Herpes: Is it more Dangerous than a Cold Sore?

The Herpes Simplex Virus
Herpes HSV Lesions
Antibodies Attacking a Virus
Antibodies Attacking a Virus

Many of us associate herpes with a simple cold sore. We see commercials for quick and convenient treatment and think of it as mostly harmless. But is there more to herpes than a cold sore?

There are hundreds of the Herpes Simplex Virus (HSV) strands, but only two are spread sexually (HSV-1 and HSV-2).  Only HSV-1 is the culprit causing cold sores or fever blisters.

But HSV causes more than a simple cold sore; both HSV-1 and HSV-2 cause genital herpes, one of the most common STDs.

Genital herpes is spread through sexual activity with someone who already has it, either through contact of infected genitals or infected secretions. Unfortunately, symptoms can take up to 12 days to appear. This means genital herpes is spread very easily before symptoms occur.

Symptoms of genital herpes include:

  • Itching or tingling in the genital area
  • Small, painful blisters that pop and turn into sores
  • Fever, headache, or flu-like symptoms with the first infection

If you suspect you have genital herpes, don’t wait to get tested! While there is no cure for herpes, medication can be prescribed to speed healing and extra measures can be taken during intercourse to prevent the spread of disease.

Private Testing Center is here to help! 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.

Escambia County Experiencing Lower STD Rates

Chlamydia
Syphilis
Gonorrhea

In case you thought STD rates were only going up, here’s some positive news from Escambia County, Florida: STD rates have been declining.

Chlamydia rates have dropped by 2.3%, gonorrhea by 15.9%, and syphilis by 6.4% in 2018 compared to 2017. This is the first decline in five years for the county. “It’s a little too soon to call it a trend just yet, but we’re heading in the right direction,” said Patty Dwiggins, the department’s Area 1 STD program director.

So what’s their secret?

Dwiggins attributes their success to the Area 1 STD program, which offers testing, treatment, and prevention services, as well as education and disease surveillance for Escambia and surrounding counties. They often meet with individuals in their homes about their positive STD status and provide education on living with the disease and are vigilant about contacting previous partners. Dwiggins says that the education to young people about STDs has been crucial in turning the tide of climbing rates.

While many states and counties might do well to follow Dwiggins’ model, such education is only possible if an individual is tested. Getting tested for STDs is essential in order to receive treatment and stop the spread of disease.

Private Testing Center is here to help! 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.

What should I do if I suspect I have an STD?

Chlamydia
Syphilis
Gonorrhea

With constantly skyrocketing STD rates—nearly 2.3 million cases reported in 2017—the likelihood of contracting an STD is increasing as well. This is especially seen in the adolescent and young adult age group.

The CDC estimates that youth aged 15-24 make up only a quarter of the sexually active population, but they account for half of the new sexually transmitted diseases each year! For many in this age group, they are still reliant upon parental consent, insurance, finances, or even still see their pediatrician.

So what do you do if you start having signs of an STD? The unexplainable bumps, swelling, discharge, itching, or more can immediately raise concerns. Or maybe you had a one night stand and don’t have any symptoms yet but want to be safe.

Here are some key action points if you suspect you have an STD:

  • Reach out to family or friends who you can confide in. STD’s are becoming less stigmatized and need to be talked about for early detection to reduce the spread of disease.
  • Contact any partner that you have been sexually active with. These individuals need to be tested as well to contain the spread of disease.
  • Don’t ignore your symptoms! Your body can’t fight an STD on its own and symptoms will continue to get worse and further damage your body.

Most importantly, contact us at Private Testing Center! We offer affordable and convenient testing with same day appointments. 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.

Call us at 888.249.6716 or Schedule an Appointment today.

The Scary STD Stats from Florida

Chlamydia
Syphilis
Gonorrhea

The Florida’s Department of Health, Division of Disease Control and Health Protection has released some alarming statistics from 2017:

HIV, STDs, TB, and viral hepatitis, continue to be the leading causes of morbidity and death in Florida. This is especially the case among at-risk populations.

In Florida alone, over 100,000 cases of chlamydia were reported, as well as 31,710 cases of gonorrhea and 5,423 cases of syphilis. Since 2013, cases of chlamydia have increased 22%, gonorrhea by 51%, and syphilis by a startling 77%!

While anyone who is sexually active is potentially at risk for contracting an STD, certain groups are at greater risk. These include those aged 15-24, gay and bisexual men, and those with multiple partners.

Left untreated, these STDs increase the chances of:

  • contracting or spreading HIV up to three-fold
  • long-term pelvic and abdominal pain
  • infertility, miscarriage, and pregnancy complications
  • cervical and other cancers
  • and more

While these statistics are especially concerning for residents of Florida, STD rates continue to climb year by year across the country and around the world.

Here are several ways to help contain the spread of disease:

  • Talk honestly with your partners about STDs—theirs and yours! Additionally, talk frequently with your healthcare practitioner about STD testing and symptoms.
  • Get tested regularly. Don’t let the drop-down symptom chart on Google be your doctor! Getting tested is the only way to definitively know if you have an STD. Many STDs don’t have symptoms, so you could unknowingly be spreading your disease to others.
  • Treat any STD effectively. Finish assigned medication to prohibit a re-growth of bacteria.

Private Testing Center offers affordable and convenient testing, in a constant effort to prevent the spread of Herpes, HIV and other STDs. 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.

Growing STD rates in Milwaukee

Chlamydia
Syphilis
Gonorrhea

New health statistics from the AIDS Resource Center Wisconsin show that about half of all sexually active people in Milwaukee will get an STD by age 25. In 2017, more than 6,900 people tested positive for chlamydia. Additionally, 2,500 gonorrhea cases and 87 syphilis cases were reported.

