Tag Archives: STD tests

STD Testing: What to Expect and More

Without a doubt, the best way to take charge of sexual health is to get STD testing. Even if one is not sexually active, it’s a smart move because sexually transmitted diseases can be spread even without sexual contact with another person. Sometimes, all it takes is a kiss or skin-to-skin contact.

It’s also best to know one’s sexual health status before beginning a new sexual relationship. Not only does this establish mutual trust, it additionally helps both parties feel safe when the relationship is monogamous.

It’s especially urgent to get tested if one is already sexually active, or if a person suspects they might have an STD. In these cases, the person shouldn’t delay.

When to Get STD Testing

There are plenty of good reasons to get tested for STDs, and lots of them have to do with personal health and safety as well as protecting the person’s partners, loved ones, friends, and family.

People should get tested before starting a new sexual relationship. This lets both parties know where they stand at the outset, and gives them peace of mind. They should also get tested if they have had sex without protection (such as a condom). People who have symptoms of STDs need to get tested right away (burning during urination, itching, sores on the genitals, and discharge are all common symptoms that should not be ignored, as STDs can damage the body if left untreated).

Where to Get Tested in Plano, TX

There are lots of options when it comes to where to get tested for STDs in places like Plano and Frisco, TX.

Local Health Clinic

A local health clinic can provide testing for STDs at a lower cost than most other options, as they charge based on the person’s income and family size. This is a great option for those who don’t have a primary care provider, or who don’t have insurance.

Health Care Provider

Some people have a designated health care provider whom they prefer to see for their medical needs. They can call up the office and ask for an appointment for STD testing – it’s as simple as that.

Family Doctor

If the person doesn’t have a healthcare provider, they can always fall back on their family doctor. Talking with siblings, parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, or some other family member to get the needed information can be a good way to get support, which can be essential when dealing with an STD and the possible accompanying anxiety, fears, and symptoms.

Guidance Counselor, Advisor, or School Nurse

If one doesn’t know where to go to get tested or is unsure about the process, they can turn to a trusted professional who will help them find the resources they need. Counselors can also help walk the person through how to talk to their family and tell other people in their life.

What to Expect When Getting Tested

Many clinics offer same-day, next-day, or walk-in appointments. For the latter, patients are seen on a first-come-first-served basis. This makes it convenient to go get tested whenever free time presents itself; however, wait times can be long depending on how busy the clinic is that day.

For most private doctors and health care providers, appointments usually need to be made at least a few weeks in advance for testing, although some may be able to squeeze in a patient earlier depending on what season it is and how many other patients they are seeing.

STD Tests: The Exam, Questions, and Procedures

There is no one test that covers all STDs. Different infections require different types of testing. For instance, for bacterial infections like chlamydia, the test center will have to do either a urinalysis (test a sample of urine) or a swab of the genitals. For some viruses, like HPV or HIV, a blood sample taken from the arm will have to be tested.

Before the doctor or health professional administers a test, however, they will interview the patient and pinpoint their symptoms, if they have any. Here are some topics for questions that a doctor may ask during the exam, before testing:

  • Medical history questions
  • Sexual history questions, including the last time the person had sex
  • Number of sexual partners
  • Symptoms, if any
  • Drug use history, if applicable

These questions and the examination will help the health care provider decide what STD tests would be best for the person.

Here is a list of the types of tests that may be done:

  • A swab from the inside of the mouth
  • A swab from any sores or discharge
  • A swab from the urethra (where urine is emitted), genitals, or anus
  • A blood sample
  • A urine sample
  • An examination of the genital area and/or anus for physical signs of STDs

When to Expect the Test Results

Generally, samples from an STD test are sent to a lab, where they are analyzed. This usually takes a few days to a few weeks to complete. However, some tests offer same-day results, and the person will know the outcome the day of their visit.

If a person tests positive for an STD, the office or clinic will usually call or send a letter. Most will call and ask the person to come back to discuss their options and begin treatment.

Many clinics offer the service of partner notification. This is where the clinic calls any of the person’s sexual partners and informs them of their possible risk of infection without revealing the identity of the person with the STD.

Get Tested in Frisco, TX, and Get Peace of Mind

Getting tested for sexually transmitted diseases is often made out to be much more stressful than it really is. The truth of the matter is that testing is relatively simple if one knows where to go and what resources are available to them. If a person needs help finding this information, they can also ask a trusted professional or family member for assistance. In the end, the important thing is to get tested, and there are lots of options for doing so.

