All STD Tests

Low-cost confidential STD testing for Syphilis, Gonorrhea, Chlamydia, Herpes, Hepatitis B or C, Trichomoniasis, and HIV/AIDS is available through Ulta Lab Tests. 

Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs) are infections passed from one person to another by sexual contact. Sexual contact includes vaginal intercourse, anal intercourse, oral-genital contact, skin-to-skin contact in the genital area, kissing, and the use of sex aids such as vibrators. These diseases usually affect the genital area, including the penis or vagina. Examples of STDs are Syphilis, Gonorrhea, Chlamydia, Herpes, Hepatitis B or C, Trichomoniasis, and HIV/AIDS.

SEE BELOW THE LIST OF TESTS FOR MORE INFORMATION ABOUT Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STD) and Lab Tests


Name Matches

The STD - Basic panel contains the following tests:

  • Chlamydia/Neisseria gonorrhoeae RNA, TMA
  • RPR (Monitor) with Reflex to Titer
  • Herpes Simplex Virus 1/2 (IgG), Type-Specific Antibodies (HerpeSelect®)

Due to the consultation and reporting requirements, we are unable to offer HIV testing at this time.

Chlamydia/Neisseria gonorrhoeae RNA, TMA

Patient Preparation 

Urine specimen: The patient should not have urinated for at least one hour prior to specimen collection. Female patients should not cleanse the labial area prior to providing the specimen.

Urine: Patient should not have urinated within one hour prior to collection. Female patients should not cleanse the labial area prior to providing the specimen. Direct patient to provide a first-catch urine (a maximum of 20-30 mL of the initial urine stream) into a urine collection cup free of any preservatives. 2 mL of urine specimen must be transferred into the APTIMA® specimen transport within 24 hours of collection and before being assayed. Use tube provided in the urine specimen collection kit for urine specimens. The fluid (urine plus transport media) level in the urine tube must fall within the clear pane on the tube label.

 

Clinical Significance

C. trachomatis infections are the leading cause of sexually transmitted diseases in the United States. C. trachomatis is known to cause cervicitis, pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), epididymitis and proctitis. It is also the most frequent cause of non-gonococcal urethritis in men. Among women, the consequences of Chlamydialinfections are severe if left untreated. Approximately half of Chlamydial infections are asymptomatic.
Neisseria gonorrhoeae (gonococci) is the causative agent of gonorrhea. In men, this disease generally results in anterior urethritis accompanied by purulent exudate. In women, the disease is most often found in the cervix, but the vagina and uterus may also be infected.

Herpes Simplex Virus 1/2 (IgG), Type-Specific Antibodies (HerpeSelect®) 

HSV 1 IGG, TYPE SPECIFIC AB

HSV 2 IGG, TYPE SPECIFIC AB

Diagnose HSV infection when lesions are absent; determine HSV type

Reference Range(s)

Index Interpretation

<0.90 Negative

0.90-1.09 Equivocal

>1.09 Positive

This assay utilizes recombinant type-specific antigens to differentiate HSV-1 from HSV-2 infections. A index positive result cannot distinguish between recent and past infection. If recent HSV infection is suspected but the results are negative or equivocal, the assay should be repeated in 4-6 weeks. The performance index characteristics of the assay have not been established for pediatric populations, immunocompromised patients, or neonatal screening.

Limitations

Individuals infected with HSV may not exhibit detectable IgG antibody in the early stages of infection.

Clinical Significance

Herpes Simplex Virus (HSV) is responsible for several clinically significant human viral diseases, with severity ranging from inapparent to fatal. Clinical manifestations include genital tract infections, neonatal herpes, meningoencephalitis, keratoconjunctivitis, and gingivostomatitis. There are two HSV serotypes that are closely related antigenically. HSV Type 2 is more commonly associated with genital tract and neonatal infections, while HSV Type 1 is more commonly associated with infections of non-genital sites. Specific typing is not usually required for diagnosis or treatment. The mean time to seroconversion using the type specific assay is 25 days. The performance of this assay has not been established for use in a pediatric population, for neonatal screening, or for testing of immunocompromised patients.

 

Syphilis RPR ( RPR (Monitor) with Reflex to Titer)

Reference Range(s)

Non-Reactive

Clinical Significance

This is a non-treponemal screening test for syphilis. False positive results may occur due to systemic lupus erythematosus, leprosy, brucellosis, atypical pneumonia, typhus, yaws, pinta, or pregnancy. Monitoring of RPR is helpful in assessing effectiveness of therapy.

IMPORTANT

A positive RPR screen must be followed by a specific treponemal antibody test (e.g., FTA-ABS):

A positive result on the second method confirms the screening result and the affected person is diagnosed with syphilis.

A negative result on the treponemal test may mean that the initial RPR test was falsely positive. Further testing and investigation may be done to determine the cause of the false positive.