These statistics are consistent with CDC estimates: although those in the 15-24 age groups make up only a quarter of the sexually active population, they are responsible for over half of all new STD cases.

The good news is Milwaukee is taking intentional action to combat the spread of disease. At their local community health center, professionals offer free HIV testing, condoms, and education on prevention. They continue to encourage communication and to reduce the stigma surrounding STDs.

Many cities would benefit from such community efforts. These are needed to reduce the spread of disease. Unfortunately, such community health centers and local support aren’t available in every city. But this doesn’t mean testing is any less important. In fact, it increases the individual’s responsibility; everyone has a responsibility to stay up-to-date on testing for STDs.

That’s why for the rest of the country, there’s Private Testing Center!

Private Testing Center offers affordable and convenient testing in a constant effort to prevent the spread of Herpes, HIV and other STDs. We offer short notice, same day appointments. We also have over 1500 locations nationwide, so your closest location is only a short drive away! Finally, we understand your privacy is of the utmost importance and we assure confidentiality for every one of our customers.

Call us at 888.249.6716 or Schedule an Appointment today.

Are STDs Affecting Female Reproductive Futures?

Chlamydia
Syphilis
Gonorrhea

The CDC estimates that those in the 15-24 age groups only make up a quarter of the sexually active population but account for over half of new STDs each year.

Additionally, those in these age groups are at increased risk for infection, particularly with chlamydia.

Toni Darville, MD, professor of pediatrics, microbiology, and immunology at the University of North Carolina Children’s Hospital, states this is because chlamydia is asymptomatic in most patients. Patients don’t seek medical attention, and chlamydia continues to be highly prevalent.

For adolescent girls, these undetected and untreated diseases result in reproductive consequences in later years. In the study Emerging Infectious Diseases, researchers concluded that “long-term clinical sequelae of STDs include pelvic inflammatory disease, infertility, tubal or ectopic pregnancy, cervical cancer, and perinatal or congenital infections in infants born to infected mothers.”

Darville continues, “Adolescents may not necessarily be thinking about having children, and these infections can cause damage so that when they go on to want children later in life, they may not be able to.”

Further vigilance is needed to reduce the spread of disease in this adolescent age group. Education, open communication between partners and family members, and regular STD screenings are excellent first steps to slowing the spread of STDs.

Private Testing Center offers affordable and convenient testing, in a constant effort to prevent the spread of Herpes, HIV and other STDs. 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.

Call us at 888.249.6716 or Schedule an Appointment today.

4 Emerging STIs that you don’t want to Ignore

Chlamydia
Syphilis
Gonorrhea

Scientists have known for a while now that viruses don’t stay the same. They mutate, charge forms, and become resistant to typical treatments over time. We’ve seen this most specifically with the two cases of antibiotic-resistant gonorrhea in the UK.

So it should come as no surprise that there are always new emerging STDs and STIs. Here are 4 new ones you don’t want to ignore!

1.     Neisseria meningitidis

While N. Meningitis usually causes urogenital infections, it can lead to the potentially deadly meningitis infection of the brain and spinal cord. About 5-10% of adults carry this infection in the back of the nose and throat, which is easily passed through oral sex or other close contact.

2.     Mycoplasma genitalium

Although it is one of the smallest bacteria known, M. genitalium can cause major health issues. This is because it is often symptom-free, allowing more time for the infection to grow inside your body. Or when symptoms are present, can mimic gonorrhea and chlamydia and be treated incorrectly. The persistent irritation of the cervix and urethra can lead to infertility, miscarriage, premature birth and stillbirth. About 1-2% of adults and adolescents carry this STI, but it is becoming increasingly resistant to antibiotics.

3.     Shigella flexneri

This bacterium causes severe stomach cramps followed by explosive blood and mucus-filled diarrhea. It is passed through direct or indirect contact of feces, which puts gay and bisexual men at the greatest risk for this infection.

4.     Lymphogranuloma venereum (LGV)

LGV first presents with a genital blister, pimple, or ulcer, but rapidly moves through the lymphatic system to the bowels. There, is causes severe bowel disease and abnormalities like fistulas and strictures. It is most common among gay and bisexual men, but is becoming increasingly common in Europe and North America.

The best way to protect yourself and cut down on the spread of infection is to get tested!

At Private Testing Center, we make it easy and affordable to get tested. 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.

Call us at 888.249.6716 or Schedule an Appointment today.

This Unlikely Age Group has a Startling Rise in STI Rates

Chlamydia
Syphilis
Gonorrhea

Sex, STIs, and STDs are often classified as a “young person” or “middle-age” problem. For the most part, this is true. The CDC estimates that 2.3 million Americans were diagnosed with STDs in 2018, with about a million others in the initial stages of an STD. Most of these cases were found in young-to-middle age brackets.

But new numbers show a startling increase in STIs contracted among the senior population (those 60 years and older). In fact, from 2014 to 2017, the rates rose 20%!

Scientists have several reasons for why this could be the case. For starters, many young people shoulder the burden of getting tested for an STI; if they suspect they have an STI, they get tested. Even though testing is encouraged, most people are embarrassed. This already-existing stigma against STIs in young people could deter seniors from getting tested, even when they think they have an STI. During routine check-ups, many doctors don’t think to check for STIs the way they do for younger adults.

Seniors are most likely to contract herpes, gonorrhea, syphilis, chlamydia, and hepatitis B. There’s no shame in getting tested, and can only be to your benefit!