If Only They’d Had Access to STD Testing: Historical Figures Afflicted with STDs

While knowledge and awareness about sexually transmitted diseases have come a long way, there’s still work to do in regard to blasting through stereotypes, educating people, and normalizing STD testing.

Granted, the scene today has nothing on past decades and centuries, when people took such extreme measures as dosing themselves with arsenic and mercury (which are now known poisons) to rid themselves of STDs. On top of this, sex itself was an incredibly taboo topic, even though gonorrhea and syphilis were widespread and rampant.

Just take a look at some of the most famous faces in history who have had (or who reportedly had, according to rumor and hearsay) STDs. Flipping through a list of these famous names is a great reminder that absolutely no one is immune – STDs do not infect only certain people; an STD can happen to anyone, whether they’re famous or obscure, rich or poor.

Proof That STDS Can Happen to Anyone, Not Just Plano, TX, Residents

Abraham Lincoln

This is a surprising name to start with, but it’s true: one of the U.S.’s most revered presidents may have been infected with syphilis when he was a young steamboat navigator. According to First to Know, Lincoln confided to his friend and law partner that he might have contracted syphilis in the 1830s. He also took mercury pills regularly, a common “cure” in those days.

Christopher Columbus

Christopher Columbus and his crew famously have been charged with bringing syphilis back to Europe from the New World. While it’s true that Columbus did indeed suffer from syphilis, the long-held allegation that the explorer helped spread an STD throughout the globe has largely been debunked.

According to the Daily Mail, in 2014, a skeleton was found that helped prove that syphilis had been around since Roman times – not since a few years after Columbus returned to Europe, which was its first recorded instance.

William Shakespeare

Of course, no one can know for sure, but many people have theorized that the Bard himself may have suffered from syphilis. The ailment features in a lot of his works, including descriptions of its symptoms. On top of this, in Shakespeare’s later writings, his handwriting betrays a marked tremor.

According to PBS, a tremor is a side-effect of dosing oneself with mercury, and Shakespeare is known to have had mercury treatments, though it is not known why. He is also known to have been infamously promiscuous. This leads many to believe that he had the STD himself.

Beethoven

Beethoven’s physician is the one who recorded that the great composer had syphilis. One of his friends, a cellist, also has been recorded as saying that Beethoven was associated with prostitutes. According to the New York Times, Beethoven’s eventual deafness may have been a result of his STD.

Henry VIII

It should surprise no one that Henry VIII, one of England’s most well-known monarchs, had an STD. He was infamous for his dalliances, not to mention his six wives. According to many scholars, the circumstances of his death, which were enveloped in insanity and paranoia, were probably due to syphilis.

Leo Tolstoy

Among famous people with STDs, there is one of the greats of Russian literature, Leo Tolstoy. Supposedly he caught syphilis in his younger days, and he attempted to treat it with arsenic.

Other Famous Names from History

Other famous people from times past who had syphilis include notorious gangster Al Capone, starry-eyed impressionist painter Vincent van Gogh, 19th-century literary bad-boy Oscar Wilde, philosopher and scholar Friedrich Nietzsche, ruthless German WWII leader Adolph Hitler, and France’s 18th-century emperor, Napoleon Bonaparte.

Why Syphilis?

One common thread tying all of these names together is that all of them had (or reportedly had) syphilis. Syphilis was rampant before any effective treatment was available, long before the advent of penicillin. Little was known about how it or any other STD was spread, which, ironically, helped it to do so.

Many people also suffered from congenital syphilis, which is syphilis that is passed from an afflicted mother to her unborn child in the womb. Since syphilis could not be treated, it often ended in disfigurement, blindness, deafness, pain in the joints, sores all over the body, insanity, manic episodes, and, eventually, death.

Famous People with STDs Prove No One is Immune

It might be jarring to realize, but STDs can infect absolutely anyone. If even Abraham Lincoln isn’t immune, or literary greats like William Shakespeare or Leo Tolstoy, then it’s pretty apparent that sexually transmitted diseases don’t discriminate by status, age, wealth, intelligence, or any other factor – especially since some of the most powerful and influential men in history can get it.

This is just another reason to take precautions, to get STD tests, and to come to terms with the fact that being laissez-faire about sexual health and safe sex can lead to more serious health problems. Many people contract an STD because they aren’t being careful, and just one instance of neglect can lead to a lot of shame and suffering.

Prevent STDs with STD Testing

Luckily, there are lots of ways to prevent sexually transmitted diseases, and it doesn’t take a lot of effort. People should get STD testing in Frisco, TX, whether or not they are sexually active, and always before choosing to be intimate with someone new. They should additionally use protection and, if they suspect they have an STD, they should get tested right away so they can get treated quickly.

