STD blood tests check for what are known as sexually transmitted diseases. While these are most commonly transmitted person-to-person through bodily fluids, there are instances in which procedures like blood transfusions, sharing needles, or pregnancy in which the mother transfers STDs to the baby can also factor into the spread of these diseases. According to Wikipedia, in many instances STDs do not initially cause symptoms in the affected, so making regular visits to the doctor—especially when you’re sexually active—is very important. Additionally, the chances of successfully treating the disease are much better if it is detected early, so it’s imperative not to postpone your visit.
Your doctor will most likely recommend a complete STD panel blood test, which checks for a range of STDs including HIV ½, Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C, and RPR or Syphilis. This blood test provides fairly quick turnaround, usually 3-5 business days, and does not require any fasting or other preparation; however, there are other things you should know about getting an STD test before going in:
- Some STDs don’t show symptoms, so the only way you to be sure you have one or not is to get tested.
- People react differently to STDs, so you can only rely on your own experience and the supporting test results for a completely accurate diagnosis
- You can transmit STDs to others without even being aware you have a disease yourself.
- You are at risk for getting an STD if you have come in contact with an infected person.
- Most STDs can be cured, and all can be treated.
According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, STDs are at an unprecedented high in the United States and 15 – 24 year olds account for half of all new STD infections. CDC advises that, in addition to having multiple sexual partners, a lack of education is often the cause of these diseases spreading. Getting regularly tested yourself or, if you yourself are not at risk, encouraging your children to get tested is a great first step. STD testing provides an opportunity to raise awareness about STDs, helps to understand the variety of ways in which STDs are transmitted, and how preventative measures like abstinence, mutual monogamy, and personal knowledge of one’s own health—through testing—can play a key role in preventing the spread of these diseases.
To learn more, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Here they also provide an STD Fact Sheet as well as other resources under the “Resource Spotlight” tab, which provide extensive information about a wide-range of STDs, their detection, and how they can be treated and/or cured. These resources are also available in a variety of languages.
LabFinder is a no-cost, online platform for people to easily schedule their medical tests and view results securely. The LabFinder team is passionate about improving the ‘patient and doctor experience’ through better communication, reduce out-of-pocket expenses and making everyone know more about their own medical tests. The mission of LabFinder is simple: we want to be solution to you and get you the test results you deserve so you can make right choices about your health.