It’s a test no one wants to do, but it could be one of the most important tests you ever take. The high occurrence of sexually transmitted diseases means that anyone who is sexually active in any capacity needs to be tested. Because many STDs can lie dormant for years and show no symptoms, even those in long term, monogamous relationships can benefit from testing.
At Testly Smartly Labs, STD screening is a judgement-free zone. 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 to go through. Why? Because one in two sexually active persons will contract an STI by age 25.
For many years the instances of STDs were declining, 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
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 according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC)
24,000 women become infertile each year due to undiagnosed STDs
Data from 2013-2014 showed that about 42% of men and 40% of women aged 18-59 had genital HPV at that time
About 1 in 8 people aged 14-49 in the United States has genital herpes
From 2016-2017 the CDC reported an increase of 75.2% in gonorrhea cases 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
Most STDs Are Curable - Get STD Testing So You Can Get Better
Many people are negatively impacted by STD stigma that paints STDs as “dirty,” life-altering afflictions - this leads people to fear testing as they think their life will be different forever if they learn they do in fact have a sexually transmitted disease.
This is simply not true. Most STDs can in fact be cured with a round of antibiotics and others can be managed with medications. Because of how easily cured most of STDs are, many organizations have taken to referring to them as sexually transmitted infections (STIs) rather than STDs, since the word “disease” isn’t the best descriptor for these infections. STD and STI tend to be used interchangeably; we continue to refer to them as STDs for consistency’s sake.
It’s important to get regular STD testing because many STDs have no symptoms at all, but can be damaging to your health in the long run if left untreated and may affect a sexual partner differently than it affects you.
Chlamydia is known as the “silent” infection and is the most common STD in women under the age of 25. It can be treated with a round of antibiotics if it’s caught before any damage is caused, however most people will never experience symptoms from chlamydia in the early stages, though for some they might experience abnormal vaginal discharge or a burning sensation during urination. Untreated, chlamydia can lead to serious infections and even infertility. The CDC recommends women under 25 be tested annually for chlamydia.
Like chlamydia, gonorrhea is most common in women under 25 who are sexually active. In fact gonorrhea 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 you have it and are not tested so it goes untreated, you could find yourself with pelvic inflammatory disease, scarring, and damage to your reproductive organs.
Herpes is 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 while this infection can cause the red blisters many people imagine when they think of herpes, it’s clearly not always the case. 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 the CDC doesn’t recommend regular herpes screening. However, it is still important to get tested if you think you may have been exposed, because there are treatments that will help you manage the infection.
Human papillomavirus (HPV)
HPV is the most common STD and unfortunately it’s one that condoms are not 100% effective against. HPV is so prevalent you will likely have it at some point in your life whether you know it or not. Some strains of HPV cause genital warts, but most strains do not have any symptoms at all. 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.
Options That Work For You
Test Smartly Labs offers caring, confidential STD testing options with low costs compared to some doctor’s offices and hospitals. Our promise to you is 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 regular doctor’s office or the hospital to get an STD test, we’re here for you. Depending upon the test you choose we will need to collect urine, blood, or both.
We have tests that can check for a specific STD if you think you know what you may have been exposed to:
… or, we can do a comprehensive STD panel and check for all of them.
What matters most is that you calm your worries and fears and get the test done – as we explored above, the biggest danger when it comes to STDs is from not knowing, as most 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 STD testing among sexually active individuals and safer sex practices are the only way to curb the meteoric rise of STD rates.
To get started, contact us or drop by our office – walk-ins accepted.