Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) are common yet ignored medical problems, but eventually you have to ask, where to get free std testing? Due to the associated taboo and embarrassment, there is not much awareness about the right precautions and treatments for the diseases.
Most people follow safe sex practices such as using condoms and intrauterine devices (IUDs) as well as practicing abstinence. Despite these practices, the World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that there are approximately a million new cases of STDs every day. STDs are harmful and concerning. However, when diagnosed on time, STDs can be treated easily.
It is essential to get tested for STDs regularly to prevent the unintentional spread of these diseases. With early diagnosis of STDs, you can get on-time treatment as well as protect your partner/s by informing them about the disease.
Wondering if you need to get tested for STDs? Well, if you are sexually active, the answer is, “Yes!” It is important for all sexually active people to get tested for STDs irrespective of their sexual history or orientation.
Read on to know more about STD testing.
Types of STD Tests
There are various types of STD tests available. Some of them include blood tests, urine tests and swab tests. Your doctor may choose one or more of these tests based on the disease to be diagnosed. All these STD tests can help identify various STDs such as syphilis, chlamydia, human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), gonorrhea, genital herpes, human papillomavirus virus (HPV) and hepatitis.
Frequency of STD Testing
The following factors determine how often you should get tested for STDs:
- Sexual orientation
- Sexual history
- Age and gender
- Relationship status (monogamous vs. multiple partners)
To understand when you need to get tested, it is recommended to follow the specific guidelines stated by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
After examining the above-mentioned factors, you should consider getting tested at suggested intervals. The different frequencies are classified into annual screening, interval testing and special circumstance testing.
Let’s understand each one of them.
Get Tested Every Year
As per the recommendations by CDC, all sexually active individuals must get tested for STDs, especially for chlamydia at least once a year.
An annual STD screening might be beneficial for you if:
- You have never undergone any STD test earlier
- You are from 13 years to 65 years old and are sexually active
- You follow safe sex practices
- You are in a monogamous relationship
Get Tested in Periodic Intervals
At times, only going through an annual screening is not enough. It is advisable to undergo interval testing to protect yourself as well as your partners from STDs. As per the CDC, you should undergo interval testing every three to six months if:
- You do not follow safe sex practices
- You are bisexual
- You are sexually involved with multiple partners
- You are a sexually active gay male
- You have sexual orientations with anonymous people
Get Tested When Necessary
In certain circumstances, you are required to take STD tests more often than annual or interval screenings. Make sure to get tested when needed.
Such special circumstances may include the following:
- Pregnancy — all pregnant women must get an STD panel during pregnancy
- Dating a new partner
- Experiencing symptoms similar to an STD including pain or discomfort during sex or urination, unusual discharge or bleeding, visible bumps or swelling around the sexual organs
Now that you know about the frequency of STD testing, it is important to note that these are just CDC recommendations and may not be completely accurate and applicable to every individual. To understand how often you must get tested, it is important to visit a healthcare provider in your area.
Apart from visiting a healthcare provider, it is necessary to take follow-up actions in accordance with the CDC guidelines. Here are some follow-up actions you must practice:
- Take prescribed medication as suggested by your healthcare practitioner
- Take repeat STD test appointments within three months of your first test to ensure the infection is healed
- Communicate with your sexual partners about the condition and test results
- Follow some doctor-recommended tips and remedies for preventing STDs in the future
Worried about the cost of STD testing? Fret not. You can get free STD testing in Santa Monica, Los Angeles and various other cities. Read further to know how to find the right healthcare provider for free testing and timely treatment.
STD Testing and Treatment
Talking about STDs can be embarrassing and uncomfortable. Even though it is not easy to discuss your concerns, you should visit a reliable healthcare provider to get STD testing done in Los Angeles or any other location of your choice. An early diagnosis and expert recommendations can assist you to undergo the prescribed treatment. You may seek STD testing and treatment for various common sexually transmitted infections (STIs) including chlamydia, HIV, genital herpes, syphilis, gonorrhea and HPV.
Generally, if the treatment procedure is started on time, bacterial STDs can be healed using antibiotics. On the other hand, viral STDs cannot be treated completely. However, you can manage the symptoms of viral STDs by taking prescribed medications regularly. You may also get vaccinated against certain STDs such as hepatitis B. Remember that the vaccine may not be effective if you take it after you are already infected with the disease. That is why acting early is the key.
Where to Get Free STD Testing?
Wondering where to get free STD testing and low-cost treatment in Los Angeles? Consider STD Free Los Angeles.
We, at STD Free Los Angeles, offer STD testing and treatment to everyone with the aim of increasing awareness of STDs and their prevention. We even provide eligible individuals with free STD testing in Los Angeles.
With expert healthcare practitioners, we strive to keep you and your partners healthy, safe and free of STDs. Our high-quality yet affordable sexual healthcare services are aimed at improving your reproductive health. We do not discriminate in terms of your age, gender, income level or citizenship status and make sure you feel at ease when discussing your concerns every time you visit us!
If you’re confused and stressed about your sexual health, schedule an appointment now and seek the right guidance with STD Free Los Angeles!