Finally, the same rules that apply to younger people apply to seniors: use condoms consistently and correctly, especially with new or casual partners. Condoms don’t just work for birth control; they protect the spread of STIs, too!

At Private Testing Center, we make it easy and affordable to get tested. 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.

Call us at 888.249.6716 or Schedule an Appointment today.

Super-Gonorrhea: What is It? And how do I protect myself?

Gonorrhea

Startling headlines of “super-gonorrhea” in the UK may have caught your attention. But what is it and are you at risk?

Super-gonorrhea is the antibiotic-resistant strand of gonorrhea doctors have feared for years would happen. Two women in the UK contracted it last year, one woman while in Europe, but the other contracted it from a partner in the UK. The Public Health England is working to track down other partners to stop the spread of infection.

Although these women have been successfully treated, experts now warn that these new cases indicate an outbreak of super-gonorrhea in the UK is possible, especially among college-aged students. This is because gonorrhea is becoming increasingly resistant to antibiotics—and at an alarming rate.

The antibiotic ciprofloxacin is now ineffective in 36.4% of cases of gonorrhea; up from 33% the year before. The antibiotic azithromycin was useless in over double the cases the year before. As these resistance numbers keep rising, doctors are left with fewer options to treat gonorrhea.

How can you know if you are at risk, and how can you protect yourself?

Having unprotected sex is the biggest risk factor. Doctor Nick Phin, Deputy Director of the National Infection Service at Public Health England strongly suggests using condoms consistently and correctly with any new or casual partner. Further, anyone should get tested immediately if they think they are at risk for contracting an STI.

This is where we are ready to help!

At Private Testing Center, we make it easy and affordable to get tested. 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.

Call us at 888.249.6716 or Schedule an Appointment today.

New Year’s Resolution: Get Tested!

Chlamydia
Syphilis
Gonorrhea

It’s only a few weeks into the New Year, but many of us are slowly posting fewer photos of our nutritional lunches, yoga mats, and workout selfies. Keeping up with nutrition and fitness can be challenging. Motivation can come in waves. Netflix and chill sounds far better on cold winter days.

Improving your health through diet and exercise are excellent and needed, but what about your sexual health?

Sexual health is often overlooked or pushed to the back burner. But sexual health is just as important as those diet and exercise plans! While it’s a simple checkbox task, getting tested for STIs gives you all the information you need to keep yourself and your loved ones healthy.

How often should you test?

For women, the CDC recommends that women under 25 and women over 25 with new or multiple sex partners get tested for chlamydia and gonorrhea once a year. This age divider is because half of new STI cases happen in those under 25, but only 12% of this age group gets tested.

For Gay, Bisexual, and Pansexual men, the CDC recommends getting tested for syphilis, chlamydia, gonorrhea, and HIV at least once a year, more frequently (every 3-6 months) if with multiple or anonymous partners.

For straight men, the CDC actually doesn’t have a recommendation for regular testing. This is surprising but not an oversight, as no evidence that regular screening of straight men reduces STI rates. But screening never hurts and can only help, so the CDC recommendation for getting tested once a year still applies to straight men.

STI testing is an easy—but hugely important—way to improve your health this year, and Private Testing Center is here to help! We offer affordable and convenient testing. 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 behind! Call us at 888.249.6716 or Schedule an Appointment today.

Young People still Hook up after Learning about Partner’s STD

Chlamydia
Syphilis
Gonorrhea

Alarming results from a new study conducted by VICE and Durex provides a clue to the global epidemic of ever-increasing STD rates. The study discovered that 73% of individuals decide to go through with their hook up even after being told their partner has an STD.

Additionally, the study found that 30% of the participants had never been tested for STDs, and 61% hadn’t been tested before their last hook up.

Even though young people are highly mindful of STDs, Gail Bolan, the director of the CDC’s Division of STD Prevention, notes that young people are participating in riskier sexual behaviors. More people are engaging in condom-less sex, which significantly increases the chance of contracting an STD. In fact, the study found that 83% of those who use condoms report never having an STD.

Sex after opioid use is also skyrocketing in frequency. This dramatically increases risky sexual behaviors, which can lead to the further spread of STDs.

It’s no wonder that STD rates are on the rise with nearly three-fourths of individuals knowingly continuing in a hook up with someone who has an STD, and many participating in risky sexual behaviors with infrequent (or lack of) testing afterwards.

While it’s important to practice safe sex, hook ups can happen at any time. That’s why it’s important to prioritize your sexual health and tested for STDs after hook ups.

At Private Testing Center, we make it easy and affordable to get tested. 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.

Call us at 888.249.6716 or Schedule an Appointment today.

New Drug gives Hope to those with Antibiotic-Resistant Gonorrhea

Gonorrhea

Very soon, it may be impossible to treat gonorrhea. According to the World Health Organization, two-thirds of the world’s countries have reported cases of antibiotic-resistant gonorrhea.

If cases like these continue to progress, doctors would be left with an incurable disease. While not life-threatening, gonorrhea leads to severe health complications like infertility in men and women, joint and organ damage, and increased risk for contracting HIV/AIDS.

Thankfully, a new drug called zoliflodacin is giving hope to individuals with antibiotic-resistant gonorrhea. Although it is still in trial phase, studies show that the new drug is 96% effective at treating antibiotic-resistant strains of gonorrhea.

While hope is on the horizon, the earliest the drug can become available to the public is 2023. This means we have to be responsible with our sexual health and not rely on new medicine to bail us out. So what can we do in the meantime?

