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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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

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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?

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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?

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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?

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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.

CDC Estimates Thousands of Undetected STDs

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At the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, many sexual health clinics altered their provided services and even temporarily closed their doors. But that was just the beginning. Finding sexual healthcare became even more challenging when hospitals and primary care providers limited visits to emergencies. Local health clinics were recruited to help with COVID-19 testing.

Months later, many health clinics have resumed regular operating hours. Individuals can once again receive non-emergent healthcare from hospitals and primary care physicians. But the CDC now estimates that tens of thousands of sexually transmitted diseases have gone undetected, specifically gonorrhea and chlamydia.

This is important for two reasons.

First, many health clinics and physicians may experience testing shortages because so many testing resources have been diverted to COVID-19 testing. For this reason, the CDC has advised physicians to ration testing kits and prioritize at-risk patients.

Secondly, STD rates will continue to climb. STDs can only be effectively treated with antibiotics, but in order to be treated, individuals must be tested. STD rates were already at an all-time high before COVID-19, and now months have passed without aggressive testing and treatment.

Where does this leave us?

Everyone can use safe sex practices during intercourse. This will dramatically cut down on the spread of disease.

But everyone should also seek to be routinely tested. This not only stops the spread of disease, but it also heals those with an STD to prevent future health effects. Learn more about the importance of testing below:

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.

Pediatricians Call for Easy Condom Access for Teens

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Covid-19

Teens get creative when it comes to preventing pregnancy and STDs, using items such as garbage bags and plastic wrap as make-shift protection. Obviously, these haven’t been safe or effective measures, and now STD and STI rates are skyrocketing amongst adolescents.

“Adolescents and young adults account for more than 50% of new STI diagnoses, despite being only about 25% of the sexually active population,” Dr. Laura Grubb said.

Additionally, adolescents are responsible for 1 in 5 new HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) diagnoses in the United States. With such startling numbers, pediatricians are calling for easy access to condoms for their patients.

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) supports the provision of low-cost barrier methods. Grubb approves, as well. She adds, “There is no evidence that providing contraception to adolescents makes them more sexually active or promotes risky behavior. In fact, comprehensive evidence-based sexuality education results in adolescents delaying sexual behavior, using contraception at first intercourse, and having less sexual partners at a young age.”

Although the also approves of long-acting reversible contraceptives (LARCs) to prevent unwanted pregnancies in teen girls, these do not prevent the transmission of STDs. Therefore, it is critical that no matter what method of contraceptive teens use (birth control pills, LARCs, IUDs, and others), they must be taught about the importance of condom use. This establishes the importance of safe sex practices and prevents the spread of STDs.

To learn more about talking with teens about safe sex and STDs, watch the video below:

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 Koalas Are Helping Fight Against Chlamydia

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Covid-19

An unlikely critter can help scientists learn more about the effects of chlamydia in humans.

Most scientific studies are done on mice or rats, but scientists have found a striking similarity between the effects of chlamydia in koalas and in humans. The chlamydia bacteria in koalas is very similar to the one found in humans. Studying–and eradicating–chlamydia in koalas may also be the breakthrough for the human race.

Chlamydia can be very damaging for koalas. Symptoms include severe inflammation, massive cysts, and scarring of the reproductive tract. “[The] scarring and chronic inflammation leads to infertility, topic pregnancies or possible pelvic inflammatory disease,” said Ken Beagley, a professor of immunology at Queensland University of Technology.

Scientists are now on the hunt to save koalas from chlamydia. This is done by giving a chlamydia vaccine to koalas and observe how the vaccine does in real conditions. Their findings will be helpful in developing a vaccine for humans. Watch more about what scientists are doing to save koalas in this video:

Until a vaccine is developed, it’s important to always practice safe sex by using condoms during intercourse. Part of protecting your own sexual health and the health of others also includes routine STD testing, and that’s where Private Testing Center can help!

Private Testing Center 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.

When Should I Worry About Vaginal Odor?