Famous people with STDs show just how rampant these infections can be, and nobody is immune. People should take care of themselves (and their partners) by taking care of their sexual health.

Ways Sexually Transmitted Diseases Can Be Spread – Without Having Sex

One of the most common misconceptions about sexually transmitted diseases is that they are only spread to other people through having sex, more specifically, through having vaginal intercourse with an infected person. This could not be farther from the truth.

In reality, there are ways to get an STD that don’t involve sex at all. Learn about what they are here, and then use this knowledge, along with other protection methods, like STD testing, for safe sex.

Getting an STD Is Possible Without Sex: 4 Ways it Can Happen

1.     Normal Kissing

Kissing can absolutely spread one type of STD – type I herpes. This disease is marked by clusters of sores around the lips and mouth. It can be present in a person without them even knowing it, and it can be spread in many cases without the presence of sores. In addition, in some cases, type I herpes can cause genital herpes.

Though it can be transmitted without any signs or symptoms in the infected person, herpes is most often spread through skin-to-skin contact with someone who has the tell-tale sores near the lips and mouth. These will look like small, fluid-filled blisters, grouped together in clusters. Even if they are crusted or scabbing over, this is still a sign of herpes.

2.     Indirect Contact with an Infected Person

Some STDs are more likely to be spread through indirect contact than others. While lots of viruses and infections cannot live outside the body long enough to make an impact, others, like trichomoniasis (more commonly called “trich”), can live on damp surfaces, like a wet towel, for up to an hour. Sharing towels or clothing that may touch the genitals with an infected person is thus an easy way to pass on trich.

Sharing razors is another possible way to spread STDs through indirect contact, though it is far less likely. Razors can pierce or break the skin, which makes it easier to mix blood if the razor is shared – consider if an infected person nicked themselves, but didn’t clean off the razor well. The next person who used that razor then would be at risk for infection. STDs like hepatitis A, B, and C or HIV can be spread in this manner.

3.     Oral or Anal Sex (Sex Without Penetration)

Just because both oral and anal sex does not involve genital-to-genital contact or vaginal penetration doesn’t mean that one can’t contract an STD through either of these sexual activities. Infections can still be spread by mouth, by hand-to-genital contact, or through broken skin (even a tiny scratch counts). Plus, there are some viruses that are not preventable with the use of a condom, like herpes or human papillomavirus (HPV).

4.     Contact with Contaminated Food

Some viruses can be spread if an infected person contaminates food they are serving or preparing by not washing their hands after using the restroom. Especially for viruses like hepatitis A, this is a possibility.

In What Other Ways Are Sexually Transmitted Diseases Spread?

Of course, sexual intercourse is the number one way STDs are spread from person to person. This includes both protected and unprotected sex since a condom does not protect against all STDs, and it is never a 100 percent guarantee.

Other kinds of intimate sexual contact can also facilitate the spread of STDs, many of which have no symptoms and may go undetected for years. This can lead to all kinds of problems, such as increased risk for cancer, infertility, and other reproductive problems for women. For peace of mind as well as safe sex, it’s best to get STD testing in Frisco, TX.

STD Testing and Other Protection Methods

Getting STD tested in Plano, TX, and Frisco, TX is the best way to know whether or not a person is infected. That way, they and their partner(s) know definitively one way or another, which is better than wondering and not knowing. It is also far less risky.

STD tests are easy to get. One can go to their regular doctor and ask to get tested, or one can head to their local health center or Planned Parenthood. Usually, all that is required for testing is a blood sample or a skin swab. A quick doctor or health center visit is all it takes, which will provide immense relief from worry as well as a direction to take.

Other ways to stay protected from STDs include condoms and abstaining from sex altogether. Of course, the only way to stay 100 percent safe, and completely reduce the risk, is the latter choice: abstinence. Those people with partners, however, can agree to a monogamous relationship, and before ever engaging in sexual activity, both parties should get tested.

Consider the Risks Vs. the Benefits

Those who consistently find themselves engaging in risky sexual behavior should ask themselves a few questions: what are they willing to risk for the sake of sex and intimacy? Should these things be more important than their own health and well-being? Additionally, what can help people make less risky, spontaneous, or ill-advised choices is staying away from alcohol and drugs, because they will be far more clear-headed, and able to think before they leap.

It may be surprising to many people to learn about all of the ways STDs can be spread without engaging in sex. Everything from kissing to oral/anal sex, to indirect contact can facilitate spreading a virus or infection.

