today and so take care of your health. It pays to stay healthy always.