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Let’s cut through the stigma surrounding normal body functions women find embarrassing and talk about something every woman has experienced: vaginal odor.

When is it normal, and when should you worry?

Most of the time, vaginal odor is normal. It’s also normal for vaginal odor to change from day to day. Factors involved in vaginal odor fluctuation include hormones, menstrual cycle, and sexual intercourse. Even foods like coffee and onions can alter the smell of vaginal secretions! So rest easy, your body is just doing what it’s supposed to!

While its good to know odor isn’t cause for worry, vaginal odor can make you feel uncomfortable. Is there a secret to keeping your vagina smelling fresh?

The good news is your vagina is pretty low-maintenance. Besides practicing regular hygiene, your vagina is skilled at keeping itself clean. Doctors even recommend not performing extra-hygienic practices such as douching. 

There are instances in which vaginal odor should be concerning. STDs, STIs, Rectovaginal Fistula, bacterial infections, and vaginal or cervical cancer can also cause vaginal odor. However, vaginal odor is one of the many symptoms of these diseases. For instance, women experience painful urination, bleeding between periods, and abdominal or pelvic pain when they have contracted gonorrhea.

Watch the following video to learn more about vaginal health.

If you have any questions, always consult your doctor. And if you are concerned about an STD, Private Testing Center is here for you!

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.

Montreal’s STD Rates on the Rise Despite Lockdown

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As much of the world continues to live in social isolation to prevent the spread of COVID-19, health officials in Montreal have noticed an uptick in STD rates, especially among adults aged 20-29. Authorities believe it is this age group that is driving the resurgence of COVID-19 in Montreal.

COVID-19 is not an STD, although the disease has been detected in the semen of men who have or are recovering from the illness. While COVID-19 can be transmitted during sex, the transmission most likely takes place in the social practices that take place before sex, such as in crowded bars or house parties.

Now more than ever, it is time to be safe–both to slow the spread of COVID-19 and STDs. Many health officials recommend only engaging in sexual activity with your live-in partner, and limiting hook-ups.

And as always, practicing safe sex will reduce your risk of STD infection. The CDC recommends:

  • Individuals ages 13 to 64 should be tested at least once for HIV.
  • Sexually active women younger than 25 years should be tested yearly for gonorrhea and chlamydia. Women 25 years and older with new or multiple sex partners or a sex partner who has an STD should also be tested yearly for gonorrhea and chlamydia.
  • Pregnant women should be tested for syphilis, HIV, and hepatitis B starting early in pregnancy, and at-risk pregnant women should additionally be tested for chlamydia and gonorrhea starting early in pregnancy.
  • 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 should test for HIV every 3 to 6 months.
  • Anyone who has unprotected sex or shares injection drug equipment should be tested for HIV at least once a year.

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.

Marked Rise in STIs Rates amongst This Age Group

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STDs and STIs tend to be attributed to younger age groups as a consequence of promiscuous or risky sexual behavior. Evidence now shows that this is not the case, and there’s another at-risk age group that is often brushed aside.

Perhaps surprisingly, older Americans (aged 55 and older) are less likely than younger age groups to use condoms or take other precautionary measures during sex. As a result, this age group has experienced the greatest jump in confirmed cases of syphilis, chlamydia, and gonorrhea, compared to all other age groups.

Additionally, the lack of safe sex practices puts older Americans at a higher risk for contracting other STDs, such as HIV and herpes. 17% of newly-diagnosed HIV cases in 2017 were for those 55 or older. Many of these were late-stage diagnoses, meaning that significant (and preventable) damage had already been done to major organ systems.  Watch this video to learn more:

What can we learn from these numbers?

STDs and STIs can occur in any age group; those in older age groups cannot assume immunity from sexual infections. Regardless of age, it’s important to get tested frequently for STDs and STIs! This will not only slow the rate of infection and protect your partners, but it also keeps your body healthy against low-lying infections that can cause major damage down the road.

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.

