April is Sexually Transmitted Disease Awareness Month. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC):

  • There are 20 million new STD cases in the U.S. every year, of which approximately 50% are amongst youth between the age of 15-24

 

  • The medical costs for these new cases are $16 billion             

 

  • Adding the new cases each year with existing infection, there are an estimated 110 million total STD’s among Americans.  

 

  • Experts estimate 75% or more of all sexually active people will have a human papillomavirus (HPV) infection at some point in their lives

 

STD’s are much more common than people realize. Pulling the curtain back behind the numbers, however and you will find real, flesh and blood people. Most of them have (or have had) an STD at some point in their life and never knew it, as many STD’s can lay dormant in the system for years which is why often times you may hear the term STI, as in “sexually transmitted infections” used interchangeably with STD. During STD/STI Awareness Month 2016 we want you to feel confident knowing that there are tests you can take, confidentially, to take charge of your sexual health.

STD Testing

Most people think they would know if they had a sexually transmitted infection (STD) . . . wrong!

The truth is many of STDs have no signs or symptoms in the majority of people infected. Or they have mild signs that can be easily overlooked. The only way to know if you have an STD is to get tested. AFC Urgent Care West Hartford offers confidential STD testing, with no appointment necessary.

What types of STD tests are there?

Getting tested is usually quick and easy. Depending on what you are being tested for, your provider may take a blood sample, a swab, or ask you to pee in a cup. Easy! Here’s an idea of what to expect:

HPV (genital warts)
How the test is done: Visual diagnosis
What you also need to know: Warts can occur in both men and women.

HPV (cervical cancer)
How the test is done: If Pap test result is abnormal, HPV DNA test and a biopsy may be done
What you also need to know: Pap tests detect cervical cell changes, not HPV. An abnormal test is often caused by HPV infection. No test available for men for these types of HPV.

Chlamydia
How the test is done: Swab of genital area or urine sample
What you also need to know: If you have had oral or anal sex, let your healthcare provider know this also. These sites may be infected, but vaginal or urine samples may not be positive.

Gonorrhea
How the test is done: Swab of genital area or urine sample
What you also need to know: Like with gonorrhea, if you have had oral or anal sex, let your healthcare provider know this also. These sites may be infected, but vaginal or urine samples may not be positive

HIV
How the test is done: Blood test or swab from inside of mouth
What you also need to know: Confidential and anonymous testing options are available at AFC Urgent Care

Genital herpes(no symptoms)
How the test is done: Blood test (drawn from arm or a fingerstick)
What  you also need to know: Be sure to ask for a type-specific IgG test (not an IgM test)

Genital herpes (with symptoms)
How the test is done: Swab of affected area; if at first negative for herpes, follow later with blood test to make sure.
What you also need to know: Must be done as soon as possible; “viral culture” test not as accurate after 48 hours. A negative culture does not mean that you do not have genital herpes.

Syphilis
How the test is done: Blood test, or sample taken from a sore.
What you also need to know: The CDC recommends all pregnant women be tested for syphilis

Trichomoniasis
How the test is done: Swab of infected area, physical exam or sample of discharge.
What you also need to know: “Trich” is harder to detect in men than in women

Remember, STI’s/STD’s are contagious. Take charge of your sexual health  for your own peace of mind, but also so that you can feel confident in knowing that you have not passed any unwanted infection or disease to a loved one.

GYT! Get yourself Tested!  Confidential STD testing at AFC Urgent Care in West Hartford. We offer same day testing, no appointment needed.

You can, however save time, check in online