No one is excited about the prospect of taking an STD test, but it could be one of the most important tests you ever take. Because of the high occurrence of sexually transmitted diseases. anyone who is sexually active in any capacity needs to be tested. Even those in monogamous relationships can benefit from testing, as many STDs can lie dormant for years and show no symptoms.
STD screening should be a judgement-free zone, and you probably aren’t wanting to run into too many people you know while you’re getting tested. At Test Smartly Labs we understand the sensitive nature of these tests and we work hard to provide the most comfortable experience possible, because checking to see if you have an STD is not the most thrilling experience of your life, we get that.
But, it’s an extremely important experience all the same. Why? Because one in two sexually active persons will contract an STI by age 25.
STD rates were on the decline for many years in the United States and beyond, but they have been on the rise since 2013. Between 2013-2017, syphilis cases nearly doubled, gonorrhea cases increased by 67%, and chlamydia remained at record highs.
This is why Test Smartly Labs offers confidential, low-cost STD testing.
Why STD Screening Matters - STD Statistics
- According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), nearly 20 million new STDs occur every year in the United States - half of which are among people aged 15-24 - despite this, only about 12% of young people were tested in recent years
- The CDC estimates that undiagnosed STIs cause 24,000 women to become infertile each year
- From 2013-2014 showed that about 42% of men and 40% of women aged 18-59 had genital HPV at that time according to data gathered by the CDC
- About 1 in 8 people aged 14-49 in the United States has genital herpes whether they know it or not
- From 2016-2017 the CDC reported an increase in gonorrhea cases of 75.2% since the historic low of 2009
- In 2015, approximately 1.5 million cases of chlamydia were reported - the highest number of annual cases of any condition ever reported to the CDC
- In the US there were 39,782 new HIV diagnoses in 2016 and of the estimated 1.1 million people in the US living with HIV, about 15% don’t know they’re infected - so get tested today
Most STDs Are Curable - Get STD Testing And Get Your Health On Track
Too many people are negatively impacted by the STD stigma that paints STDs as “dirty,” life-altering afflictions. This type of thinking has led people to fear testing as they worry their life will be forever changed if they learn they do in fact have a sexually transmitted disease.
This is not remotely true. Most STDs can in fact be cured with a round of antibiotics and others can be managed with medications. The ease with which most STDs can be cured has led to many organizations referring to them as sexually transmitted infections (STIs) rather than STDs, since the word “disease” does not accurately represent what these infections are. STD and STI tend to be used interchangeably; we continue to refer to them as STDs for consistency’s sake.
Not All STDs Have Symptoms
It’s important to get tested regularly because many STDs have no symptoms at all, but can be damaging to you in the long run if left untreated and may affect your sexual partner differently than it affects you.
Human papillomavirus (HPV)
HPV is so common, you will likely have it at some point in your life whether you know it or not. HPV often goes away on its own in time (there currently is no treatment), so for those who are under 30 years old HPV tests are not a part of regular STD screening. Generally you will not need to be tested for HPV unless you are a woman who gets abnormal results from a Pap smear. Some strains of HPV cause genital warts, but most strains do not have any symptoms at all.
Chlamydia is known as the “silent” infection and is the most common STD in women under the age of 25. Most people will never experience symptoms from chlamydia, though some experience abnormal vaginal discharge or a burning sensation during urination. Untreated, chlamydia can lead to serious infections and infertility. Since most people will never experience a symptom from it, being regularly tested is incredibly important. The CDC recommends women under 25 be tested annually for chlamydia - it can be easily treated with antibiotics if it’s caught before damage is caused.
Like chlamydia, gonorrhea is most common in sexually active women under 25. Gonorrhea, while a separate infection, is very similar to chlamydia due to the fact that most people never get symptoms, but the ones who do see symptoms will see similar ones to chlamydia; burning and irregular discharge. While it can also be easily treated with antibiotics, if it does not get caught with regular testing it can lead to pelvic inflammatory disease, scarring, and damage to your reproductive organs.
Herpes is a viral infection caused by two types of viruses that can present on your mouth or genitals. Up to 90 percent of people with herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV-2) are never diagnosed - so you cannot always count on the symptoms of painful blisters to let you know you have this infection. Herpes is most infectious if there is a breakout, but it can be spread even without sores present. Unfortunately there currently is no cure for herpes and because of this the CDC doesn’t recommend regular herpes screening. However, if you have reason to believe you’ve been exposed to herpes it is important to get tested to be sure.
Options That Work For You
Test Smartly Labs offers compassionate, confidential STD testing options. Our costs are low compared to some doctor’s offices and hospitals. At Test Smartly Labs we promise you that your results will remain confidential – this is information about your health and we take that seriously.
If you’d rather not work with your doctor’s office or the hospital to get an STD test, we’re here for you as a discrete option.
We have tests that can check for a specific STD if you think you know what you may have come into contact with:
… or, we can do a comprehensive STD panel and check for all of them - including HIV.
What matters most is that you calm your worries and fears and get the test done – as we explored above, your biggest danger when it comes to STDs is from not knowing, as most of these infections can be treated and all of them need to be managed responsibly.
You should also remember that if you do have an STD, most likely it’s not just impacting you. Regular testing is the socially responsible thing to do and a practice of kindness toward your sexual partner(s).
To get started, contact us or drop by our office – walk-ins accepted.