Do Men and Women Have the Same STD Screening Guidelines?

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When it comes to screening for gonorrhea and chlamydia, The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommends all sexually active women under 24 and those aged 25 and above who are at increased risk for infection be tested. However, there is not the same testing requirement for men.

According to The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, there was “insufficient evidence to assess the benefits and harms” of chlamydia and gonorrhea screening in men.

Perhaps one reason for this is men who have contracted gonorrhea or chlamydia tend to have symptoms and would know to get tested. Women, on the other hand, are typically asymptomatic carriers.

People don’t stop having sex, even in a pandemic. Even with climbing STD rates, there are many reasons someone might not get tested and treated for an STD during the pandemic.

“People might have been too afraid to go out to get condoms. Or they would have gone to their primary care doc and gotten tested if they had a new partner, but they didn’t because offices were closed and we were doing telehealth,” says Portland, Oregon OB-GYN Jennifer Lincoln. And while there are many benefits to telehealth appointments, “you can’t collect a urine swab or a vaginal swab over the phone.”

Private Testing Center is here to help with all your testing needs. We offer affordable and convenient testing in a constant effort to prevent the spread of Herpes, HIV and other STDs. We deliver fast results so any necessary treatment can happen quickly. Same Day appointments are available and with over 1500 locations nationwide, your closest location is only a short drive away. We understand your privacy is of the utmost importance and we assure confidentiality for every one of our customers.

Do You Know These STD Facts?

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STDs are very common, in fact, the Center for Disease Control reports over 2.5 million cases of chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis reported in 2019 alone. Even though STDs affect millions of Americans, there’s still a lot of stigma surrounding them. Do you know these STD facts?

Women have a higher risk of contracting an STD

Women have a higher risk of contracting an STD because the vaginal surface area is much larger than the surface area of male genitalia. Vaginal tissue is also more susceptible to STDs.

STDs can be spread through any sexual activity

STDs tend to be associated with the act of sexual intercourse, but this isn’t the case. Any type of sexual activity can spread STDs, so it’s vital to use condoms any time clothes are removed.

Certain STDs are asymptomatic

STDs like to cause damage under a cloak of camouflage. Symptoms, if present at all, are usually mild and easily attributed to something else like stress or a virus. This is why it’s crucial to have routine STD testing and be tested if you have a new sexual partner.

Untreated STDs can cause infertility

If an STD is left untreated (which is common if the STD is asymptomatic), certain STDs can leave you infertile. While this happens more commonly in women, men can also become sterile from untreated STDs.

Private Testing Center is here to help with all your testing needs. We offer affordable and convenient testing in a constant effort to prevent the spread of Herpes, HIV and other STDs. We deliver fast results so any necessary treatment can happen quickly. Same Day appointments are available and with over 1500 locations nationwide, your closest location is only a short drive away. We understand your privacy is of the utmost importance and we assure confidentiality for every one of our customers.

Do Condoms Always Prevent STDs?

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Most people know that condoms prevent the spread of STDs. If you’re going to be sexually active, you should always use a condom.

But is this actually true? Do condoms prevent STDs from passing between partners?

It turns out that, when used perfectly, external condoms are 98% effective for preventing the spread of STDs between partners. However, it’s common for condoms to be used hastily or removed incorrectly. If used in this way, condoms are 85% effective. 

How can you maximize the effectiveness of condom use?

  • Use condoms that fit – loose condoms can slip off, and tight condoms can break. Use an accurate measurement to ensure the right fit.
  • Store condoms correctly – the best place for condoms is in a drawer or box. This keeps the packets from being accidentally punctured. It also reduces exposure to friction or heat that wears down the condom and could cause it to break during intercourse.
  • Put on the condom before any intercourse – STDs can be transmitted through any genital touching, not just intercourse. Putting on a condom once clothes are removed is best.
  • Remove and discard immediately – remove the condom carefully–being sure to keep the fluids inside–and discard immediately.

If you have unprotected sex or think you may have been exposed to an STD, Private Testing Center is here to help with all your testing needs. We offer affordable and convenient testing in a constant effort to prevent the spread of Herpes, HIV and other STDs. We deliver fast results so any necessary treatment can happen quickly. Same Day appointments are available and with over 1500 locations nationwide, your closest location is only a short drive away. We understand your privacy is of the utmost importance and we assure confidentiality for every one of our customers.

STDs Increase Your Risk of HIV

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Most people know that Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STD) are very common. In fact, the CDC reports that 1 in 5 Americans have an STD.

But what most people don’t realize is that having a present STD increases your risk of contracting HIV. How is this possible?

STDs change the cells in your vagina, penis, rectum, or mouth. This can be either asymptomatically or from visible sores or ulcers. The changes weaken the cells and make them more susceptible to disease. In other words, if you’ve previously contracted an STD, you’re more likely to contract HIV through a sexual encounter than someone who has never contracted an STD.

