The Importance of STD Testing

Std Testing Herndon, VA

Sexually transmitted diseases, also known as STDs, are a more common problem than many Americans think. Unfortunately, stigma can prevent patients from getting STD testing and the treatment they need. Prompt treatment of STDs can prevent severe complications later on.

An urgent care physician can help diagnose, treat, and manage symptoms. When it comes to your health, you should never hesitate or put off treatment. Read on to learn more about STD testing.

Sexually transmitted diseases

Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) are diseases transmitted through sexual activity with an infected person. They are also sometimes called sexually transmitted infections or STIs. Any sexual activity involving the mouth, anus, vagina, or penis can pass on an STD from an infected person to an uninfected person. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that there are around 20 million new STD infections each year. Furthermore, half of all sexually active young adults will get an STD by the age of 25.

Some STDs are more severe than others. For example, HIV is both incurable and potentially deadly. However, all STDs require some degree of treatment. With proper maintenance and care, individuals can reduce any chance of complications. Common STDs include genital herpes, genital warts/human papillomavirus, hepatitis B, chlamydia, syphilis, gonorrhea, pubic lice, molluscum contagiosum, and trichomoniasis.

Testing and diagnosing STDs

A primary care doctor can diagnose STDs by a few different methods. Physicians frequently use blood tests to confirm a diagnosis of HIV or late-stage syphilis. A urine sample can confirm other STD diagnoses. Furthermore, if a patient has open genital sores, the physician may test the fluid from the sores.

Patients should also get screened for STDs regularly. This procedure tests for diseases in patients not exhibiting any symptoms. The CDC advises all patients aged 13 to 64 to undergo a blood or saliva test for HIV every year. Patients should also undergo STD screening before and after each new partner. Additionally, some populations may need more frequent screening than others. A primary care doctor can determine a patient’s risk profile.

Treatments for STDs

While viral infections are manageable, they are not always curable. As such, STDs that form from bacteria are typically easier to treat. Antibiotics can cure several STDs, often in a single dose. Common bacterial and parasitic sexually transmitted infections include gonorrhea, syphilis, chlamydia, and trichomoniasis. Gonorrhea and chlamydia are typically treated at the same time, as the two often appear together. Patients must complete the entire course of antibiotics or run the risk of recurrence. Additionally, they must abstain from sex until a week after completing the treatment, and any sores have healed.

Viral STDs, like herpes and HIV, are treated with antiviral drugs. Those with herpes will have fewer recurrences if they take daily suppressive therapy with prescribed antiviral medication. Still, this will not cure the condition — making it possible for those infected to give their partners herpes. Similarly, antiviral drugs can keep HIV infections under control for many years.

Still, the infected individual will carry the virus and may transmit it to a partner (though the risks are much lower). With viral STDs, early detection is crucial. By taking medications exactly as directed, patients can reduce their virus count so low that it is barely detectable.

Get tested today

Sexually transmitted diseases must be treated immediately for the safety of the infected patient and their sexual partners. Do not wait if you exhibit any signs or symptoms of an STD, and make sure to inform your partner and encourage them to get tested as well. Call our office at (703) 743-7849 to learn more about STD testing or schedule an appointment.

To learn more about our services, visit https://herndon.millenniummedicalcare.com or call our Herndon office at (703) 743-7849 to schedule an appointment.

Check out what others are saying about our services on Yelp: STD Testing in Herndon, VA.

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