Decline STD Cases in New York Due to COVID-19

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Covid-19

Decline STD Cases in New York Due to COVID-19

The social distancing measures put in place to prevent the spread of COVID-19 appear to have slowed the rate of STD infections, as well.

In New York City, the rate of confirmed STDs has plummeted by a staggering 80% since April 12.  “That’s what socially distancing will do,” said Dr. Kris Bungay, an internist with Gotham Medical Group in the West Village.

However, there is another side to these statistics. Due to social distancing, only one of the eight sexual health clinics in the area are open for in-person consults; all other appointments are via telehealth. Health officials estimate that New Yorkers are postponing STD and HIV testing—either from fear of COVID-19 or from poor testing accessibility. The following video shows how health officials are designated to track COVID-19 cases:

This shouldn’t be the case! STDs can significantly impact your health, so you shouldn’t ignore any signs or suspicions of an STD. And at Private Testing Center, there’s no need to wait until a health clinic re-opens—you can get same-day 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.

HIV Infection Rates Could Increase Due to COVID-19

Covid-19
Covid-19

Lockdowns around the globe may serve in containing the spread of COVID-19. It has also curbed the rate of STD and STI infections, as many people are practicing social distancing and wary of close personal contact, especially for casual hook-ups. The following video gives details on guidelines for intercourse during this time:

Some scientists are concerned that the lowered rate of infection is due to a decrease in reported cases. Many health clinics are closed due to the pandemic, which means fewer individuals are able to be tested and therefore, fewer cases reported.

Epidemiologists such as Travis Sanchez at Emory University warn that the pandemic could cause a surge in HIV cases as it goes unchecked for an untold period of time. Not only would there be an increase of cases, but infected individuals are unable to receive necessary care to prevent the damaging effects of HIV.

However, Private Testing Center is always available for your testing needs! We have remained open during the pandemic while many testing centers have closed. If you have sex with a new partner, are experiencing signs and symptoms of an STD, or simply want the peace of mind from test results, we are here for you!

Private Testing Center 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.

COVID-19 Could Lead to Increase in STI Stigma, Shame

Covid-19
Covid-19

The COVID-19 pandemic is putting hookups on hold all around the globe. As scientists still grapple with how COVID-19 is spread, most people aren’t taking chances and have stopped having sleeping around. As this video reports, one recent study has found COVID-19 in semen:

Doctors are hopeful for this downward trend in STI infections, encouraging everyone to get tested for STDs before resuming their normal sexual practices.

“If we could test and treat everybody for their infections now, that would be a game-changer going forward as people slowly move towards normality,” said Dr. John McSorley, a sexual health doctor and president of the British Association for Sexual Health and HIV.

However, others are concerned that the break of sexual patterns could increase the stigma and shame associated with STDs and STIs. For years, health officials have been attempting to lower the stigma surrounding these infections through education and awareness in hopes that less shame will result in more testing and reduced infection rates.

With a renewed fear of viruses and infections, the pandemic could cause increased rejection and shame of those with STDs and STIs, crushing the progress made towards decreasing the stigma.

But there’s one thing that’s true regardless of lockdowns or pandemics: it is always best for your health to regularly check for STDs and 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.

Don’t leave your sexual health to chance. Call us at 888.249.6716 or Schedule an Appointment today.

How Soon Should I Test for an STD?

Chlamydia
Syphilis
Gonorrhea

When it comes to safe sex, a condom will always give you the greatest protection from contracting an STD. But what happens if you’ve engaged in unprotected sex, especially with a new partner? Do you need to get tested for an STD, and if so, how soon after having unprotected sex?

Routine testing for STDs is one of the most effective measures to slow the spread of STDs. The Center for Disease Control recommends:

  • Individuals aged 13-64 be tested at least once for HIV.
  • Sexually active women younger than 25, and women older than 25 who are sexually active with a new or more than one partner be tested for gonorrhea and chlamydia every year.
  • Sexually active gay and bisexual men should be tested for syphilis, chlamydia, and gonorrhea at least once a year, but if you have multiple or anonymous partners, test every 3 or 6 months.
  • Anyone who had unsafe sex, shared injection drug equipment, or is a sexually active gay or bisexual man should be tested for HIV at least once a year.