Additionally, an individual who has both an STD and HIV is more likely to give HIV to their partner. This is because having both an STD and HIV increases the viral load in semen and vaginal fluid, making it more likely to pass it along to your partner.

If you suspect you’ve been exposed to an STD or HIV, testing immediately is your best option. There will be less damage done to your body when STDs and HIV are caught early.

Private Testing Center is here to help with all your testing needs. We offer affordable and convenient testing in a constant effort to prevent the spread of Herpes, HIV and other STDs. We deliver fast results so any necessary treatment can happen quickly. Same Day appointments are available and with over 1500 locations nationwide, your closest location is only a short drive away. We understand your privacy is of the utmost importance and we assure confidentiality for every one of our customers.

3 STD Symptoms To Never Ignore

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Many sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) have minimal or no symptoms. This means the infection can be in your body for weeks, months, or even years before it is detected. Living with an STD is not only dangerous for you–as STDs can cause lifelong health complications–but it is also harms your sexual partners by passing along disease.

Here are three signs of an STD that you should not ignore.

Pain in Lower Abdomen

Pain in your lower abdomen can indicate pelvic inflammatory disease, which is an infection in the female reproductive organs. Symptoms of pelvic inflammatory disease include mild to severe pain in the lower abdomen or pelvis, unusual or heavy vaginal discharge or uterine bleeding, pain during intercourse, fever, and urination that is painful, frequent, or difficult.

Bumps and Sores

Syphilis, Chancroids, and HPV can cause a variety of bumps, sores, warts, or blisters on or near your genitals. The spots can also appear in the mouth, around the lips, and around the anus, if you’ve engaged in anal or oral sex. You should make an appointment with your physician if one of these spots appears, even if it resolves. It’s best to eliminate the infection in your body so it doesn’t cause further damage or be passed to your partner.

Itching and Irritation

If you have persistent itching or irritation in your vagina or penis, it’s time to have an exam with your physician. Longstanding itching or irritation can be caused by a parasite called trichomoniasis and it is treated with antibiotics.

Private Testing Center is here to help with all your testing needs. We offer affordable and convenient testing in a constant effort to prevent the spread of Herpes, HIV and other STDs. We deliver fast results so any necessary treatment can happen quickly. Same Day appointments are available and with over 1500 locations nationwide, your closest location is only a short drive away. We understand your privacy is of the utmost importance and we assure confidentiality for every one of our customers.

Which States Have the Highest STD Rates?

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According to the Center for Disease Control, there were over 2.5 million cases of chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis reported in 2019 alone. This is a huge increase from the 1.4 million cases reported in 2014, and it marks the sixth year in a row of rising STD rates.

Let’s examine the states with the highest cases of chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis.

Chlamydia

Chlamydia is a common infection that affects men and women but doesn’t have many symptoms. If present, symptoms include painful urination, discharge, and painful sex.

In order, the states with the most cases of chlamydia are Alaska, Mississippi, Louisiana, South Carolina, New Mexico, North Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, New York, and Illinois.

Gonorrhea

Gonorrhea is most commonly transmitted amongst individuals aged 15-24. Symptoms include painful urination, discharge, and abdominal pain.

The states with the most cases of gonorrhea include Mississippi, Alaska, Alabama, South Carolina, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Missouri, North Carolina, South Dakota, and Tennessee.

Syphilis

Syphilis has several stages with different symptoms for each. Syphilis can also be passed to infants born to mothers with syphilis.

Nevada, New Mexico, Mississippi, California, Oklahoma, Arizona, Alaska, Georgia, Louisiana, and Florida are the states with the highest cases of syphilis.

Private Testing Center is here to help with all your testing needs. We offer affordable and convenient testing in a constant effort to prevent the spread of Herpes, HIV and other STDs. We deliver fast results so any necessary treatment can happen quickly. Same Day appointments are available and with over 1500 locations nationwide, your closest location is only a short drive away. We understand your privacy is of the utmost importance and we assure confidentiality for every one of our customers.

Pandemic to Blame for Rising STD Rates

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The pandemic has caused many problems for society, and experts believe it has fueled the continued rise of STD among young people.

The conditions during the pandemic have been the perfect storm for rising STD rates. There has been more free time and less access to healthcare. Children are home without their parents for longer hours and having their friends over–perhaps without their parent’s permission.

Ceri Burke, a nurse practitioner at Connecticut’s Danbury High School health center admitted, “there’s an increase in sexual activity among the kids I’m seeing.”

The CDC has reported that STDs have been rising for the past six years. Additionally, young adults aged 15-24 make up half of STD reports. It’s possible that we could see those numbers continue to trend upwards due to the pandemic.