Ideally, practice safe sex by using condoms and being in a mutually monogamous relationship. But when Plan A doesn’t pan out as intended, getting tested should be at the top of your priority list.

Gonorrhea often has no signs or symptoms. Certain symptoms—like painful urination—can be brushed aside as a simple UTI. But left untreated, gonorrhea can severely damage other organs and joints and can easily infect new partners. It’s important to test early and frequently to prevent the spread of infection!

At Private Testing Center, we make it easy and affordable to get tested. 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.

Call us at 888.249.6716 or Schedule an Appointment today.

Federal Funding for STD Prevention is Declining

Chlamydia
Syphilis
Gonorrhea

You’ve probably seen it in the headlines or scrolling through your Facebook feed by now: STD and STI rates are on the rise. In certain parts of the country, like the Ohio Valley, rates of chlamydia have risen 200% and gonorrhea 1000% from 2011 to 2017. In Arizona, STDs are climbing at such an alarming rate that the Department of Health has issued a syphilis outbreak warning.

While startling headlines catch the attention and stir anxiety of many, what is often not included in these articles are the puzzling reports that funding for prevention and education of STDs are consistently cut.

While STD rates reached an all-time high in 2017, federal funding has been slowly dwindling away since 2003, especially in regions that need it the most.

Matt Prior, the spokesperson for the National Coalition of STD Directors, reports that STDs have become a public health epidemic, and that cutting federal funding further perpetuates the problem of high STD rates. Without proper education and prevention strategies, the STD epidemic will only continue… or get worse.

One way to help stop the growing STD problem is to get tested! Knowing and treating an infection stops it from spreading, which can significantly reduce the cases of new STD cases each year. It’s almost a no-brainer. (And don’t rely on symptoms to give you the push to get tested. Many STDs don’t have symptoms or masquerade as something else!)

At Private Testing Center, we make it easy and affordable to get tested. 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.

Call us at 888.249.6716 or Schedule an Appointment today.

Arizona DOH Declares Syphilis Outbreak Warning

Syphilis Sores
Syphilis Sores
Syphilis

You see a lot of familiar outbreaks, warnings, and headlines nowadays. Some of them are so familiar—even the scary and devastating ones—that we scroll past them on our Facebook feeds without giving them a second glance.

But this is not your typical headline: the Arizona Department of Health issued a syphilis outbreak warning in early December. And it’s not just syphilis–chlamydia and gonorrhea infections have also reached startling numbers.

You’ve probably heard that STD rates are at an all-time high, with 2.3 million new cases in 2017. While this is a startling number, it’s almost becoming old news. But an outbreak warning should wake us up! It’s time to take proactive steps to protect yourself and your partner.

Many people rely on the symptoms of and STD as a reason to get tested. But new studies are showing that symptoms aren’t a reliable reason to get tested. Many can lay dormant or be attributed to another factor.

Also, many people don’t think an STD could happen to them. But everyone is at risk for an STD, especially when beginning a new intimate relationship. While it’s good to discuss sexual health history with your partner, it often isn’t enough. The best way to stop the spread of STDs (and outbreak warnings!) is to get tested regularly.

The great news is at Private Testing Center, we make it easy and affordable to get tested. 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.

Call us at 888.249.6716 or Schedule an Appointment today.

Why Take-at-Home STD tests are Risky

Chlamydia
Syphilis
Gonorrhea

If you haven’t seen the startling figures, nearly 2.3 million cases of STDs were diagnosed in the U.S. in 2017 according to new data from the CDC. These numbers surpass the previous record set in 2016 by more than 200,000 cases, making 2017 the fourth year in a row of rising STD rates. Chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis were the top-ranking infections.

STIs and STDs, left untreated, puts individuals at risk for reproductive complications like ectopic pregnancies, stillbirths, and infertility. Other health concerns arise, including an increased risk of HIV, and even death.

Plenty of reasons to get tested, right?

But with hectic schedules—not to mention the discomfort of getting poked and examined—it’s easy to let months go by without a sexual health update. For that reason, many people are turning to take-at-home STI tests. The convenience and privacy of these tests are appealing, but what are the drawbacks?

1. Take-at-Home tests are done by you

Let’s be honest, we’re not all the most competent at reading instructions. Sometimes it’s hard to follow a box of brownie instructions correctly. Many tests claim ease of use, but when the test isn’t completed by a trained professional, so there’s a greater risk for error.

Take-at-home tests are taken in your home instead of a sterile environment. Contamination of other chemicals and germs is always a factor. Tests that require a blood draw at your doctor’s office rely on a few drops of blood from a finger prick–a significantly smaller amount of data available to the lab technician to confirm results. In short, take-at-home tests are not guaranteed accurate. They also take about three weeks to get results.

2. There is no follow-up treatment

So what happens if you test positive for an STI? You still have to go to the doctor for examination and treatment. You may even need to take another STI test to confirm the results of the take-at-home test. While not worth throwing out the window, take-at-home tests only get the ball rolling towards more tests and treatment. It may end up costing you more money in the long run.

3. Take-at-Home tests cost about the same

If take-at-home tests were significantly cheaper than a professionally-done test, it might be worth the risk. But take-at-home tests are competitive with the tests here at Private Testing Center, ranging from $99-$300. That’s a lot of money to risk! But at Private Testing Center, our professionals are trained, our lab times are flexible with minimal wait times, and accurate results come in one to three days. It’s a choice you can feel confident about!

Private Testing Center offers affordable and convenient testing, in a constant effort to prevent the spread of Herpes, HIV and other STDs. 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.

