If you are wondering what an STD is:
An STD is a sexually transmitted disease; an infection that is transmitted through oral, vaginal or anal sex, intravenous drug use or through nonsexual contact such as childbirth or breastfeeding. According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates, there are 19 million reported STD cases each year in the United States. STDs are common and it is possible to be infected without being aware because many STDs do not display obvious signs or symptoms. STD testing once or twice every year is recommended. Regular STD testing is a great way to protect your sexual health as well as the health of your partner.
Why Should I get tested for STDs?
Everyone that is sexually active should be tested regularly. Take charge of your sexual health. Some STDs, like chlamydia and gonorrhea, may not display any symptoms at all, but are still just as contagious. Especially get tested if you experience any of these common STD symptoms: Genital sores, itching, unusual discharge from the penis or vagina, or a burning sensation during urination. Some people assume that they are tested for STDs when they have a Pap test or physical, but often this is not the case. There is no comprehensive test for all STDs because each test is specific to an infection. If you have STD symptoms, or have had unprotected sex, it is crucial that you and your partner get tested. By getting an STD test, you can officially put your mind at ease– After all, the most common STD symptoms is to have no symptoms at all.
How do I know if I have an STD?
You can have an STD and not know it due to a lack of symptoms. For instance, you can contract chlamydia or gonorrhea and not have the infection treated due to lack of bumps, rashes or itching. The “silent” nature of STDs helps explain why these infections are so widespread as so many individuals are simply unaware that they have one or more and they spread them unknowingly. Help put an end to the spread of STDs and help protect yourself by learning your status.
Where can I get STD testing?
To find the testing center nearest you, visit our Local STD test center page and enter your zip code. We test for all major STDs, including HIV (Type 1 and Type 2), herpes 1, herpes 2, hepatitis A, hepatitis B, hepatitis C, chlamydia, gonorrhea and syphilis. Our doctors recommend the 10-Test Panel with HIV RNA Early Detection for the most complete coverage. Getting one STD test does not cover all STDs, and contracting one STD increases your chances of contracting others. The best way to be completely sure that you are STD-free is the all-inclusive 10-Test Panel package. Furthermore, our STD Test Recommender can help you discover which STD tests may be best for you.
Is oral sex safe sex?
Simply put, no. You are just as vulnerable to STDs from unprotected oral sex, whether you are the giver or the recipient, as you are with any other unprotected sexual activity. Oral sex may be comparatively less risky than vaginal or anal sex, but it is still advisable to use a latex or polyurethane condom, or dental dam in order to be safer. STDs can be transmitted through mouth sores and/or cuts, and some infections, such as herpes, can be spread via skin-to-skin contact. While condoms are not 100% effective in preventing all STDs, they greatly decrease the risk of transmitting an STD during oral sex.
How does your lab perform STD testing?
Our STD lab tests rely on either a small urine sample (for detecting chlamydia and/or gonorrhea) or a small blood sample (for detecting herpes, syphilis, hepatitis and/or HIV). This mean that you won’t be subjected to any uncomfortable physical exams and no vaginal/penile swabbing is required. You’ll be in and out of the testing center in 10 minutes!