In order to slow the curve of STDs, young adults need access to quality, confidential healthcare. During the pandemic, many health clinics–including those in schools–shut down. Adolescents certainly suffered the consequences of this. Having access to condoms, birth control, STD testing, and STD treatments is vital to reduce STDs among the young adult population. More funding is also needed for sex education.

Private Testing Center is here to help with all your testing needs. We offer affordable and convenient testing in a constant effort to prevent the spread of Herpes, HIV and other STDs. We deliver fast results so any necessary treatment can happen quickly. Same Day appointments are available and with over 1500 locations nationwide, your closest location is only a short drive away. We understand your privacy is of the utmost importance and we assure confidentiality for every one of our customers.

Is It an STD or Something Else?

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When you’re burning and itching “down there,” you’re anxious to feel yourself again! Besides being incredibly uncomfortable, it’s best to refrain from sexual activities until you know why you’re having such symptoms.

Burning and itching in or around your vagina can have several causes, such as yeast infections, bacterial infections, sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), skin irritation, and more. So how do you know the cause?

In our last article, we examined the differences between yeast infections and STDs. But what about other infections and skin irritations?

Bacterial Vaginosis

Bacterial vaginosis occurs when the bacteria in your vagina are imbalanced. It causes a thin gray or white discharge with a strong fish odor, along with pain, itching, and burning. Bacterial vaginosis generally resolves on its own.

Contact Dermatitis 

Micro-cracks in and around the vulva can cause burning and stinging sensations. Products with perfumes and/or harsh chemicals, such as certain soap, laundry detergent, douches, spermicides, perfumes, and deodorants can cause contact dermatitis. Care for your skin with gentle soap, and your doctor may prescribe a corticosteroid cream or antihistamine cream to help you avoid scratching the area.

Hemorrhoids

Swollen veins in your pelvic floor can cause pain, itching, swelling, and bleeding. Soaking in a warm bath and pain medication can help ease the discomfort of hemorrhoids.

Of course, the only way to know if you have an STD is to take an STD test!

Private Testing Center is here to help with all your testing needs. We offer affordable and convenient testing in a constant effort to prevent the spread of Herpes, HIV and other STDs. We deliver fast results so any necessary treatment can happen quickly. Same Day appointments are available and with over 1500 locations nationwide, your closest location is only a short drive away. We understand your privacy is of the utmost importance and we assure confidentiality for every one of our customers.

 

Yeast Infection or STD?

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When you have a burning and itching sensation “down there,” you’re anxious to get rid of it! Besides being incredibly uncomfortable, you must also refrain from sexual activities until you know why you’re having such symptoms.

Burning and itching in or around your vagina can have several causes, such as yeast infections, bacterial infections, sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), skin irritation, and more. So how do you know the cause?

Yeast infections are very common for women and girls in their reproductive years. The yeast Candida overgrows in the vaginal area and causes an infection. Common symptoms include:

  • Itching
  • Burning
  • Thick, white discharge that has a cottage cheese consistency
Yeast infections can be treated with antifungal medication prescribed by your doctor.
It’s easy to dismiss an STD for a yeast infection because they share many of the same symptoms. However, STDs like trichomoniasis, herpes, genital warts, gonorrhea, and chlamydia, won’t go away with antifungal medication, and left untreated, these STDs can cause significant harm to your body. Signs that your symptoms are caused by an STD and not a yeast infection include:
  • Pain
  • Burning with urination
  • Discharge may be green, white, or yellow, and may have a foul odor
  • Abnormal bleeding or spotting

Of course, you can be confident in your STD status by taking an STD test.

Private Testing Center is here to help with all your testing needs. We offer affordable and convenient testing in a constant effort to prevent the spread of Herpes, HIV and other STDs. We deliver fast results so any necessary treatment can happen quickly. Same Day appointments are available and with over 1500 locations nationwide, your closest location is only a short drive away. We understand your privacy is of the utmost importance and we assure confidentiality for every one of our customers.

Protect Yourself Against STDs This Summer

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Last year, COVID-19 snatched summertime plans from most Americans. Graduation parties, birthday parties, vacations, backyard BBQs, and more were canceled in efforts to slow the spread of the virus.

For many people, dating was also placed on hold last year. The summer love that individuals of all ages fantasize about was postponed until another safer time. Now that COVID-19 safety guidelines are relaxing, dating is optional again.

But, what do you need to know in order to safely date this summer?

It’s crucial to keep in mind that STDs are still rampant. Before COVID-19, STD rates were at an all-time high. Testing materials and treatments were plentiful. Once COVID-19 surged, many testing kits, medications, testing centers, and personnel were re-allocated to the pandemic efforts. This means that there are still millions of cases of STDs in existence, but your new partner may not know they have an STD or received treatment.

Perhaps now more than ever it is important to have open communication about STDs early in your relationship, or at least before intercourse. This can be an uncomfortable subject, so please read our articles about how to tell your partner you have an STD and when to disclose your STD to your new partner for communication guidelines.

