Why Is STD Testing So Important?
Updated: Dec 4, 2020
Sexually Transmitted Diseases are common throughout the world and you should be tested for it if you are sexually active. This is particularly important if you have multiple partners, as you can protect yourself whilst also ensuring that the others are protected at the same time.
It is important to be tested as many sexually transmitted disease may not show any symptoms. For the first few months, or for many years, no signs or symptoms may be displayed at all. This is why many scientists make use of the term sexually transmitted infections (STIs) as the individual will have an infection without displaying any symptoms of the disease. But how do you know what STD testing would you need? How often should you be screened? And how do you go about being tested?
Here is a short guide to help you when it comes to STD screening Singapore.
Chlamydia and Gonorrhea
These are among the most common STD tests in Singapore and are usually contracted by individuals below the age of 25. Though this is the most common age bracket, it is important to undergo routine testing for these diseases if you are sexually active with multiple partners after the age of 25.
Tests are relatively short and can be completed at your local doctors or sexual health clinic. They are completed using a urine test or alternatively a swab inside the penis for men or from the cervix in women. The same is then taken to a lab for assessment. Screening is extremely important as it is unlikely you will display any symptoms for at least 3 months, if symptoms were to appear at all. During this time you can spread the disease to others as you are unaware you have an infection.
HIV, Syphilis and Hepatitis
Most governments around the globe recommend HIV testing at least once. This can be completed as part of a routine medical checkup between the ages of 13 and 64. Younger teenagers should always be tested as it is believed they are at a higher risk.
Hepatitis C screening is especially recommended for individuals who had unprotected sex , intravenous drug misuse, or unclean blood transfusion before. Much like Chlamydia and Gonorrhea, the disease shows no symptoms until it is at an advanced stage. By this stage, it can become extremely dangerous and even lethal. For hepatitis A and B vaccines are available if you have not been exposed.
You should get yourself tested for many types of STI , such as HIV, Syphilis and Hepatitis if you are tested positive for any one of the STI . Research had shown that having two or three STI in one person concurrently is not uncommon. Also having one STI implies the risk of having 2nd or third STD is higher. Hence , having one STD places you at a higher risk. This can be completed at your local doctor who offers an STD testing in Singapore. The test itself is completed using a blood sample, or a swab from any genital sores you may display or discharge or oral samples . This is then taken to a lab which will test for any infection.
Unlike many other STI’s, there is no effective screening test for herpes. This makes the infection particularly dangerous as in many cases it does not display any symptoms. In order to take a test, your doctor may choose to take a tissue scraping of blisters or ulcers should you display any. However, even if the test comes back negative, it does not rule out herpes altogether.
An alternative test may include a blood test, however, this does not always provide a conclusive result. Blood tests can also be used to distinguish between the two types of herpes. Traditionally, Type 1 is the virus that displays cold sores. On the other hand, type 2 will cause genital sores. The issue with Herpes is that the results may not always be clear. As a result, False-positive and false-negative results are common.
Testing STD’s At Home
If you do not want to attend a clinic or the doctors because you are shy , embarrassed or fearful of your identity being exposed , It is understandable. However, it is still extremely important that you get yourself tested.
Certain clinic offers anonymous testing & good patient doctor rapport .Hence the barriers are not insurmountable .
Certain online STD home test kits may be available for HIV, chlamydia and gonorrhoea. [ Illegal in Singapore ! ] They are done through a urine sample or genital swap, as well as a small blood test which can be done by pricking your finger using the provided kit.
Some of these tests may require more than a single sample. They will provide you with multiple samples that you can take in the privacy of your home without having to make a visit to your doctors.
The most important downside to these samples is that they may not be reliable as the ones completed by a professional. What is the use of a test kit if it is not reliable & , worse still , illegal in the eye of the law . This also increases the rate of false-negative results, meaning the test indicates you are STI free but in reality, you actually have one. If you are tested positive from a home test, contact your local doctors to arrange a professional test. If your results are negative and you are not displaying any symptoms, you may still be having STI . Hence , you are none the wiser.
Getting Positive test results
If you are tested positive for an STI there is no need to panic. In fact, it is a good thing you have noticed as you can now deal with the issue at hand. Consider further testing if required and then get the treatment that has been recommended by your doctor. You must also inform all of your sex partners who need to be checked for the same STI. While this may appear upsetting or embarrassing, it is best for everyone involved.