Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) are infections that are transmitted from person-to-person through sexual contact. Infectious agents leading to STDs include bacteria, viruses, and parasites.
This test includes four common STDs, chlamydia, gonorrhea, trichomoniasis and HIV. Many individuals with STDs do not experience symptoms. As such, they can spread the disease to their partners during sexual contact. When detected, chlamydia, gonorrhea and trichomoniasis are easily treated and cured with antibiotics. There is no cure for HIV. However, today treatment options are available to ensure reduce transmission and progression of the infections further.
Why consider this test?
You should consider getting tested if:
- You are sexually active
- You have had unprotected sex
- You are entering a new relationship
- You are experiencing symptoms of an STD
- You have had a partner with an STD
If you have been recently exposed, it should be noted that there is a “window period” between exposure and when laboratory assays can detect the STD. The window period is around 2 weeks for chlamydia and gonorrhea. It is around 3-6 weeks for detecting the protozoa that causes trichomoniasis. For HIV, the “window period” is 18 to 45 days. Individuals exposed to HIV should test immediately and then confirm this negative diagnosis with follow up tests at 6 weeks, 3 months, and 6 months.
This test detects the presence of four common sexually transmitted infections.
Chlamydia is the most commonly reported bacterial infection worldwide and is caused by the bacteria Chlamydia trachomatis. Gonorrhea is caused by the bacteria Neisseria gonorrhoeae, which can infect the mucous membranes of the vagina, mouth, eyes, and rectum. Trichomoniasis is caused by the protozoan parasite Trichomonas vaginalis, which can infect the lower genital tract, vulva, vagina, cervix, and the urethra (both men and women). All three of these microorganisms are detected with nucleic acid amplification testing of vaginal swab and/or urine samples. Chlamydia, gonorrhea and trichomoniasis are curable with antibiotics. However, as antibiotics do not provide immunity reinfection is possible.
This test also detects the presence of HIV p24 antigen and HIV1/2 antibodies in blood to confirm a possible HIV infection. The HIV p24 antigen is a protein made by the virus. It appears in the blood 2-3 weeks after exposure and is indicative of actively reproducing virus. HIV specific antibodies are only detectable in the blood 23-90 days after exposure, as the body needs to mount an immune response before making antibodies. This test reduces the “window period” the time between exposure and when lab assays can detect the presence of microbes in blood to just 18 to 45 days post exposure.
Symptoms of STD & HIV
- Pain and burning while urinating
- Rectal pain, swelling or discharge
- Abnormal discharge
- Bleeding after sex
- Itching or burning of the genitals and/or anus
- Rash in the genital area or anus