As always, it’s vital to practice safe sex. Use condoms, avoid risky sexual intercourse, and regularly test yourself for STDs.

Private Testing Center is here to help with all your testing needs. We offer affordable and convenient testing in a constant effort to prevent the spread of Herpes, HIV and other STDs. We deliver fast results so any necessary treatment can happen quickly. Same Day appointments are available and with over 1500 locations nationwide, your closest location is only a short drive away. We understand your privacy is of the utmost importance and we assure confidentiality for every one of our customers.

 

STD Rates Decline During Pandemic

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For years, STD rates have been climbing all around the world. Health officials question if there is rise in actual STD rates, or simply better technology and reporting methods.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, STD rates have declined. This could have many reasons: individuals could be having less casual sex, individuals could be engaging in safer sex practices, or there could be just as many STDs as in previous years but haven’t been reported.

There is a growing concern amongst health officials that the actual STD count has been vastly underreported, which creates a series of problems. First, the individual with the STD hasn’t received the necessary treatment for their infection. Left untreated, STDs can leave behind serious health conditions, such as pelvic inflammatory disease, cancer, and infertility.

In addition, the individual can unknowingly spread their STD to their subsequent partners, perpetuating the spread of infection.

With many states beginning to lift or reduce social restrictions, it’s possible that we will see skyrocketing STD rates, both due to unreported cases from 2020 and new cases as individuals resume casual sexual interactions.

What can you do to protect yourself?

Begin by preventing the contraction of an STD. Always use a condom and refrain from risky behaviors such as consuming drugs or alcohol during intercourse. Additionally, the CDC recommends regular testing of STDs.

Private Testing Center is here to help with all your testing needs. We offer affordable and convenient testing in a constant effort to prevent the spread of Herpes, HIV and other STDs. We deliver fast results so any necessary treatment can happen quickly. Same Day appointments are available and with over 1500 locations nationwide, your closest location is only a short drive away. We understand your privacy is of the utmost importance and we assure confidentiality for every one of our customers.

The STD That Leads to Cancer

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Most people are aware that untreated STDs can lead to severe health conditions. For instance, certain STDs can cause pelvic inflammatory disease, infertility, AIDS, organ failure, and more.

Equally disconcerting is the possibility of cancer from the human papillomavirus (HPV). Although HPV is generally associated with cervical cancer, HPV’s reach is not constrained to cervical cancer, nor is it limited to females. HPV can also cause cancer of the anus, penis, vagina, throat, and vulva.

HPV doesn’t have any symptoms, so it can be years before any other bodily symptoms appear. Not only is this concerning for the individual carrying HPV, but an infected individual can unknowingly pass HPV to subsequent partners, thus perpetuating the spread of disease.

The best way to avoid HPV is the prevention of contraction. Use condoms and avoid risky behaviors such as drugs and alcohol during sex. There is also a vaccine available for HPV. Regular check-ups with your physician are also recommended.

Additionally, it’s best to test regularly for STDs of all kinds. This is where Private Testing Center comes in!

Private Testing Center is here to help with all your testing needs. We offer affordable and convenient testing in a constant effort to prevent the spread of Herpes, HIV and other STDs. We deliver fast results so any necessary treatment can happen quickly. Same Day appointments are available and with over 1500 locations nationwide, your closest location is only a short drive away. We understand your privacy is of the utmost importance and we assure confidentiality for every one of our customers.

Resources Needed For Post-Pandemic STD Crisis

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The pandemic has posed a series of hurdles for the raging STD crisis.

For starters, testing resources that were allocated for STD testing were diverted to COVID-19 testing. Not only were testing kits redistributed, but STD testing centers either temporarily closed down or were used for COVID-19 testing.

STD testing became hard to come by, both at a doctor’s office and in independent clinics.

Now that many states are lifting restrictions on social interactions and many Americans are taking the COVID-19 vaccine, health officials are predicting a rise in STD rates.

However, this time we have a chance to keep STD rates lower than in previous years. Health experts are calling for appropriate funding for sex education in schools and proper resources for testing and prevention methods.

Teens and college students have specifically lacked access to healthcare, so there needs to be a reinstatement of independent programs and clinics.

Of course, the best way to reduce the spread of disease is to prevent contracting an STD yourself. Use safe sex practices such as condoms, and avoid risky behaviors such as drugs and alcohol during sex. Follow the CDC’s recommendations for STD testing, and tell your partner if you have an STD.

Private Testing Center is here to help with all your testing needs. We offer affordable and convenient testing in a constant effort to prevent the spread of Herpes, HIV and other STDs. We deliver fast results so any necessary treatment can happen quickly. Same Day appointments are available and with over 1500 locations nationwide, your closest location is only a short drive away. We understand your privacy is of the utmost importance and we assure confidentiality for every one of our customers.