Call us at 888.249.6716 or Schedule an Appointment today.

Syphilis is on the Rise in Newborns

Syphilis Sores
Syphilis Sores
Syphilis

STDs affect more than the infected person. They can be transmitted to partners—even several partners before being identified—and sadly, a mother can pass an STD onto her baby. Syphilis has been specifically documented as a common STD passed from mother to baby.

Congenital syphilis had once been nearly eradicated, but the CDC has noted an increase of babies born with syphilis passed to them by their mother. Nearly 1,000 cases were reported in 2017.

Contracted by the baby during pregnancy or during birth, congenital syphilis has tremendous consequences. As many as 40% of babies with untreated syphilis may be stillborn or die from the infection. Those who survive can “suffer severe, life-long health consequences, including deformed bones, blindness, or deafness.”

Symptoms of syphilis often go unnoticed or can be easily attributed to other causes because of their generic nature. Symptoms appear between 10-90 days after infection and can lie latent for years with no detectable symptoms.

Watch carefully for these symptoms of syphilis:

  • Small, firm sores on the anus, mouth, lips, fingers or buttocks
  • Swollen lymph nodes specifically in the neck, armpits, or groin
  • Skin rashes in palms of the hands or soles of the feet
  • Unexplained headache, fatigue, muscle aches, or sore throat

While it’s important to watch for symptoms, its best practice to get tested often. Specifically with syphilis, symptoms may not show up until it’s too late. Frequent testing keeps everyone safe: you, your partner, and your child.

Private Testing Center offers affordable and convenient testing, in a constant effort to prevent the spread of Herpes, HIV and other STDs. 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.

Call us at 888.249.6716 or Schedule an Appointment today.

Silent STIs

Chlamydia
Syphilis
Gonorrhea

Many people rely on symptoms as a first sign that they should get tested for an STI. But this practice is not fool-proof and can perpetuate the spread of infection. In fact, many common STIs don’t manifest any symptoms for weeks or months. Some symptoms take years to show up, and some never have symptoms.

Further, men typically have less severe symptoms than women, or can attribute their symptoms to another factor like eating too much sushi a few nights ago.

STIs with delayed symptoms

Many of the top-spreading STIs are rampant because they easily go unnoticed. Men in particular are at risk for carrying these STIs unknowingly:

  • Chlamydia: often referred to as the “silent” infection, the majority of men do not experience any symptoms from chlamydia. If they do, men develop symptoms several weeks after infection.
  • Herpes: many men with herpes will not develop symptoms, although symptoms may appear 2-12 days after infection. However, the small blisters can be easily attributed to razor burn, bug bites, or ingrown hairs.
  • Gonorrhea: while gonorrhea in the urethra does cause itching and burning, symptoms can take up to two weeks to appear.
  • Syphilis: syphilis is the mocking bird of STIs, as its symptoms mimic many diseases and can take three months to appear. Syphilis can also lay dormant with no symptoms for years.
  • Human Papillomavirus (HPV): men often show no symptoms from HPV, but some many notice symptoms months or years after infection.
  • Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV): HIV symptoms appear 2-6 weeks after infection, but the symptoms mimic the flu, which can further delay testing.
  • Hepatitis B (HBV): most men won’t experience symptoms, but flu-like symptoms occur after three months.

Take cautious action

If you’re a man, get tested often, especially when beginning a new sexual relationship. It’s easy to ignore or attribute symptoms to another factor, but this puts you and your partner at risk for further complications.

If you’re a woman, get tested often! Even if you have “the talk” about STIs with your partner, they may be unaware they are infected and in need of treatment—and that you might be, too.

Private Testing Center offers affordable and convenient testing, in a constant effort to prevent the spread of Herpes, HIV and other STDs. 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.

Call us at 888.249.6716 or Schedule an Appointment today.

A New Reason to get tested for STDs

Chlamydia
Syphilis
Gonorrhea

When you go to the doctor, you expect and trust them to know what’s best for you and what tests, if any, need to be run. But new rising evidence shows that doctors aren’t doing enough screenings for STDs.

“We know that doctors are not doing enough screening for STDs,” said David Harvey, executive director at the National Coalition of STD Directors. While funding cutbacks and patient ignorance of risks and symptoms of STDs contributes to the rising rates, Harvey lists the lack of screening as the leading reason STD rates are exploding.

Why aren’t doctors screening for STDs? Primarily, many doctors feel uncomfortable addressing sexual health with their patients, especially if the patient is an adolescent. Studies show that one-third of adolescents don’t discuss sexual health with their doctor at their annual visit. Oftentimes, the doctor and the patient are waiting for the other person to bring up sexual health. If it’s not brought up, patients assume they’re not at risk, or that sexual health isn’t an important issue.

More than simply avoiding an awkward conversation, doctors may have more pressing health concerns to discuss with the patient in the short appointment time, pushing STI questions to the back burner. Other reasons doctors forgo testing include they may not get reimbursed for tests and services, or may not know the latest protocol for treatment.

The bottom line, just because your doctor doesn’t bring up sexual health and STI testing doesn’t mean it isn’t important. Not all STIs have symptoms, but if left untreated, they can result in serious health complications or death.

So what can you do?

Get tested, and get tested often. Take your health into your own hands!

The CDC recommends getting tested once a year or when starting a new sexual relationship. Ask your doctor to test for STIs at every annual visit, but it’s always beneficial to test more frequently.

Private Testing Center offers affordable and convenient testing, in a constant effort to prevent the spread of Herpes, HIV and other STDs. 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.