Sex should never be taken lightly; instead, people need to learn the best ways to be safe while indulging in intimacy, how to protect themselves from STDs, how to protect their partners, and when to get STD testing (the answer: if one has never done it and is sexually active, as soon as possible).

STD Testing: Reasons to Get It Done Sooner Rather than Later

Without a doubt, sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) are rampant in the U.S., especially for sexually active young adults in their twenties and younger. According to The Huffington Post, approximately half of this age group will contract an STD before they reach their 25th birthday. The really scary part is that most of them will not know that they have an STD at all.

Ironically, STD testing in Frisco, TX, is incredibly simple. Most health centers, Planned Parenthood facilities, and doctor’s offices will do it on request. All it takes is a blood sample or a swab of skin tissue, and the person will know if they have an underlying health problem.

However, many, many people are uninformed about sexual health, STDs, testing, and using protection. Most do not know that one can have an STD and not be aware of it, or that a lot of sexually transmitted diseases have no initial symptoms. Unfortunately, this lack of symptoms also means that they are easily spread from partner to partner.

Despite the bad news, there are ways to stay healthy, be proactive about sexual health, and protect one’s partner – and it doesn’t have to be difficult. The number one way to do all of this is to get tested for STDs, but there are lots of other good reasons to do it sooner rather than later, too.

Reasons STD Testing in Plano, TX is a Smart Plan

1.     Untreated STDs are a Big Health Risk

Though they may not show any symptoms in the affected person, sexually transmitted diseases like herpes, chlamydia, hepatitis C, and gonorrhea are easily spread through sexual contact, and may have long-lasting, detrimental effects on the body. For instance, many untreated STDs can lead to infertility and an increased risk for cancer. To this end, the only sure way to know if one has an STD is to get tested. Once a person knows about it, they can get treated.

2.     Most STDs are Treatable; Some are Curable

It may be a scary idea to get tested and possibly come away with a diagnosis, but it is far better than the alternative. An unknown STD can lead to bigger health consequences. On the other hand, when an STD is caught early, many cases can be cured, and most can be treated. Even the most serious of STDs, like HIV/AIDS, is completely treatable. STD tests at least give a person a fighting chance to get cured, or to prevent more serious health consequences from harboring an untreated infection.

3.     STD Testing Provides Protection and Peace of Mind

This one is obvious: STD testing gives a person peace of mind about their health, and it additionally protects themselves and their partners. People who are oblivious to the fact that they have an STD are far more likely to spread it to their mates; this is a burden for which no one ever wants to be responsible. Getting tested also means taking charge of one’s health, and taking steps toward a healthy lifestyle and healthy sex.

4.     Young People are at High Risk

The risk factor for contracting an STD is incredibly high if the person is both young (mid-twenties or younger) and sexually active, young and having unprotected sex, or within that age group and having unprotected sex with multiple partners, according to One Medical. If a person falls into any of these categories, it’s more important that they get tested as soon as they can. After that, if they continue risky sexual behavior, they will need regular testing for prevention and quick treatment if they do contract an STD.

5.     STDs are Transmittable in Many Different Ways – Not Just Through Intercourse

It may be surprising to hear, but many STDs can be transmitted through nothing more than skin-to-skin contact. An infection like oral herpes, or cold sores, can be spread through casual contact (it is highly contagious and is easily spread among a family), but it can be transmitted and become an STD if an infected person engages in oral sex. In this way, even those who have never engaged in intercourse can contract an STD. This is why everyone should be tested at least once, no matter their sexual status.

6.     Peace of Mind for Loved Ones

Getting tested gives a person’s partner peace of mind, too. They’ll know that there is another layer of safety regarding the relationship, and that they are not at risk. What often happens is that a person will not know they have an STD, and the symptoms will start popping up much later in their relationship.

Especially if the relationship is monogamous, this raises suspicions and concerns, especially since most people believe that being monogamous protects them. Before two people ever enter a sexual relationship with each other, they should each individually get tested to know where they stand at the outset.

The Reasons for Getting STD Testing in Frisco, TX Are Clear

Getting tested for STDs is a smart, responsible choice, even if one is not sexually active. The reasons are far-reaching and can save someone stress, worry, the risk for greater consequences later on, and get them treatment, if they need it, which can cure many STDs.

Knowing that one has an STD may be a scary thing to face, but it’s far more worrying to wonder if one has an STD and not know for sure. Whatever the reasons for getting tested, they overall let the person take charge of their health, protect themselves, and protect their partner(s). This is a fundamental aspect of practicing safe sex, not to mention engaging in healthy relationships based on mutual trust and respect.