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Must-Have Testing For STDs: The Essential STD Tests Everyone Should Have

Believe it or not, 20 million Americans contract a sexually transmitted infection each year. That’s a huge number, and it shows just how important testing for STDs has become.

When was the last time you got tested for STDs? If you’ve had more than one sexual partner, there’s no excuse for not making sure you are currently free of infection.

This article takes a look at the most vital tests for STD that you need to be aware of. Keep reading to learn everything you need to know to make sure you remain safe and healthy.

HIV

The test for HIV is done by blood test or a swab taken from inside the mouth. When you have this test performed, be sure to request a type-specific IgG test rather than an IgM test.

Syphilis

The syphilis test is performed by taking a blood sample from a sore. This is an especially important test if you’re planning to have a baby, because the CDC recommends that all pregnant women get tested for syphilis.

3. HPV (Genital Warts, Cervical Cancer)

Be aware that there are two separate tests for HPV. One for genital warts, and the other for cervical cancer.

Genital warts can occur in both men and women, and this is simply a visual test. The cervical cancer HPV test requires a DNA test, and often a biopsy, and is necessary if your Pap test result is abnormal.

4. Genital Herpes (With Symptoms/Without Symptoms)

When there are symptoms of genital herpes, there will be a swab of the affected area. If the results are negative, a blood test is often done to make sure. 

When testing with no symptoms, blood is drawn from the arm or by fingerstick. Again, ask for a type-specific IgG test rather than an IgM test.

5. Chlamydia

The chlamydia test requires a swab of genital area or urine sample. When being tested, be sure to let your healthcare provider know if you’ve had anal or oral sex. This is due to the fact that these areas could be infected, and yet the vaginal or urine samples may not be positive.

6. Gonorrhea

This is another test that requires a swab of genital area or urine same. As with chlamydia, notify your healthcare provider if you’ve had anal or oral sex.

7. Trichomoniasis

The test for trichomoniasis is done with a swab of the infected area, as well as a physical exam, or by sample of the discharge. Keep in mind that trichomoniasis is more difficult to detect in men than in women.

The Importance of Testing for STDs

If you are sexually active, we cannot overemphasize the importance of STD testing. This is especially true if you have had more than one sexual partner. 

Using protection during sexual intercourse can help to prevent the spread of STDs, but even the use of a condom is no guarantee that you or your partner will be safe.

Remember that testing for STDs is a serious health responsibility, and you should visit your healthcare provider as soon as possible to make sure you are healthy and free of infection.

Click here to learn 5 reasons to get tested for STDs.

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