Sexually Transmitted Disease (STD) & HIV Services

Sexually transmitted diseases are prevalent in the United States, making it important for a person who is sexually active to have regular sexual health check-ups to identify and diagnose STDs.

Getting tested for an STD or HIV is easier than you might think.

For your convenience, we offer the following types of testing:

Crabs or Pubic Lice:

A medical provider will conduct a physical examination to look for lice and eggs. He or she may use a magnifying glass or analyze the specimen under a microscope to confirm the diagnosis. Pubic lice are commonly treated through the use of simple creams, lotions, or shampoos on affected areas.

Genital Herpes:

A medical provider will conduct a physical examination to look for the primary symptom of genital herpes, namely blisters. If blisters are apparent, the provider may refer the patient to a specialist in a genitourinary medicine clinic for confirmation of the diagnosis (the blister is virologically analyzed). This entails taking a sample of the blister and examining it under a microscope. If there is no presence of blisters but an infection is suspected, it is also possible to perform a blood test, which looks for herpes simplex antibodies; however, it is thought that this test is only about 85% accurate.

Blood, Urine, or Cell Samples

Testing and diagnosis of Chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis, Trichomonas vaginalis, HIV, genital warts, and genital herpes require either blood, urine, or cell samples to be taken and analyzed.

Chlamydia:

Chlamydia can be detected by a urine test or swab sample from the urethra, cervix, rectum, throat, or eye. Visible symptoms of Chlamydia are inflamed cervical cells or a discharge. Chlamydia is treated with antibiotics.

Gonorrhea:

Gonorrhea can be diagnosed through a cell sample taken from the cervix, urethra, rectum, throat, or a urine sample. The sample is left to culture for a few days before being assessed for signs of the bacteria that causes gonorrhea. Gonorrhea is treated with antibiotics.

Syphilis:

Syphilis can be detected through a blood sample or physical examination of the genitals and body. A cell sample is taken from infected areas such as the cervix, genital area, penis, urethra, anus, or mouth. The treatment of syphilis is by antibiotic injection, most commonly penicillin.

Trichomoniasis:

Trichomoniasis is caused by the parasite Trichomonas vaginalis. Trichomoniasis, or trich, can be detected on physical examination when an unusual discharge is apparent or during a routine cervical smear test. Other methods to test for this STD include a urine sample or a cell sample from the vagina, genital area, or urethra. Trichomoniasis is treated with antibiotics.

HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus):

The primary detection of HIV is through a blood sample to test for HIV antibodies in the blood or by oral swab. If HIV antibodies are found, the patient is HIV positive. Another test is conducted to confirm diagnosis. The current treatment for HIV is antivirus drugs, antiretroviral treatment, or combination therapy. However, there is no cure for HIV, and typically this virus leads to AIDS. With the use of antiretroviral drugs, though, people with HIV can significantly prolong their lives, as well as put off the development of AIDS.

For all of the STDs listed above, a person who is sexually active should submit themselves to testing as soon as symptoms arise, if not immediately after any unprotected sex or sexual activity. Although sexual testing and screening can be intimidating, it is vitally important to have frequent sexual health check-ups.

If you are sexually active, you have the right to free, confidential information about sexual health and safe, adequate treatment and care. There are a variety of educational resources to choose from.

Call the health center nearest you for an appointment today!

 

A part of Finger Lakes Community Health. Supported by Title X Grant Funding.