Being a sexually active person, you may have multiple sex partners! But you must get the advice several times to prefer protection and get screened. It is recognised as the most important as anyone can have STI without knowing the person itself. In most of the cases, STIs and STDs don’t develop any symptoms and signs.
This is why these are called STI (Sexually Transmitted Infection) because it can infect you without showing any potential disease symptoms. But have you ever thought about which STI you should screen and how often you should visit a London STI clinic to get tested?
Simply, its answer is depended on sexual behaviors, age along with other risk factors of the person. Whenever you are going for Pap test or gynecologic exam never assume that you are being tested for STI. However, if you feel the need for an STI exam, you shave to request for it from the doctor.
You should discuss with the doctor too regarding your sexual health concerns and the tests you need to undergo.
Specific STIs Testing
Given below are some STI testing guidelines available for specific STIs.
Gonorrhoea and Chlamydia
You have to undergo annual screening for these STIs if:
- Being a woman you are sexually active below the age of 25
- You are the woman above 25 possessing a high risk of STI- if you have multiple sex partners or a new sex partner
- Being a man you have engaged in sex with the man
- You are HIV positive
- You have engaged in sexual activity forcefully against your will
Gonorrhoea and Chlamydia screening is performed by collecting urine sample or the swab sample of inside the cervix and penis of women and men respectively. Later, the collected samples will be analyzed in the laboratory. Screening is essential and as it is less likely to show any symptoms and signs, you will not get to know that you have infection.
Hepatitis, Syphilis and HIV
Screening for Hepatitis C is suggested to the people who are born at a specific time period. It is so; because it will develop secretly without any symptoms. And once it reaches its advanced level the infected individual can encounter several symptoms.
Both Hepatitis A and B have vaccines to prevent them if you are identified in the respective screening test. Even the top medical expert encourages the necessity of HIV testing once a year as the routine medical care for the people who are aged within 13-64. Young teens must also be tested if they are more susceptible to an STI.
You should request for the Hepatitis, Syphilis and HIV test from your doctor in case:
- You are positive to any other STI, as it can make you inclined to risk of other STIs
- You have had numerous sexual partners or your partner possesses the same
- If you take intravenous (IV) drugs
- If you are planning to conceive or are pregnant
- If a man has had sex with a man
- If you have been engaged in sexual activity forcefully
A syphilis test has been performed by drawing blood samples or swab samples from the genital sores you have. Then it will be analyzed in the laboratory. A blood sample is also taken for determining Hepatitis and HIV in the body.
There isn’t any better screening and test that existed for Herpes, the viral infection that gets transmitted even in a dormant position. On visiting your doctors, either tissue sample will be scraped off or early ulcers or blisters will be cultured in detail (if have) in the respective laboratory. However, a negative test cannot determine the presence of Herpes if it general genital ulcerations.
Sometimes, a blood test can also help in determining the existing herpes infection yet it cannot be taken as a conclusion. Certain blood test types assist in differentiating between 2 prime herpes virus. Type 2 virus leads to the development of genital sores only.
On the other hand, Type 1 virus results in cold sores along with genital sores. Still these cannot be considered as conclusive as it is based on the phase of infection and test’s sensitivity.
Specific HPV (Human Papillomavirus) types result in cervical cancer and other types can be the cause for Genital Warts. A number of sexually active persons get infected with HPV at a certain point of time yet never experience any symptoms.
Moreover, it gets disappeared on its own within 2 years of infection at the same time. No routine HPV screening option is available for men. Instead, it is only diagnosed by biopsy or visual inspection of genital warts. However, in women HPV testing comprises of:
- HPV Test: Women after 30 offered the HPV test option along with Pap test once in every 5 years if early test reports are normal. Women aged within 21-30 are given HPV test only if they receive abnormal reports of Pap test.
- Pap test: This test detects the presence of abnormal cells in the cervix. It is highly recommended to the women from 21 to 65 to get tested once in every 3 years.
HPV is also interlinked to development of cancer in throat, mouth, anus, penis, vagina and vulva. Though its vaccinations can prevent women as well as men from certain HPV strains yet it is only effective if its administration begins prior to sexual activity.
At-Home STI Testing
At-home STI testing kits are receiving more attention and popularity nationwide to test some STIs including Gonorrhoea, Chlamydia, and HIV accurately. Home STI testing is much easier to perform only by taking the genital or oral swab or the urine sample.
Then the collected sample must be sent to the laboratory for a detailed analysis of your sexual health status. A few STD tests need more than a sample. Interestingly, the major advantage of at-home testing is you can collect your sample privately by eradicating the necessity of visiting a sexual health clinic in London for the pelvic exam.
The HIV screening performed on the samples collected by you possesses a high chance of giving a false-positive result. This means it will state you as STI-positive whereas, in reality, you aren’t. Therefore, you are advised to confirm your at-home STI testing report by visiting a doctor if it is positive.
Even you should get in touch with the doctor to confirm the report if it is negative and you are experiencing mild problems too.
Positive Test Reports
If you are reported as positive to any STI, your next step must be undergoing further tests to get the confirmation. Then only your doctor will provide the right treatment to alleviate its severity accordingly. Additionally, you should also inform your sex partner about your STI infection as he/she needs evaluation and treatment too. It is extremely important as it can pass to your partners as well.
On receiving the STI report, you may feel a number of emotions and feelings simultaneously. It will remind you that you have taken the right step towards improving the quality of your life by getting tested. You should also raise your concerns to your doctor at STI Clinic London freely as it will let you know more about STI infection.