Marta Perez, MD, a board-certified ob-gyn in Missouri suggests getting tested for an STD within a week after unprotected sex. This is because certain infections need re-testing and some therapies can prevent the transmission. Watch this video to learn more:

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.

Don’t leave your sexual health to chance. Call us at 888.249.6716 or Schedule an Appointment today.

Should I Get Tested for an STD During the COVID-19 Pandemic?

Covid-19
Covid-19

If you’re paranoid about entering public places during the COVID-19 pandemic, you’re not alone! With social isolation recommendations (and increasing enforcement from governing officials), it can be scary to leave your house for anything other than groceries. Watch this video to learn why social isolation measures are in place:

But what happens if you start developing signs of an STD, or engaged in unsafe sex with a new partner during this time of social isolation? Is it safe to get tested for an STD?

STDs can significantly impact your health, so you shouldn’t ignore any signs or suspicions of an STD. It’s best to discuss your concerns with your doctor. For many physicians, appointments are available through Tele-Health, which allows you to have your questions answered without leaving your home. Your doctor can help you make an informed decision on STD testing.

Many testing centers are overwhelmed with COVID-19 tests, so test results may not be prompt. Further, testing materials such as swabs, tubes, and preservation liquid may not be readily available as these are being redirected to COVID-19 testing.

But 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.

Don’t leave your sexual health to chance. Call us at 888.249.6716 or Schedule an Appointment today.

Is It Safe to Have Sex During the COVID-19 Pandemic?

Covid-19
Covid-19

With strict social isolation guidelines in place throughout most of the country to slow the spread of COVID-19, millions of Americans are finding themselves at home for extended periods of time. Especially for those living with their partner, this extended time at home offers ample opportunities to be intimate.

But is it safe to have sex during the COVID-19 pandemic?

Until more data about transmission is collected, sex with any partner may be risky, even with a partner who lives at home. This is because COVID-19 is spread through contact and droplets in the air, and intimacy involves physical contact. Watch this video to learn about how COVID-19 is spread:

Risk is increased if you or your partner works outside the home and if you don’t abide by social isolation guidelines.

That being said, the safest sex is with a partner who lives at home. Having sex with multiple partners or a designated ‘COVID sex buddy’ is not recommended, as this can increase the spread of disease. Speak with your doctor about their recommendations for your situation.

If you need STD testing during the pandemic, 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.

Don’t leave your sexual health to chance. Call us at 888.249.6716 or Schedule an Appointment today.

Healthcare Focus Shifts from STDs to COVID-19

Covid-19
Covid-19

Just a few months ago, many local health institutes were making strides towards accessible education, testing, and treatment for STDs and STIs in efforts to slow incidence rates. But as America experiences an increase in COVID-19 cases, much forward progress has been halted and STD rates are once again on the rise.

Dr. Christopher Hall, the chair of the clinical advisory committee of the National Coalition of STD Directors, explains that healthcare workers and supplies are being redeployed to battle COVID-19, which has significant effects on the STD community.

Across the country, STD clinics have had to significantly alter their testing protocols from fear of COVID-19 contamination. Some clinics have shut down completely while others have resorted to drive-thru style testing (similar to how testing is performed for COVID-19).

STD clinics are facing staffing shortages, which means fewer opportunities to test for STDs. Many clinics are choosing to not test with oral swabs due to fear of COVID-19 transmission from close proximity. It is also possible that in the near future, STD clinics may have testing materials such as swabs, tubes, and preservation liquid repurposed for COVID-19 testing, which leaves less resources for STD testing.

Watch this video to learn more about test shortages:

But 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.

Don’t leave your sexual health to chance. Call us at 888.249.6716 or Schedule an Appointment today.