‘Flesh-eating’ STD reported in UK for first time

Chlamydia
Syphilis
Gonorrhea

Get ready to get the shivers from this news story! A rare type of STD has been reported in England back in April 2018. The disease is called donovanosis or granuloma inguinale and it causes flesh-eating ulcers to form on the infected person’s genitalia. Though it’s painless, the lesions rapidly spread and get worse, causing heavy bleeding and, if left untreated, cause the flesh around the genitals to literally rot away. It also comes with a hugely increased risk of HIV, which finds its most effective entry point through the bloodstream.

Thankfully, the disease is treatable with antibiotics, though you have to take them for at least 3 weeks, and patients risk relapsing 6-8 months after the intial treatment. Donovanosis is endemic to India, Papua New Guinea, the Caribbean, centeral Australia, and southern Africa. Experts say the infected woman likely had unprotected sex in one of these countries and then traveled back to England.

Like most STDs, donovanosis is transmitted through vaginal, anal, or oral sexual intercourse. The best way to protect yourself is not to have sex with someone who has the lesions visible on their genitals — and beyond that, use a condom. Also, since symptoms can take between a month to a year to appear after infection, you should get tested regularly. Private Testing Center recommends getting tested after every new sexual partner you have, or once a year.

Want to be completely sure that you’re both STD free? Get Tested Today.

Private Testing Center offers affordable and convenient testing, in a constant effort to prevent the spread of Gonorrhea, HIV and other STDs.

Our primary goal is to to educate people about the risks associated with unprotected sexual activity and also the importance routine screenings play in prevention and treatment of Gonorrhea, HIV and STDs.

All of our testing is performed through the blood and urine. No pelvic exams, painful swabs or embarrassing visual exams are necessary, as blood and urine testing is the most accurate.

We understand your privacy is of the utmost importance and we assure confidentiality for every one of our customers.

People are having less Sex. So why are STDs Skyrocketing?

2017 was yet another sobering year in the rise of STDs in the United States and across the world. The CDC found that the three major STDs — gonorrhea, syphilis and chlamydia — had reached an all-time high for the 4th straight year. And no end is in sight.

Experts are trying to grapple with what’s causing these alarming statistics, and how to stop them. One piece of data that’s got everyone scratching their heads — It seems reasonable that with the sky-high levels of STDs, Americans should be having more sex than ever before. But that’s not what is happening. A flurry of recent research shows that adults are having LESS sex than they have in decades. What??

The number of Americans who report not having sex at all in the past year rose from 18% twenty years ago, to 22% today. The number of Americans between 18-30 years old who report having sex twice a month or more has dropped from 75% to 66%. And overall, adults look to be having sex 9 times a year fewer on average than they did in the late 1990s. So the big question, since there’s less sex across our nation, why are such a massive amount of people getting STDs?

Gail Bolan, the director of the CDC’s Division of STD Prevention, thinks that’s it’s not so much the number of times that people are having sex, it’s that they are having much riskier sex. A definitive rise in condom-less sex, multiplied by opioid and addition leading to high-risk sexual behaviors.

“Among gay and bisexual men as well as heterosexual couples, there are some behavioral surveys that are suggesting that condom use is on the decline,” she warns. “Additionally, injecting drugs is also associated with higher rates of forced sex, sex in exchange for money or drugs, and sex with other drug users.”

It’s also been shown that intoxication from alcohol or drugs reduce the rate of condom use, because people just forget or deem it too troublesome to wear them. “When people have two drinks, or use opioids, or do meth, that all rational decision-making goes out the door. So drugs are a huge factor in perpetuating the STD rates that we continue to see in our country,” said Perry Halkitis, Dean of Rutgers University School of Public Health.

Another reason that experts fear STD rates are climbing is because funding cuts for public-health centers and STD prevention campaigns have been slashed. Many people believe that STDs are eradicated or aren’t that big a deal — if you catch one just take a pill and you’re cured right? But in actuality STDs have never been a bigger challenge. There are some types (like HIV and Herpes) that can’t be cured, other types (like Syphilis and Hepatitis) you don’t know you are infected until they have caused massive complications to your body. And there are still others (like gonorrhea) who are rapidly developing immunity to all the available treatments that we have and may someday be incurable.

“STIs and STDs aren’t as much of a concern now as they might have been a long time ago, so people might just be having more unprotected sex because they think they’re safer,” said New York City resident, Ajayi Robinson.

All these are massive problems that the public at large just isn’t aware of, partly because there is no funding for information campaigns designed to educate the public.

So what can you do? The CDC recommends adults get tested for STDs once a year or if they start a new sexual relationship. And when you are sexually intimate, use a condom every time.

Private Testing Center offers affordable and convenient testing, in a constant effort to prevent the spread of Herpes, HIV and other STDs. 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. Call 888.248.9002 or Schedule Your Test today.

STDs and Porn: A Nefarious Link?

It’s no secret that porn has become mainstream entertainment. The statistics are almost unbelievable. Porn sites receive more traffic than Netflix, Amazon, and Twitter put together. A full 30% of all internet bandwidth is porn. And 64% of both men and women, ages 13-24, actively seek out pornography weekly or more often.

So is this sex-saturated, $97 billion a year industry contributing to the meteoric rise in STDs worldwide? Experts say it’s likely.

A recent UK survey found that 44% of males ages 11-16 who regularly consumed pornography, reported that porn gave them ideas about the types of sex they wanted to try.

There’s porn out there of all types, of all fetishes, and a lot of it is just as unrealistic as your average Hollywood blockbuster. But the average age that a child first sees porn is 11. To a young person without much (or any) sexual experience, how are they supposed to gauge what is a faked performance and what is real? They take the images they’ve seen in porn with them into their first sexual experiences.

