STD Testing Antigua and Barbuda - Beauty Antigua and Barbuda STD Testing Antigua and Barbuda
. People who are sexually active, especially those with multiple partners, are recommended to undergo STD testing
to determine if they are free from any types of Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs). Early detection of STD symptoms
will help you find immediate treatment to avoid it from progressing into serious medical conditions which merely starts as an infection.
Sexually transmitted diseases or STDs
, also called venereal diseases, refers to medical infections that are spread through sexual intercourse. There are various types of STDs
that could be transmitted from one person to another which includes HIV-AIDS.
Although STD and STI both refer to medical conditions transmitted through sexual contact, the terms do not necessarily mean the same thing. For instance, not all people can experience gonorrhoea symptoms
despite getting infected with bacteria. This means that not all sexually transmitted infections will develop into a disease. In some instances, people with STIs are healed while those who get treatment for STD will transition from the disease to a mere infection. In short, having an STI doesn't mean that you have STD.
In order to get tested, you should not be embarrassed to ask for a test. The information that you will give to your doctor can help them determine your symptoms and the type of test you should undergo. You need to be honest about your sex life so that the medical practitioners in Antigua and Barbuda will be able to figure out which tests are best for you. You do not need to worry about being honest to your physician especially one specialising in STD testing
and treatment because they have seen it all. In fact, presenting yourself for an STD test is actually a positive thing since this shows that you value yourself and your health.
Who Should Be Tested for STD
Individuals with sexual relations, including those who are sexually active and have multiple partners, need to get tested from time to time. This is important in order to avoid the transition of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) into diseases since it can be fatal when left untreated. People who are involved in the following needs to get tested:
- Unsafe sexual intercourse (does not use condoms, etc)
- Having multiple partners
- About to start a new relationship or going into a marriage
- Cheating partner by having another partner or multiple sexual partners
- Experience STI symptoms
- Currently pregnant (pregnant women can pass STIs to their developing baby)
- Forced to have sexual intercourse or do other sexual activity
Those who are involved in mutually monogamous relationships do not need to undergo regular STD testing
. But if you want to be sure, you can get tested before embarking into a new relationship especially that you are not totally aware of your partner's sexual life before you got together. It is better to be safe than risk your lives.
Specific STDs You Can Be Tested For
You need to know the different STDs
that you can get tested for in Antigua and Barbuda. Before deciding which test to take, you need to talk to your doctor so they can help you determine the type of test you need. Quite often, an STD clinic provides these services. Also, you need to be knowledgeable about the symptoms for particular STDs
so that you are aware of your condition. You can be tested for one or more of the following:
- Chlamydia. This is the most commonly reported STD in most Antigua and Barbuda. Often times, people who have chlamydia will not have any noticeable symptoms at once. However, it can cause discomfort or pain during urination or sexual intercourse, green or yellow discharge, and pain in the lower abdomen.
- Gonorrhoea. Also known as "the clap," this is another common bacterial STD which can infect the mouth, throat, eyes, and rectum. It becomes life-threatening once it spread to the blood and joints. Gonorrhoea symptoms include a discharge from the penis or vagina, frequent urination, itching around the genitals, sore throat, and pain or discomfort during sex or urination.
- Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV). HIV or human immunodeficiency virus causes AIDS resulting in a weakened immune system since the blood cells that fight infection are killed by the virus. When this happens, the body's ability to fight off and recover from infections is compromised. Not everyone who gets HIV develop AIDS. The early symptoms of HIV include fever, sore throat, chills, headache, body aches, nausea, swollen lymph nodes, and rashes. The symptoms are oftentimes mistaken for flu but after a few months, people with HIV can experience fevers, stomach issues, headaches, and recurrent fatigue.
- Hepatitis B. Hepatitis B virus or HBV can cause serious liver infection leading to diseases like cirrhosis, liver failure, cancer, and even death. It can be spread through sexual contact, bodily fluids, and contaminated needles that are used for tattooing, piercing, and injecting intravenous drugs.
- Syphilis. The early signs of syphilis are chancre which is a painless genital sore that appears on the genitals. Oftentimes, chancres disappear on their own but the infection remains in the body. If left untreated, it can spread to other organs of the body like the heart, blood vessels, liver, bones, skin, and joints. There is also a possibility that syphilis rash will break out in later stages.
- Trichomoniasis. This is also known as “trich” wherein only a few people can develop symptoms for this disease. When symptoms appear, it includes discharges, burning or itching around the genitals, painful urination, discomfort during sexual intercourse, and genital soreness.
- Genital Herpes. The condition genital herpes is caused by the Herpes Simplex Virus which may result in either HSV-1 or HSV-2. People with this virus will not show any symptoms but it can cause the appearance of fever blisters or cold sores on the lips for HSV-1. On the other hand, those with HSV-2 will see watery skin blisters around their anus or genitals.