April is STD Awareness Month

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April is STD awareness month!

There is still a lot of stigma surrounding STDs. Individuals can feel guilt, shame, and embarrassment when they learn they have an STD, and they can fear telling their family, friends, and partners. However, you may be surprised to know that more than half of Americans will have an STD at some point in their life. It’s one way we can relate as humans! So let’s stop the stigma surrounding STDs!

Less stigma related to STDs would ultimately lead to lower STD rates. Here’s how:

  • When an individual isn’t afraid or ashamed of regular STD testing, they are more inclined to voluntarily test for a panel of STDs.
  • If the individual tests positive for any STD, they are able to receive prompt treatment before the infection can spread to a new partner.
  • The individual is able to tell their current and/or previous partner so they can be tested and also receive treatment.

When you treat STDs in a timely manner, there are fewer STDs to be spread! And with fewer STDs transmitted, the population as a whole experiences better health.

Private Testing Center is here to help with all your testing needs. We offer affordable and convenient testing in a constant effort to prevent the spread of Herpes, HIV and other STDs. We deliver fast results so any necessary treatment can happen quickly. Same Day appointments are available and with over 1500 locations nationwide, your closest location is only a short drive away. We understand your privacy is of the utmost importance and we assure confidentiality for every one of our customers.

Do I Have HIV?

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Like many STDs, the symptoms associated with HIV can be easily attributed to another cause, like food poisoning, the flu, stress, or another illness. This means that many people living with HIV are unaware that they are infected. They often remain unaware of this infection for years, unknowingly spreading the HIV disease with every partner.

Ultimately, you cannot concretely know your HIV status without testing, but there are risk factors and symptoms that can indicate testing for HIV rather than another illness.

After infection, some people may experience symptoms, including:

Risk factors for contracting HIV include:

  • Anal and vaginal sex
  • The receptive partner
  • The viral load of the HIV-positive partner
  • Multiple sexual partners
  • Whether or not there is ejaculation during intercourse
  • Whether or not the male partner is circumcised

If you have one or more of the above risk factors, and/or if you have any of the above symptoms after having unprotected sex, it’s strongly recommended that you receive an HIV test.

Private Testing Center is here to help with all your testing needs. We offer affordable and convenient testing in a constant effort to prevent the spread of Herpes, HIV and other STDs. We deliver fast results so any necessary treatment can happen quickly. Same Day appointments are available and with over 1500 locations nationwide, your closest location is only a short drive away. We understand your privacy is of the utmost importance and we assure confidentiality for every one of our customers.

What’s the Difference Between and STIs and STDs?

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For many years, those in the medical community have used “Sexually Transmitted Disease” or “STD” to refer to the infection and/or symptoms caused by harmful bacteria transmitted during sexual activity. However, the term “disease” has caused a heightened sense of stigma surrounding these infections. This stigma can cause many consequences, such as individuals avoiding STD testing, which perpetuates the spread of infection. Partners may not be honest with one another about their sexual history, which can also spread disease.

The reality is, most people have had or will have an STD during their life. In fact, over 1 in 2 Americans will contract an STD in their lifetime. If infection rates are so common, why is there so much stigma surrounding STDs?

In an effort to turn the stigma tide, health experts have made a distinction between STDs and Sexually Transmitted Infections–or STIs. So what’s the difference?

An STI remains an STI unless it causes symptoms, in which case it becomes an STD. And because many STIs don’t cause symptoms, most of these previously-defined “diseases” remain as infections.

With time, health experts hope this clarification will help individuals not be ashamed of their sexual health history, which will promote increased testing and honesty with their partners.

However, this doesn’t mean that STIs should be taken lightly! Infections can still cause serious health effects, such as pelvic inflammatory disease, miscarriage, sterility, and more. That’s why it’s still crucial to get tested frequently.

Private Testing Center is here to help with all your testing needs. We offer affordable and convenient testing in a constant effort to prevent the spread of Herpes, HIV and other STDs. We deliver fast results so any necessary treatment can happen quickly. Same Day appointments are available and with over 1500 locations nationwide, your closest location is only a short drive away. We understand your privacy is of the utmost importance and we assure confidentiality for every one of our customers.

Adolescents at Further STI Risk Due to Pandemic

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Although young adults (aged 15-26) comprise only 25% of the U.S. population, they account for half of all new STIs. As 2020 marked another year of growing STI rates, there is no indication that these numbers will slow down.

Youths of African American and Latino ethnicities and LGBTQ+ youth face the greatest burden of infections and risk of complications. New testing recommendations from The American Academy of Pediatrics include screening for HIV by 16-18 years of age for all youth regardless of their sexual activity. Annual chlamydia screening is recommended for sexually active young women between the ages of 15-26.

