Science, Art, Litt, Science based Art & Science Communication
Several people are asking me to write on STDs or sexually transmitted diseases. Most people who go for sex with multiple partners are afraid to go to doctors. But, they should first need to have some protection. Otherwise they risk getting STDs. Once they develop some symptoms, they panic and go to quacks who do not have proper knowledge about STDs and add more to the confusion caused by symptoms.
And this confusion is making them to ask me Qs like
What are the symptoms of various STDs?
Who should go for tests?
How often should we go for tests?
Which test is better when checking STDs, blood test or urine test?
Can we get cured fully?
Should I tell my wife/partner about the results of my tests?
Shall I ask my wife too to under go tests?
And several others.
This is my general answer to all those Qs ...
That depends on the STD. The types of STD testing you need may vary by your risk factors.
Your doctor tests you for syphilis by taking either a blood sample or a swab from any genital sores you might have. The sample is examined in a laboratory. A blood sample is taken to test for HIV and hepatitis.
Genital herpes: No good screening test exists for herpes, a viral infection that can be transmitted even when a person doesn't have symptoms. Your doctor may take a tissue scraping or culture of blisters or early ulcers, if you have them, for examination in a laboratory. But a negative test doesn't rule out herpes as a cause for genital ulcerations. A blood test also may help detect a past herpes infection, but results aren't always conclusive. Some blood tests can help differentiate between the two main types of the herpes virus. Type 1 is the virus that more typically causes cold sores, although it can also cause genital sores. Type 2 is the virus that causes genital sores more often. Still, the results may not be totally clear, depending on the sensitivity of the test and the stage of the infection. False-positive and false-negative results are possible.
HPV: Certain types of human papillomavirus (HPV) can cause cervical cancer while other varieties of HPV can cause genital warts. Many sexually active people become infected with HPV at some point in their lives, but never develop symptoms. The virus typically disappears within two years.
There's no routinely used HPV screening test for men, in whom the infection is diagnosed by visual inspection or biopsy of genital warts. In women, HPV testing involves:
HPV has also been linked to cancer of the vulva, vagina, penis, anus, and mouth and throat. Vaccines can protect both men and women from some types of HPV, but they are most effective when administered before sexual activity begins.
If you test positive for an STI, the next step is to consider further testing and then get treatment as recommended by your doctor. In addition, inform your sex partners. Your partners need to be evaluated and treated, because you can pass some infections back and forth.