For example, most porn does not show condom use, and this may contribute to why only 24% of women report using a condom during their last hookup, and only 18% of women said they insisted on using one every single time. Reminder: Condoms are the only way to stop STDs if you have sex — not to mention unplanned pregnancies.

Another major aspect is the issue of consent. Mainstream porn usually jumps right into action within the first couple of minutes, with little-to-no foreplay nor conversations about consent. And there are vast swaths of porn that specialize in sexual violence or rape — glorifying in pressuring or simply overruling the woman’s consent, even if she is only acting/pretending to resist.

Porn pushes and amplifies the message that guys should ask for sex pretty early in a relationship, much earlier than they might ordinarily — and that women should always say yes, regardless of how uncomfortable they might feel.

Measuring the statistical influence porn can cause on the world’s sexual health is extremely difficult. Porn is still a taboo subject in most countries, so even getting people to anonymously self-report their own habits is difficult. But you don’t have to have hard numbers to see there is a connection. What we see in our screens influences the way we have sex, and most of what we’re seeing in mainstream porn is unsafe sex.

Private Testing Center strives to offer affordable and convenient testing to the public in a constant effort to prevent the spread of HIV and STDs. Our goal is to educate people about the risks associated with unprotected sexual activity and also the importance routine screenings play in prevention and treatment of HIV and STDs. All of our testing is performed through the blood and urine. No pelvic exams, painful swabs or embarrassing visual exams are necessary, as blood and urine testing is the most accurate.

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

Drug Resistant Gonorrhea: A Global Challenge

Gonorrhea

Experts around the world are bracing for more super-resistant gonorrhea to hit the worldwide populace. In March 2018, a disturbing report documented yet another case of gonorrhea that was resistant to the antibiotics azithromycin and ceftriaxone — the only remaining recommended treatment for gonorrhea.

The infection was reported in the UK and was immediately pounced upon by tabloids as “Super Gonorrhea”.

Ultimately, the infected man was cured, but only have 3 days of IV treatment with ertapenem, a “crisis” antibiotic only used for severe, life-threatening infections. If this emergency, last-resort treatment becomes the only remaining way to cure some STDs, it would have a huge impact on healthcare.

Medical professionals are extremely concerned that it’s not a matter of “if” gonorrhea becomes resistant the last recommended antibiotic, but “when”. Gonorrhea has been treatable for about 80 years, but it’s proven extremely adept at developing a resistance to each new form of antibiotics we try. It’s run the gamut from sulfonamides, penicillin, tetracycline, spectinomycin, fluoroquinolones, macrolides, and finally cephalosporins. Unlike many other viruses, once Gonorrhea develops a resistance to a certain antibiotic, it doesn’t shed the “memory” of how to resist the previous strains. Instead it holds onto them, stockpiling an ever-growing databank of resistance “knowledge”. So we can’t just switch back to another drug we previously used, we have to develop of new ones.

Of course, scientists are hard at work trying to develop new antibiotics to combat Gonorrhea, and we have some optimism that they’ll eventually be successful. One of the new drugs, solithromycin, has completed phase 3 clinical trials, the last hurdle before it can be granted FDA approval. Two other new drugs, zoliflodacin and gepotidacin, also showed promising results in phase 2 trials. But because of the rigorous testing and certification required for human drugs, any new antibiotics are still a few years away, at best.

If super-resistant Gonorrhea becomes mainstream before we have developed another form of cure, then it could mark the end of the antibiotic era of medicine. And a disease that’s nothing more than a nuisance with proper antibiotics could soon become untreatable, causing significant health problems if not properly addressed in time.

The STD weakens your immune system, making you more vulnerable to other diseases like HIV. It can also cause a burning sensation when urinating, soreness, bleeding, painful bowel movements, painful or swollen testicles in men, and serious complications from infection in women.

So what can be done to prevent the spread of super-resistant STDs? Practice Safe Sex. Get tested often. Private Tested Center strives to offer affordable and convenient testing to the public in a constant effort to prevent the spread of HIV and STDs. Our goal is to educate people about the risks associated with unprotected sexual activity and also the importance routine screenings play in prevention and treatment of HIV and STDs. All of our testing is performed through the blood and urine. No pelvic exams, painful swabs or embarrassing visual exams are necessary, as blood and urine testing is the most accurate.

Call 888.248.9002 or Schedule Your Test today.

Can you get an STD if your partner is a Virgin?

Chlamydia
Syphilis
Gonorrhea

Here at Private Testing Center, we get lots of questions about STDs and Safe Sex, and since our primary goal is to educate, we’re always happy to answer!

One of the questions stems from abstinence: Can you get an STD if your partner is a virgin?

This is where the benefits of abstinence until you are completely ready for sex really pays off. If 2 people without any STDs have sex, there is 0% chance that they’ll get one. STDs are transferred from person to person, they don’t start from nothing. If you are with that person in a long-term monogamous relationship (such as marriage) then you don’t need to worry about catching an STD.

But just because your partner says they are a virgin, that doesn’t always mean they aren’t infected with an STD. If they have ever had unprotected oral sex, there’s a chance you could be at risk. There’s also an unlikely — but possible — chance that your partner could have HIV or an STD from drugs and dirty needles, or the mother having passed it to them during childbirth.

Want to be completely sure that you’re both STD free? Get Tested Today.

Private Testing Center offers affordable and convenient testing, in a constant effort to prevent the spread of Gonorrhea, HIV and other STDs.

