It’s April, which means STD Awareness Month is upon us. There’s a lot of misinformation out there about STDs, which is why Dr. Gueye at Visionary Women’s Health in the Baltimore MD area, is committed to spreading the truth about sexually transmitted diseases and infections (also called STDs or STIs).
In this article, we set the record straight about STDS: what they are, how to prevent them, how STD testing works, and how STDs they are treated.
Who Gets STDs?
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that every year, 20 million new cases of STDs occur in the United States - the medical costs of which come with a price tag of $16 billion. In total, it is believed that a total of 110 million Americans have an STD. In other words, anyone who is sexually active can contract an STD - from teenagers to senior citizens.
Why isn’t STD testing a more common practice?
Since many Americans with STDs do not experience symptoms, a large percentage of STDs go unnoticed and untreated - which can have very detrimental health consequences.
For example, if gonorrhea or chlamydia has been left untreated in women, it can result in pelvic inflammatory disease, which can lead to infertility. Rather than run that type risk, any sexually active women in the Baltimore, MD area are strongly encouraged to visit Visionary Women’s Health for STD testing.
Many people assume their annual medical check-up will include STD testing, but this is not always the case. Many primary care doctors’ offices only provide STD testing to patients who request it.
Do I Need an STD Test?
It might seem easy to tell if you need an STD test or not. After all, if you had an STD, you would be able to tell, right? Unfortunately, it isn’t quite that simple. Symptoms of STDs are often mild enough for the affected individual to overlook entirely. Others may have contracted an STD despite experiencing no signs or symptoms whatsoever. Even if you seem to be in perfect health, the only way to know for sure if you have a sexually transmitted disease is through STD testing.
If you’ve had unprotected sex, have had a new or multiple sexual partner/partners, or have any other reason to suspect you may have contracted an STD, contact Visonary Women’s Health in the Baltimore MD area. We offer discreet and affordable STD testing for conditions such as HIV, HPV, syphilis, herpes, trichomoniasis, chlamydia, and more.
Is STD Testing Expensive?
At Visionary Women’s Health in the Baltimore MD area, we offer completely confidential STD testing that is covered by many insurance plans. Depending on your insurance coverage, your STD testing could cost you very little out of pocket – or even nothing at all.
Not only is STD testing inexpensive, so is most STD treatment. Conditions like chlamydia, gonorrhea, and many other common STDs don’t require expensive or complicated treatment plans – often all it takes to cure an STD is a simple regimen of antibiotics.
But remember, an STD will not go away on its own. And can cause or develop into serious health complications if not treated.
How are STD Tests Performed?
At Visionary Women’s Health in the Baltimore, MD area, we offer STD testing for a wide range of conditions. Our methods of STD testing include:
· Chlamydia: Swab of genital area or urine sample.
· Gonorrhea: Swab of genital area or urine sample
· HIV: Blood test or swab from inside of mouth
· Genital herpes with no symptoms: Blood test from arm or finger stick
· Genital herpes with symptoms: Swab of affected area; followed later with blood test if negative.
· Syphilis: Blood test, or sample taken from a sore.
· Trichomoniasis: Swab of infected area or sample of discharge.
· Genital Warts (HPV): Visual diagnosis
· HPV (cervical cancer): Pap test – if abnormal HPV DNA test and a biopsy may be done
Additionally, anyone visiting our Baltimore MD area practice for STD testing needs to let us know if they have engaged in anal or oral sex. While it is possible to contract STDS from this type of sexual activity, they may not be detected in the standard urine or vaginal samples taken for STD testing.
Confidential STD Testing – Baltimore, MD Area
While no one wants to think about the possibility that they may be harboring an STD, sexually transmitted disease testing is important to prevent long term health complications.
STD testing at our Baltimore, MD area office is fast, easy, painless and completely confidential. And virtually every transmissible sexual disease can now be effectively treated with antibiotics or antiviral medications – even HIV and HPV – especially if caught in the early stages.
The sooner an STD is caught, the better it can be treated and the lower the chance of long term health complications. Don’t take chances with your health – or your partner’s health! If you live in the greater Baltimore MD area schedule an appointment for STD testing at Visionary Women's Health today.