- HPV. Human Papillomavirus or HPV is a common STI which causes genital warts and may infect other areas of the body like the mouth and throat. It can also lead to cancer of the mouth, anus, penis, vulva, and cervix.
Determining the Right STD Test for You
Since most of the STDs
do not show symptoms, it is important that you consult your doctor about it especially if you fall under one of the categories for people with high risks in getting sexually transmitted diseases. You can determine the type of test you need if :
- You are having visible symptoms like Gonorrhoea symptoms
- You or your partner had STD before
- You, your partner or both of you have multiple sexual partners
- The type of sexual activity you engage in like oral, anal and vaginal sex
- You do not use protection like condoms
- You are exposed to contaminated needles
The above-mentioned information will help you and your doctor figure out the type of test that you can undergo. It is important that you do not withhold any information since this will not only help you identify the right STD test for you but it can also help you get proper treatment.
How STD Testing Works
If you have the STD symptoms
in a particular medical infection, you need to tell your doctor about it so that you can undergo the proper test. Here's how each test are done for specific STDs
For chlamydia and gonorrhoea
Once you have chlamydia and gonorrhoea symptoms
, you need to undergo STD testing
. The screening is done either through a urine sample or a swab inside the penis in men or from the cervix in women. The samples will be taken to a laboratory for testing which may take a few days or weeks before the results are out.
For HIV, syphilis, and hepatitis
People who are at high risk of STD needs to get yearly HIV testing
. This includes men who have sex with men, people who have multiple partners, and those who already tested positive for another STI.
HIV test is done through a blood sample or a swab inside the check. The samples will be taken to the laboratory and it would take days or weeks before you get the results.
If you want a quick test, rapid HIV tests are available wherein you can get the results in just a matter of 20 minutes.
When getting tested for HIV, you need to be aware of the "window period" which is the time duration wherein you may get a false-negative result even if you have HIV. The presence of HIV in your body will trigger your immune system to make antibodies to fight off the infection. But it would take 3 months before these antibodies will show up in the HIV test. Hence, if you test negative for the first time, it is recommended that you get tested again after a few months to make sure that you are HIV free.
The results of your test are protected by privacy laws which means that you can get confidential testing or anonymous testing. For confidential testing, your name is on the test and the results will be part of your medical record which will then be sent to your doctor and your insurance company. You can also choose to get anonymous testing which means that your name will not appear in the test and it will not be included in your medical records.
For syphilis, a blood sample or a swab from the genital sores will be taken for analysis in the laboratory which will usually take 3-5 days. One needs to give a blood sample in order to get tested for hepatitis. The symptoms for Hepatitis B will appear from 6 weeks to 6 months after you get infected. Hence, it is recommended that you get tested again despite getting a negative result especially if you experience symptoms. The lab results are usually available after 1 to 2 days.
For men, HPV is diagnosed by visual inspection or through a biopsy of genital warts. For women, HPV testing is different since it could involve a pap smear test or an HPV test. Pap smear tests will help to check abnormal cells in the cervix. This test is recommended for women yearly or every three years. Usually, the lab results for pap smear are available after two weeks. Meanwhile, HPV test results may take longer before it is released. This test is intended for women over 30 years of age. Pap test and HPV test are usually done at the same time by collecting cells from one's cervix.
For herpes and genital warts
A physical exam is usually done to diagnose herpes and genital warts by checking your genital area for warts, blisters, rashes, sores, irritation and for discharge. Samples can also be taken from infected areas which are sent to the laboratory for testing. It is imperative that you inform your doctor about certain changes that you notice in your body and around your genitals. You also need to inform your doctor if you engage in anal sex so they can check your anus for some bumps, sores, and other STD symptoms
Where To Get Tested
You can get STD testing
in Antigua and Barbuda at your regular doctor’s office or a sexual health clinic. You can also visit government health centers and even offices of organisations that are advocates of educating people about STDs.
Before getting a test, it is recommended that you search for places where you can get it in Antigua and Barbuda. Take note that some tests can be availed free of charge especially in health centers. If you check free tests first prior to going to your doctor, you can definitely save money.
People who have STD symptoms
need to consult the doctor at once in order to verify their medical infections. In most cases, untreated STIs and STDs
will lead to more serious conditions like infertility, cancer, blindness, organ damage and other life-threatening diseases. Hence, getting tested is very important for you and your partner. Before seeing a doctor, talk to your partner about the symptoms you feel and your plan of getting tested. It is better if both of you will do the test to ensure protection.
Since sexually transmitted infections and diseases are common, testing is available in many areas in Antigua and Barbuda. Do not hesitate to visit a doctor or any health professional since they are more than willing to help. You can also get more information about the different types of STDs
, its symptoms and the potential benefits and risks of STD testing
. There is no need to worry about privacy either since all your information will be kept from public access.