A lot of people believe that STD screening should only be done if you are sexually active or have more than one intimate partners. But not all sexually-transmitted diseases can be acquired through intimate encounters. It’s not uncommon to hear stories of people getting infected from shared needles and blood transfusion. Some newborns are also infected because the parents are not aware that one or both of them are infected. And finally, there is the stigma of STD testing.
STD Screening is for Everyone
A lot of cases of STD infection are not diagnosed because the person is not aware that he/she is infected. Misinformation and ignorance about the diseases contribute to rise of STDs. STD screening, however, should be treated as necessary as getting annual physical exams in adults. STDs can cause life-threatening complications if not treated early. Some, like most cases of human papillomavirus are common and would disappear after a while. But there are infections that could damage other organs such as hepatitis B and C or expose your body to opportunistic illnesses such as having a sexually transmitted disease called human immunodeficiency virus.
Early STD Treatments
What is scary about STDs that you need to check at a STD screening test at Singapore is that a lot of them often don’t show symptoms unless the disease has caused permanent damage. Some show symptoms similar to other conditions. That is why the only sure way to know if you are infected is to get an STD screening. A lot of them a curable too. Chlamydia, syphilis and gonorrhea can all be cured if the person undergoes STD testing early. Untreated chlamydia and gonorrhea can cause pelvic inflammatory disease in women and epididymitis in men. There is also a greater chance of becoming infertile. Herpes simplex virus and HIV are both incurable but early detection can help reduce the symptoms. There are treatments for both herpes and HIV available in Singapore hospitals and clinics today.
Not all STDs can be prevented by using contraceptives alone such as condoms so you and your partner should both get an STD screening. Sometimes contact with sores on an infected person is all that takes. You don’t even have to have genital to genital contact to get infected. There are only three ways to get infected. STDs can also be transmitted through contact with infected blood and blood products or it can be passed on from mother to a newborn. You will not get infected, however, by simply touching, hugging, kissing, sharing food utensils or talking to an infected person.
How often should you be tested for STDs? High-risk individuals or those who are involved with more than one intimate partner should undergo STD testing regularly. Adolescents aged 13 and above should also get tested especially if they are sexually-active. But that’s not all. You need to talk to your doctor about your lifestyle, medical history, and risk factors so he/she can recommend the type of test that you will need and how often you should be tested. You should be screened once a year for the following STDs: chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis, and HIV. Expectant mothers or women who are planning to have a baby should be tested for hepatitis B, HIV, syphilis, chlamydia and gonorrhea. If you have shared needles or drug injection tools, you should be tested for HIV.
STD Testing at Home
You could buy STD testing kits at pharmacies. Experts advise to ask about the method from your doctor first. That is because there might be factors that could affect the result of the tests such as your medication and the type of test kit you purchased. The doctor will also recommend a second test at the clinic if you have tested positive in your home testing kit. There are test kits for chlamydia, gonorrhea, trichomoniasis and HIV that you can purchase from STD testing clinics, pharmacies and other health care providers in Singapore.
STD Testing at Clinics or Hospitals
You should set an appointment at an STD screening clinic in Singapore. Before an STD test is done, you will be interviewed about your medical history, lifestyle and sexual practices, and previous cases of any sexually transmitted disease. You will have to share information regarding the barrier methods or contraceptives you use, if your partner has a history of STD, if you are experiencing any symptoms, how many intimate partners you’ve had and which body parts were used during the act. The doctor will then do a physical examination to check if you have symptoms. You have to be honest with the doctor when you’re providing all the information. This could help make the diagnosis and treatment much easier.
Treating HIV-Positive Pregnant Woman
Ideally, couples who are planning to have a baby will be advised to undergo HIV testing and STD testing, but some individuals may not be aware that they have contracted HIV through methods other than sexual contact. In such cases, a pregnant woman will be advised to include an HIV screening during her first prenatal visit and another during the third trimester.
The goal of treating a pregnant woman with anonymous HIV testing in Singapore is to reduce the risk of transmission to the infant during pregnancy, childbirth, and nursing stages. The treatment used for adolescents and adults are like those recommended for pregnant women. There is no risk of having birth defects from taking HIV medication, but care must be taken when selecting the best HIV regimen to reduce life-threatening side effects.
One barrier to STD testing is the expense. The only affordable testing methods used are for HIV and syphilis. That is why you have to talk to the doctor about the symptoms so that he/she can recommend the best method available. The testing is usually done more than once especially if you are undergoing treatment. You should treat the expenses as necessary because it could save you o or your partner’s life. If you’re planning to have a baby, you have to get tested. There is no one STD testing for all types of STD. The tests are done to look specifically for the presence of the virus, bacteria or parasite in the samples. There will also be indications in the samples such as the presence of antibodies that target the specific infection.
Most STDs can be treated. Chlamydia, syphilis and gonorrhea which are bacterial infections are treated using antibiotics. Trichomoniasis, which is a parasitic infection, can also be treated using antibiotics. Hepatitis B is treated using antiviral medication and immune system modulators. HIV and herpes are treated using antivirals, but they cannot be cured presently.