Our primary goal is to to educate people about the risks associated with unprotected sexual activity and also the importance routine screenings play in prevention and treatment of Gonorrhea, HIV and STDs.

All of our testing is performed through the blood and urine. No pelvic exams, painful swabs or embarrassing visual exams are necessary, as blood and urine testing is the most accurate.

We understand your privacy is of the utmost importance and we assure confidentiality for every one of our customers.

Today’s High Schoolers are having Less Sex, but Why?

Chlamydia
Syphilis
Gonorrhea

According to one study, an estimated 90% of U.S. parents prefer that abstinence be the focus of any sex education for their children. Many experts think that abstinence-focused education hurts more than it helps, but for those parents, wishes might be getting granted: A National Youth Risk Behavior Survey showed a drop in high school students who said they’d ever had sex, from 48% to 39%. It also showed a decline in students who said they’d had 4 or more sexual partners, from 15% down to 10%.

The CDC was quick to praise the results, saying they painted a “promising picture about the drug and sexual behaviors” of high school students. But is there an underlying cause to why high schoolers aren’t having as much sex? The short answer is: It’s hard to say. But one thing is clear, says Jesseca Boyer, senior policy manager at the Guttmacher Institute: Abstinence programs aren’t responsible for the drop. “Decades of research shows this approach has no impact on young people delaying sex,” she said.

Dr. Holly Richmond, a sex therapist, argues teenagers are probably still having sex — just not face to face. “Teens are having more online sex, like sexting and Skype sex, which is still having sex, it’s just facilitated through a different lens than teen sex was 10 or 20 years ago,” she said.

Other experts say that it’s more an illusion of the data, caused by young people choosing to have sex later in life and thus outside of the study’s range. A survey over the last 40 years found that today’s teenagers have pushed most “adult” behaviors later in their lives, including drinking, holding down a job, and having sex. The study declares that today’s 18 year old teens are leading roughly the same lives that their parents were at only 15.

One thing is for sure — regardless of when these teens decide to have sex, we know they eventually will. And when they do, it’s of the utmost importance that they do it safely and happily.

That’s where Private Testing Center comes in. Private Testing Center offers affordable and convenient testing, in a constant effort to prevent the spread of Herpes, HIV and other STDs. 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. Call 888.248.9002 or Schedule Your Test today.

Grindr and other Dating Apps are Testing ways to add STD Notifications

Tinder Use on Phone
Tinder Use on Phone
1.5 million people dated on Tinder last week
1.5 million people dated on Tinder last week

STD rates worldwide continue skyrocketing to historically high levels — and many fingers are pointing directly at modern dating apps like Tinder Grindr and OKCupid. For some experts, the correlation between easy, no-strings-attached hookups and rising STDs is so clear that they’ve coined the phrase “Tinder Effect”.

These apps that facilitate casual, anonymous sex aren’t exactly falling over themselves to notify their users about the increased risk of STDs using their platforms. But in a bit of encouraging good news, Grindr and other primarily gay dating apps (demographics where the STD epidemic hits hardest) are testing out ways for STD-positive people to notify their partners using the app.

A form of notification messages concerning STD status is currently in the design and piloting phases — though there is presently no timeline for release. Right now, the app makers seem to be deciding on two different options: A section in the app that links out to existing anonymous notification services… or an in-app messaging system specifically for STDs.

Linking to existing infrastructure is something that’s much easier to put in place, so it looks like that will be the first thing the apps will roll out. “The decision made was, let’s go forth with this system right now, where we have a link to external website that can do that,” said Dan Wohlfeiler, director of the health consortium Building Healthy Online Communities (BHOC). Since 2014, BHOC has brought hook-up app creators together with public health agencies and officials to promote HIV and STD prevention. BHOC participants include Grindr, Adam4Adam, Daddyhunt, and other apps, as well as the National Coalition of STD directors, the AIDS Foundation, and other organizations.

The way these systems would work is ingenius. As long as both users consent, the app would continue to maintain invisible contact with people through the app. People who might be too embarrassed to notify past users of an STD infection themselves, can instead trigger the app to send an anonymous request to all their past partners. “The app could send a notification to say: ‘It’s really important that you get tested for STDs, and here’s a link to a zip code based search engine to find the closest STD clinic near you'” said Dr. Heidi Bauer, the chief of STD control at the California Department of Health.

But this will be a challenging endeavour, especially to build as an industry standard between individual apps that work very differently. And the anonymous aspect of the notifications risks misuse and trolls. Dates or conversations gone wrong could lead to retaliatory false STD notifications. But BHOC will not be deterred by these obstacles and still works to develop a robust system to combat the spread of STDs within the gay community. “We’re trying to use some of the same technologies in communicating with people, and notifying folks with health alerts,” she said. “I think we can’t condemn technology by any stretch. We need to just understand it and better use it.”

Get Tested Regularly. Private Testing Center offers affordable and convenient testing, in a constant effort to prevent the spread of Herpes, HIV and other STDs.

Our primary goal is to to educate people about the risks associated with unprotected sexual activity and also the importance routine screenings play in prevention and treatment of Herpes, HIV and STDs.

All of our testing is performed through the blood and urine. No pelvic exams, painful swabs or embarrassing visual exams are necessary, as blood and urine testing is the most accurate.

Our counselors are the most knowledgeable, honest and ethical in the industry. Feel confident knowing that you can speak freely to our counselors about any situation or issue. You will never be judged by anyone at Private Testing Center. We will always make sure the right testing is being done at the right time. With Private Testing Center, you can feel confident knowing that your test results will not only be fast, but accurate as well.