Prior to the pandemic, the nation as a whole was gearing up to take steps towards reducing the spread of STIs. For adolescents and young adults, in particular, the most effective measures were free and confidential STI testing with contact tracing.

With COVID-19 tests straining resources and testing availability, we may be trading one epidemic for another. While youths and young adults have the best recovery rates from COVID-19, they are at risk for contracting, spreading, and being affected by STIs.

Private Testing Center is here to help with all your testing needs. We offer affordable and convenient testing in a constant effort to prevent the spread of Herpes, HIV and other STDs. We deliver fast results so any necessary treatment can happen quickly. Same Day appointments are available and with over 1500 locations nationwide, your closest location is only a short drive away. We understand your privacy is of the utmost importance and we assure confidentiality for every one of our customers.

Young People Compromise Half of New STD Cases

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In 2018, there were nearly 26 million new sexually transmitted infections diagnoses, with half of them among people ages 15 to 24.

These diagnoses included 13 million HPV infections, 6.9 trich cases, 4 million chlamydia cases, 1.6 million gonorrhea infections, and 572,000 genital herpes cases. However, the numbers are likely much higher because of undetected cases. There are several reasons for this.

Many STDs have no or mild symptoms. Some symptoms, such as pelvic pain, fatigue, and flu-like symptoms, can be attributed to other causes.

Another reason is that young people aged 15 to 24 indicates may lack the resources or support to acquire testing.

Currently, the COVID-19 pandemic has reduced the availability of testing kits and clinics, as these resources have been rerouted to COVID-19 testing.

Undiagnosed STDs can lead to chronic health issues, such as chronic pelvic pain, pelvic inflammatory disease, infertility, and pregnancy and newborn complications, so it’s vital to guard against STDs.

Sexually active individuals must be vigilant to care for their sexual health. This involves engaging in safe sex practices, such as using condoms and avoiding drugs and alcohol. Sexually active individuals should also get tested routinely for STDs.

This is where Private Testing Center comes in!

Private Testing Center is here to help with all your testing needs. We offer affordable and convenient testing in a constant effort to prevent the spread of Herpes, HIV and other STDs. We deliver fast results so any necessary treatment can happen quickly. Same Day appointments are available and with over 1500 locations nationwide, your closest location is only a short drive away. We understand your privacy is of the utmost importance and we assure confidentiality for every one of our customers.

STD Testing Shortage Due to the Pandemic

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Due to COVID-19, there is a shortage of STD testing supplies.

“The same tools that are used for testing STD specimens are the same tools that are used for COVID,” said Daniel Daltry, the program chief for HIV, STD and Hepatitis C at the Vermont Department of Health.

Because of this, the Vermont Department of Health has had to prioritize testing based on CDC guidelines: females ages 25-44 who are pregnant, those seeking to be pregnant, and males with STD symptoms are also a top priority to identify active infection.

This means the typical testing avenues may be unavailable to individuals, and everyone should be extra cautious if engaging in sexual practices.

What are safe sex practices at this time?

“In the middle of a pandemic, the safest thing to do is to have one or no partners,” said Reggie Condra, a health and wellness coordinator with the Vermont Pride Center.

Cutting down on contact with other people will not only reduce the spread of STDs but also COVID-19.

Private Testing Center is here to help with all your testing needs. We offer affordable and convenient testing in a constant effort to prevent the spread of Herpes, HIV and other STDs. We deliver fast results so any necessary treatment can happen quickly. Same Day appointments are available and with over 1500 locations nationwide, your closest location is only a short drive away. We understand your privacy is of the utmost importance and we assure confidentiality for every one of our customers.

The Cause of STDs

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What causes STDs? STDs are transmitted through viruses, bacteria, and parasites, usually through unprotected sex.

STDs transmissable through bacteria include chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis. Luckily, these are curable with a round of antibiotics.

  • Chlamydia: Common symptoms in women include abnormal vaginal discharge, pain while urinating, pain during sex, and bleeding between periods.
  • Gonorrhea: Common symptoms include painful burn while urinating, bleeding between periods, abnormal heavy bleeding during menstruation, painful bowel movements, an intense anal itch, and cloudy or bloody discharge
  • Syphilis: Common symptoms include sores on genitals, lips, and tongue, reddish or brown rashes, enlarged lymph nodes, aching, fatigue, and a fever.

STDs transmissable through viruses include HPV, genital herpes, and HIV. These can’t be cured with medication but the symptoms can be managed.

  • HPV: Common symptoms include warts in the mouth or throat or on the genitals.
  • Genital herpes: Common symptoms include cold sores around the mouth and blistery sores on the genitals.
  • HIV: Common early symptoms include headache, sore throat, fever, chills, nausea, and rashes. If left untreated, HIV leads to AIDS.