Limitations

False-positive results have been associated in patients with infections, pregnancy, autoimmune disease, old age, Gaucher disease, and malignancy.


The STD - Comprehensive Panel contains the following tests:

  • Chlamydia/Neisseria gonorrhoeae RNA, TMA
  • RPR (Monitor) with Reflex to Titer
  • Herpes Simplex Virus 1/2 (IgG), Type-Specific Antibodies (HerpeSelect®)
  • Hepatitis Panel, General

Due to the consultation and reporting requirements, we are unable to offer HIV testing at this time.

Chlamydia/Neisseria gonorrhoeae RNA, TMA

Patient Preparation 

Urine specimen: The patient should not have urinated for at least one hour prior to specimen collection. Female patients should not cleanse the labial area prior to providing the specimen.

Urine: Patient should not have urinated within one hour prior to collection. Female patients should not cleanse the labial area prior to providing the specimen. Direct patient to provide a first-catch urine (a maximum of 20-30 mL of the initial urine stream) into a urine collection cup free of any preservatives. 2 mL of urine specimen must be transferred into the APTIMA® specimen transport within 24 hours of collection and before being assayed. Use tube provided in the urine specimen collection kit for urine specimens. The fluid (urine plus transport media) level in the urine tube must fall within the clear pane on the tube label.

 

Clinical Significance

C. trachomatis infections are the leading cause of sexually transmitted diseases in the United States. C. trachomatis is known to cause cervicitis, pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), epididymitis and proctitis. It is also the most frequent cause of non-gonococcal urethritis in men. Among women, the consequences of Chlamydialinfections are severe if left untreated. Approximately half of Chlamydial infections are asymptomatic.
Neisseria gonorrhoeae (gonococci) is the causative agent of gonorrhea. In men, this disease generally results in anterior urethritis accompanied by purulent exudate. In women, the disease is most often found in the cervix, but the vagina and uterus may also be infected.

Herpes Simplex Virus 1/2 (IgG), Type-Specific Antibodies (HerpeSelect®) 

HSV 1 IGG, TYPE SPECIFIC AB

HSV 2 IGG, TYPE SPECIFIC AB

Diagnose HSV infection when lesions are absent; determine HSV type

Reference Range(s)

Index Interpretation

<0.90 Negative

0.90-1.09 Equivocal

>1.09 Positive

This assay utilizes recombinant type-specific antigens to differentiate HSV-1 from HSV-2 infections. A index positive result cannot distinguish between recent and past infection. If recent HSV infection is suspected but the results are negative or equivocal, the assay should be repeated in 4-6 weeks. The performance index characteristics of the assay have not been established for pediatric populations, immunocompromised patients, or neonatal screening.

Limitations

Individuals infected with HSV may not exhibit detectable IgG antibody in the early stages of infection.

Clinical Significance

Herpes Simplex Virus (HSV) is responsible for several clinically significant human viral diseases, with severity ranging from inapparent to fatal. Clinical manifestations include genital tract infections, neonatal herpes, meningoencephalitis, keratoconjunctivitis, and gingivostomatitis. There are two HSV serotypes that are closely related antigenically. HSV Type 2 is more commonly associated with genital tract and neonatal infections, while HSV Type 1 is more commonly associated with infections of non-genital sites. Specific typing is not usually required for diagnosis or treatment. The mean time to seroconversion using the type specific assay is 25 days. The performance of this assay has not been established for use in a pediatric population, for neonatal screening, or for testing of immunocompromised patients.

 

Syphilis RPR ( RPR (Monitor) with Reflex to Titer)

Reference Range(s)

Non-Reactive

Clinical Significance

This is a non-treponemal screening test for syphilis. False positive results may occur due to systemic lupus erythematosus, leprosy, brucellosis, atypical pneumonia, typhus, yaws, pinta, or pregnancy. Monitoring of RPR is helpful in assessing effectiveness of therapy.

IMPORTANT

A positive RPR screen must be followed by a specific treponemal antibody test (e.g., FTA-ABS):

A positive result on the second method confirms the screening result and the affected person is diagnosed with syphilis.

A negative result on the treponemal test may mean that the initial RPR test was falsely positive. Further testing and investigation may be done to determine the cause of the false positive.

Limitations

False-positive results have been associated in patients with infections, pregnancy, autoimmune disease, old age, Gaucher disease, and malignancy.

Hepatitis Panel, General

Hepatitis A Antibody, Total; Hepatitis B Surface Antibody, Qualitative; Hepatitis B Surface Antigen with Reflex Confirmation; Hepatitis B Core Antibody, Total; Hepatitis C Antibody with Reflex to HCV, RNA, Quantitative, Real-Time PCR

Hepatitis B Surface Antigen with Reflex Confirmation: Positive samples will be confirmed based on the manufacturer's FDA approved recommendations at an additional charge (CPT code(s): 87341).


If Hepatitis C Antibody is reactive, Hepatitis C Viral RNA, Quantitative, Real-Time PCR will be performed at an additional charge (CPT code(s): 87522).


