STD/STI diagnosis varies depending on the type of infection.
Most sexually transmitted infections are easy to diagnose. Almost all blood-borne diseases can be identified with blood or urine tests. If you have lesions such as sores or bumps, your doctor may also test skin or genital swabs to identify an STI.
While it is sometimes possible to test for STIs/STDs using at-home kits, these kits are not always reliable. If possible, seek a doctor’s advice for STI screening.
Some STIs and STDs take some time, even several months, to show up in a blood test. Even if you have a negative test shortly after engaging in intercourse and don’t show symptoms, it is still a good idea to get a repeat test. Then get regular screenings every six months if sexually active, or as recommended by your doctor.
Treatment and prevention options include vaccination, protected sex, medications, and procedures. These methods are essential to protect your overall health and fertility.
Because STIs/STDs are sexually transmitted, your sexual partners should get tested to see if they may need treatment, too.
With prompt diagnosis and treatment, it is possible to clear up many STIs/STDs before they cause long-term complications. For many STIs/STDs, such as gonorrhea or syphilis, medication can cure or control the infection.
For STIs/STDs where there is currently no cure, including herpes, HPV, and HIV, doctors can still often prescribe medication to control symptoms, reduce the risk of further infection, and slow the progression.
Dignity Health provides preventive care and personalized treatment for sexually transmitted diseases. If you have any concerns, Find a Doctor for discreet testing and treatment. The information contained in this article is meant for educational purposes only and should not replace advice from your healthcare provider.