How to Get Tested for STDs & the three Available Tests for HIV
Having a sexually transmitted disease may seem scary, but the situation is not as grim as you think. Most STDs are curable. The scary part lies in the fact that people are hesitant to consult a doctor and overlook their symptoms.
If you are alert about symptoms and take appropriate action on time, you can cure the infection at the earliest stage. Only a few STDs are incurable. This includes HIV/AIDS. However, medical science has progressed to the extent that HIV patients can manage the disease and live a quality life.
But all this happens with the first step – testing.
Why testing is easy now
Thanks to urgent care clinics, STD testing is, no longer, an embarrassing task. The staff keeps your identity confidential. Walk in with confidence and ask for a test. You do not need a doctor’s prescription. In case you not sure what test to undergo or are doubtful about the window period of a disease, consult a doctor. Again, you would not need an appointment to see a doctor here.
A test will confirm your sexual health.
If you are negative, rejoice!
If you are positive, get the appropriate treatment and complete the course.
In infections like HIV, the doctor would begin anti-retroviral therapy (ART) that helps to bring the viral load down.
In case of STD, what matters is timely treatment
Getting a positive result is not the end of the world. The only thing that matters is catching the infection on time and treating it or starting to manage it. This saves you from a lot of medical trouble later.
HIV tests available
HIV tests usually require blood, urine, or oral samples. The following are the three tests available:
1. Antibody test:
Antibody test detects antibodies in your blood or oral sample. When a virus invades your body, your immune system takes down to work and produces antibodies. It is seen that tests that use blood sample drawn from a vein catches antibodies quicker after infection than tests that use blood drawn through finger prick or use an oral fluid sample.
2. Antigen/antibody test:
Antigen/antibody test detects both antigens and antibodies. Antigens are foreign matter that induces your immune system to produce antibodies. In case of HIV, p24 antigen is produced before the production of antibodies.
3. NAT (Nucleic Acid Test):
NAT is designed to detect the actual virus in your blood. The doctor would draw your blood from vein for this test. This test can tell the viral load, which means the amount of virus present in your blood. NAT is the quickest of all tests and the costliest. It is used only for high-risk exposure cases, not for routine screening.
In Arlington, get tested for STDs, including HIV, at your nearest STD clinic in a discreet and affordable manner. The clinic is open all days of the week and on holidays.
Remember, if you think you are exposed, be responsible and abstain from sex to prevent the spread of infection.
Undergo a test and confirm your health status. Take treatment, if necessary. This is the smartest thing to do when tackling STDs.