Trichomoniasis is an STD caused by a tiny protozoan organism (parasite) that can be passed through genital contact. Symptoms include discharge, burning or itching around the vagina, frequent urination, and pain while peeing or having sex.

Private Testing Center is here to help with all your testing needs. We offer affordable and convenient testing in a constant effort to prevent the spread of Herpes, HIV and other STDs. We deliver fast results so any necessary treatment can happen quickly. Same Day appointments are available and with over 1500 locations nationwide, your closest location is only a short drive away. We understand your privacy is of the utmost importance and we assure confidentiality for every one of our customers.

Can STDs Cause Male Sterility?

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Syphilis
Gonorrhea

If left unchecked, STDs can cause fertility problems. Most often, infertility is associated with women, but its crucial that males understand how STDs affect their fertility.

Many of the most common STDs can cause male sterility, including gonorrhea, HIV, chlamydia, and ureaplasma. STDs can also decrease sex drive and impair sexual health.

Gonorrhea can cause a narrowing of the urethra or inflammation of the urethra, epididymis, and testicles. If not treated in time, this leads to scarring and permanent obstruction of the epididymal canal, impairing the testicular function, and causing sterility.

HIV diminishes the capacity of the seminal vesicles and prostate glands. This decreases the quality and amount of sperm. Additionally, individuals with more severe immune deficiencies have poorer sperm quality.

Chlamydia also causes sterility in males, but the research is inconclusive on how. Some studies indicate decreased sperm motility, malformation of sperm cells, or by urethritis and epididymitis.

Ureaplasma affects sperm motility, DNA condensation, and sperm chromatin (which carries DNA and inhibits embryonic development).

Luckily, many sterility problems can be prevented by treating the present STDs promptly. As many STDs don’t have symptoms, it’s crucial that individuals are tested for STDs on a regular basis. You can find more about STD frequency testing here.

Private Testing Center is here to help with all your testing needs. We offer affordable and convenient testing in a constant effort to prevent the spread of Herpes, HIV and other STDs. We deliver fast results so any necessary treatment can happen quickly. Same Day appointments are available and with over 1500 locations nationwide, your closest location is only a short drive away. We understand your privacy is of the utmost importance and we assure confidentiality for every one of our customers.

A Simple Symptom Review

Chlamydia
Syphilis
Gonorrhea

Because many STDs have no symptoms (or symptoms that can be attributed to another cause), it’s always a good idea to review the symptoms of STDs.

Chlamydia

This infection typically affects the cervix. Without treatment, chlamydia can cause pelvic inflammatory disease and increases the risk of infertility and ectopic pregnancy.

Most people infected with chlamydia don’t experience symptoms, but unusual discharge, itchiness, pain and swelling in either or both testicles, and a burning sensation while urinating can be symptoms of chlamydia.

Gonorrhea

Gonorrhea often affects the cervix and leads to pelvic inflammatory disease if not treated. Most people infected with gonorrhea don’t experience itchiness unless the infection reaches the rectum. Once the infection is in the rectum, the individual may experience discharge, itchiness around the anus, soreness, bleeding, and painful bowel movements.

Trichomoniasis

This is a common STD caused by a parasite, but only 30% of people develop symptoms. Penile symptoms include itchiness or irritation inside the penis, burning while urinating or ejaculating, and penile discharge. Vaginal symptoms include itching, burning, redness, or soreness around the genitals, urinary discomfort, and a change in the thickness, color, and smell of discharge.

Genital Herpes

Genital herpes is an infection with the herpes simplex virus type 1 or 2. Most people only experience mild symptoms–if any: one or more itchy blisters around the genitals or rectum, painful blisters and seep liquid when they break, and a fever, body aches, or swollen glands during the initial outbreak.

Your doctor can prescribe an antiviral medication but genital herpes can’t be cured. Outbreaks will occur throughout your life but the symptoms are milder.

Genital Warts

Genital warts result from a human papillomavirus (HPV) infection but only 10% of people with HPV develop genital warts. Genital warts are small or large clusters of warts in the anal or genital area, such as the penile shaft, vagina, or labia, which can sometimes bleed. They are itchy, red, and uncomfortable.

There is no cure for HPV and warts go away without treatment in 18-24 months, but there are treatments such as freeze or laser therapy that can remove warts.

Private Testing Center is here to help with all your testing needs. We offer affordable and convenient testing in a constant effort to prevent the spread of Herpes, HIV and other STDs. We deliver fast results so any necessary treatment can happen quickly. Same Day appointments are available and with over 1500 locations nationwide, your closest location is only a short drive away. We understand your privacy is of the utmost importance and we assure confidentiality for every one of our customers.

Should You Test for STDs in a Pandemic?

Chlamydia
Syphilis
Gonorrhea

STD cases were at a record-high before the pandemic hit. When many states and cities experienced lockdown, sexual health clinics closed down. Testing kit resources were rerouted to COVID-19 testing kits. Primary care physicians and hospitals turned away non-emergent cases.

