Anchorage STD Testing
When it comes to your sexual health, testing for sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) or sexually transmitted infections (STIs) is one of the easiest and most important steps that can be taken by men and women to protect themselves and their potential partners.
According to a 2017 report, CDC (the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) estimated that United States sees more than 20 million new cases of STDs every year. About half of those are from sexually active youth age 15 to 24. Nationally, there are over 120 million total infections, both new and existing.
What are Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs)?
Sexually transmitted diseases are infections that are most often caused by bacteria, but sometimes caused by fungi or viruses and are passed from one person to another through any kind of sexual contact. While many people’s assumption is that STDs can only be passed through vaginal or anal intercourse, STDs can also be passed through oral sex, kissing, and the use of sex toys.
Here are some of the most common sexually transmitted diseases you can contract: Gonorrhea, Chlamydia, HIV, Syphilis, Mycoplasma Genitalium, Trichomoniasis, and Human Papilloma (HPV), HIV/AIDS, Herpes/HSV, and Hepatitis/HBV.
Studies have shown that more than half of the population will get a sexually transmitted disease or infection at some point in their lives.
While some can be transmitted through genital skin-to-skin contact, many are spread through certain bodily fluids such as:
- Rectal fluid
- Pre-seminal fluid
- Vaginal fluid
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When to Get Tested?
If you’re sexually active, it’s a good idea to get regular testing to protect your health and the health of your partner(s). Here are some CDC recommendations for regular STD and STI screening:
- You have multiple partners
- You are showing symptoms that may point to a sexually transmitted infection/disease
- You have a new partner
- Your current partner has sex with a new partner
- You and your current partner are considering not using condoms/protection
Types of STD Tests
The testing process itself differs based on each STD, but most are easy, rapid and pain-free. STD testing can include:
- A physical exam: This usually precedes most STD tests and involves the specialist examining you for warts, sores, rashes, discharge, irritation, and any other physical symptoms.
- A urine test: You simply pee in a cup.
- A blood test: The doctor takes a blood sample from your arm or a quick finger prick.
- A cheek swab: You rub a swab around the inside of your cheek, usually to test for HIV.
- Sore tests: Your doctor may take samples of the fluid from blisters or sores.
- Discharge tests: Your doctor may use a swab to collect fluid samples from your genitals, anus, or throat.
Recent developments in testing procedures allow urine samples and blood tests to diagnose the vast majority of STDs. Your doctor can help you decide which STDs to test for.
How to Avoid STDs:
To significantly reduce the risk of spreading or contracting an STD Condoms, dental dams, and other barriers can be used.
If you are sexually active, there are a few things you can do to reduce the risk:
- Use condoms – Use condoms as directed every time to help reduce the risk, but condoms are not 100% effective in eliminating the risk.
- Get tested regularly – Since having a history of STDs increases your likelihood of contracting another, getting tested regularly helps limit exposure.
- Limit the number of sexual partners – Have yourself and your partner get tested before having oral, vaginal, or anal sex and remain monogamous to better ensure you are not exposed. The more partners you have at any given time, the more likelihood of contracting a STD.
- Avoid douching – Douche or douching refers to washing out the vagina either with an at-home mix of water and vinegar or using a purchased product that can include antiseptics and fragrances. Between 20% and 40% of women aged 15 to 44 in the US use a douche and believe it helps clean and freshen their vagina as well as avoid getting a STD or pregnancy. Health experts agree that douching is both not effective and increases your risk of a STD or other health problems.
Unfortunately STDs are still surrounded by taboo, although they are common diseases. If you think you have an STD, understand that it is not something you need to be ashamed or embarrassed about & you may be able to opt in for anonymous testing services available in your area. . Order your STD test kit online.
In many cases, STDs do not show any symptoms, making it even more important to get checked regularly.
Testing can be done the same day in some cases and if the results are positive, treatment can start right away. Under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), STD testing is covered under most insurance plans. This means that most people who are insured can receive the tests for little or no cost. Clinics, such as Planned Parenthood health centers, give free or reduced cost STD testing based on your income. Anchorage has a wide variety of accessible testing options. We continue to provide information about the best free STD testing Anchorage, Alaska offers including 24 hour & mobile STD testing centers in your area.