It's not the easiest thing to talk about, but STD testing isn't just the right thing to do for your health, it's the right thing to do for the health of others.
Whether you're facing the reality of having a possible STD, or you just want to stay safe, STD screening is one of the smartest decisions you can make.
Often, STDs don't have obvious signs or symptoms until weeks or
months later, and the virus can lie dormant for long periods of time.
During this time, if you have an STD, you could be spreading it to
others and not even know it.
Most STD tests are easy and can be done through urine analysis or by analyzing the results of a swab taken from the opening of the male's penis or a female's cervix.
that your doctor will offer to perform an STD test at a routine exam or
visit to the OBGYN – if you want to get tested, you need to let the
STD testing for herpes can be complicated because often times, the infected person may not have any signs or symptoms for months or even years.
However, once a herpes infection makes itself known through a herpes outbreak, painful blisters pop up on the throat, nose, mouth, urethra, rectum, and vagina.
Sometimes, those with herpes will only have one outbreak, but often, these outbreaks occur more frequently.
Several herpes tests exist:
Herpes Simplex Virus 1 (HSV-1) is the more common and less severe form of herpes that causes cold sores on the lips.
HSV-1 is generally spread by kissing or by sharing eating utensils (such as spoons or forks) when sores are present. HSV-1 can also be spread to the genital area.
Herpes Simplex Virus 2 (HSV-2) is the type that causes sores in the genital area, and is often called genital herpes. HSV-2 also causes the herpes infection seen in babies who are delivered vaginally in women who have genital herpes.
HSV-2 is generally spread by sexual contact. HSV-2 can sometimes cause mouth sores.
Herpes is incurable, and once a person is infected, they have the virus for life.
Being diagnosed with HIV or AIDS is a devastating and life-changing event, but early diagnosis is the key to treatment.
(Human Immunodeficiency Virus) can eventually lead to AIDS (Acquired
Immunodeficiency Virus), sometimes at a very rapid rate, other times it
takes several years, and sometimes, not at all. However, you should know
that a person cannot be infected with AIDS without first having an HIV
With these two illnesses, the body's immune system gradually shuts down because the virus takes over and kills a person's immune cells. This process could take many years, and the person may not know they are infected until they begin getting infected with opportunistic infections.
Several tests exist for diagnosing HIV and AIDS, but first, let's go over a few basics.
HIV is spread through semen, vaginal fluids, and blood. This can occur in a number of ways, like sexual contact, needles, and when an HIV positive woman delivers a baby vaginally. In extremely rare cases, medical professionals have contracted HIV by accidentally being stuck with a needle after the needle delivered medication to an HIV positive person.
After being infected, HIV won't be detectable for 2 weeks to 6 months.
Because AIDS is a stage of an HIV infection, one must first have a number of tests done to determine what stage they are in. First, an HIV antibodies test is done on a blood sample to determine whether an HIV infection is present.
If the test is positive, another test will be done to ensure it's accuracy. With two positive antibody tests, another test – either a Western Blot, PCR, or IFA test is performed. If this next test is positive, the person is considered to have HIV.
As the HIV progresses, the immune system may become weaker, resulting in lower CD4 cells, which are critical immunity cells. Blood tests determine a person's CD4 count.
A CD4 count of 500 or more is the best, but as the CD4 count gets lower, the HIV patient will develop more infections. Once the CD4 count reaches 200 and below, the person is considered to have AIDS.