But just because testing has been hard to come by doesn’t mean STDs have gone away. In fact, the CDC estimates tens of thousands of undetected STD cases roaming the United States from the COVID-19 health restrictions.

What does this mean for you?

It’s important to still get regularly tested for STDs to both stop the spread of STDs and to eliminate future health effects. The CDC recommends testing for:

  • “All adults and adolescents from ages 13 to 64 should be tested at least once for HIV.
  • All sexually active women younger than 25 years should be tested for gonorrhea and chlamydia every year. Women 25 years and older with risk factors such as new or multiple sex partners or a sex partner who has an STD should also be tested for gonorrhea and chlamydia every year.
  • All pregnant women should be tested for syphilis, HIV, and hepatitis B starting early in pregnancy. At-risk pregnant women should also be tested for chlamydia and gonorrhea starting early in pregnancy. Testing should be repeated as needed to protect the health of mothers and their infants.
  • All sexually active gay and bisexual men should be tested at least once a year for syphilis, chlamydia, and gonorrhea. Those who have multiple or anonymous partners should be tested more frequently for STDs (i.e., at 3- to 6-month intervals).
  • Sexually active gay and bisexual men may benefit from more frequent HIV testing (e.g., every 3 to 6 months).
  • Anyone who has unsafe sex or shares injection drug equipment should get tested for HIV at least once a year.”

Watch this video to learn the importance of STD testing:

Private Testing Center is here to help with all your testing needs. We offer affordable and convenient testing in a constant effort to prevent the spread of Herpes, HIV and other STDs. We deliver fast results so any necessary treatment can happen quickly. Same Day appointments are available and with over 1500 locations nationwide, your closest location is only a short drive away. We understand your privacy is of the utmost importance and we assure confidentiality for every one of our customers.

Should Your PCP Take a Sexual Health History?

Chlamydia
Syphilis
Gonorrhea

Meeting with your primary care physician (PCP) can be intimidating, awkward, and nerve-wracking. This is especially true for your first visit with a new PCP. What tests and procedures should you expect your PCP to initiate, and which should you ask for?

A recent study shows that many PCPs don’t take a complete sexual health history with first-time patients. A complete sexual health history is a documented discussion of “sexual partners, sexual practices, pregnancy prevention, protection from sexually transmitted infections (STI), and past history of STIs.”

The study reported that only 1.08% of patients received a full sexual history exam. 33.92% of visits had partial histories, and the remaining 65% of visits had no sexual history exam. Additionally, females are less likely than men to receive a complete history, as well as older patients vs. younger patients.

Although PCPs should have STD and sexual health history on their radar, it’s often pushed to the side. This could be for many reasons, such as other health needs or other tests that might need to be done. No matter the situation, it’s always best to establish a pattern of routine STD testing with your PCP–even if that means you must be the one to bring it up.

Watch this video to learn more about STD testing:

And of course, Private Testing Center is here to help with all your testing needs. We offer affordable and convenient testing in a constant effort to prevent the spread of Herpes, HIV and other STDs. We deliver fast results so any necessary treatment can happen quickly. Same Day appointments are available and with over 1500 locations nationwide, your closest location is only a short drive away. We understand your privacy is of the utmost importance and we assure confidentiality for every one of our customers.

How Do I Talk to My Partner About STDs?

Chlamydia
Syphilis
Gonorrhea

Telling your partner your sexual health history and asking them theirs can be scary, awkward, or uncomfortable. But it doesn’t have to be! With the right plan, this conversation can to a deeper relationship with your partner.

First, talk sooner rather than later. Waiting until intimacy begins has a greater potential for damaging the relationship instead of discussing the matter upfront. Don’t hesitate, waiting for the “right” moment–plan for the right moment! Let your partner know that you’d like to talk about each of your sexual health histories.

Next, know what will make you feel comfortable and confident about entering an intimate relationship. Some people are trusting in taking their partners at their word. But if you’re uneasy, request documentation from your partner’s most recent STD exam.

Finally, do your best to remove emotions from the conversation. Keep it to the facts about each of your sexual health histories and present circumstances. It’s also a good idea to ask if your partner is presently seeing anyone else. When in the context of potential STD exposure, your partner is free to share.

For more advice on talking with your partner about sexual health history, watch the video below:

Regardless of your partner’s answers, it’s best to be regularly tested for STDs. That’s where we come in!

Private Testing Center is here to help with all your testing needs. We offer affordable and convenient testing in a constant effort to prevent the spread of Herpes, HIV and other STDs. We deliver fast results so any necessary treatment can happen quickly. Same Day appointments are available and with over 1500 locations nationwide, your closest location is only a short drive away. We understand your privacy is of the utmost importance and we assure confidentiality for every one of our customers.