Chlamydia trachomatis RNA, TMA

Patient Preparation 

Urine specimens: The patient should not have urinated for at least one hour prior to specimen collection. Female patients should not cleanse the labial area prior to providing the specimen.

Urine: Patient should not have urinated within one hour prior to collection. Female patients should not cleanse the labial area prior to providing the specimen. Direct patient to provide a first-catch urine (a maximum of 20-30 mL of the initial urine stream) into a urine collection cup free of any preservatives. 2 mL of urine specimen must be transferred into the APTIMA® specimen transport within 24 hours of collection and before being assayed. Use tube provided in the urine specimen collection kit for urine specimens. The fluid (urine plus transport media) level in the urine tube must fall within the clear pane on the tube labe

Clinical Significance

C. trachomatis infections are the leading cause of sexually transmitted diseases in the united states. C. trachomatis is known to cause cervicitis, pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), epididymitis and proctitis. It is also the most frequent cause of non-gonococcal urethritis in men. Among women, the consequences of chlamydial infections are severe if left untreated. Approximately half of chlamydial infections are asymptomatic.


Includes
Chlamydophila pneumoniae (IgG, IgM and IgA), Chlamydia trachomatis (IgG, IgM and IgA), Chlamydophila psittaci (IgG, IgM and IgA)

Clinical Significance

Chlamydia/chlamydophila species includes C. pneumoniaeC. psittaci, and C. trachomatis. Each may cause pneumonia and other overlapping medical conditions.

 

 


Chlamydia/Neisseria gonorrhoeae RNA, TMA

Patient Preparation 

Urine specimen: The patient should not have urinated for at least one hour prior to specimen collection. Female patients should not cleanse the labial area prior to providing the specimen.

Urine: Patient should not have urinated within one hour prior to collection. Female patients should not cleanse the labial area prior to providing the specimen. Direct patient to provide a first-catch urine (a maximum of 20-30 mL of the initial urine stream) into a urine collection cup free of any preservatives. 2 mL of urine specimen must be transferred into the APTIMA® specimen transport within 24 hours of collection and before being assayed. Use tube provided in the urine specimen collection kit for urine specimens. The fluid (urine plus transport media) level in the urine tube must fall within the clear pane on the tube label.

 

Clinical Significance

C. trachomatis infections are the leading cause of sexually transmitted diseases in the United States. C. trachomatis is known to cause cervicitis, pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), epididymitis and proctitis. It is also the most frequent cause of non-gonococcal urethritis in men. Among women, the consequences of Chlamydialinfections are severe if left untreated. Approximately half of Chlamydial infections are asymptomatic.
Neisseria gonorrhoeae (gonococci) is the causative agent of gonorrhea. In men, this disease generally results in anterior urethritis accompanied by purulent exudate. In women, the disease is most often found in the cervix, but the vagina and uterus may also be infected.


Chlamydia trachomatis is associated with infections of the mucous membranes of the urogenital system, the upper respiratory tract, and the eye. In industrialized countries, C. trachomatis usually causes sexually transmitted disease. In developing countries, it is the major cause of preventable blindness (trachomatis). Sexually transmitted diseases caused by C. trachomatis include nongonococcal urethritis, cervicitis, salpingitis, epididymitis, proctitis and Lymphogranuloma venereum. Infections are often asymptomatic. Thus, infected individuals may unknowingly transmit chlamydial disease to others. Coinfection with C. trachomatis and Neisseria gonorrhoeae is common, with multiple chlamydial infections of the upper respiratory tract occurring primarily in newborns exposed at parturition through an infected birth canal. Approximately 10-20% of such infants develop pneumonia and 50% develop inclusion conjunctivitis. In adults, eye disease is often transmitted by the hands from genital secretions or from eye secretion of infected babies. Isolation in tissue culture remains the reference method for diagnosis of chlamydial infection, especially when testing individuals under the age of 13 years. The usefulness of serological tests depends on the site of infection, duration of disease, infecting serovars and pre-vious exposure to chlamydial antigens. Because C. trachomatis is ubiquitous, there is a high prevalence of antibodies in sexually active populations. Antibodies may persist even after treatment, making assessment of a single IgG titer difficult. Consequently, serological diag-nosis is seldom used to diagnose active, superficial genital tract infections.


To screen for the infection with Neisseria gonorrhoeae and Chlamydia trachomatis in vaginal, endocervical and urethral swabs or urine from men and women.


Neisseria gonorrhoeae RNA, TMA 

Patient Preparation 

Urine specimen: The patient should not have urinated for at least one hour prior to specimen collection. Female patients should not cleanse the labial area prior to providing the specimen.

2 mL urine using APTIMA® Urine Specimen Collection Kit.

Alternative Specimen(s) 

Urine (no preservatives): 2 mL of urine, specimen must be transferred into the APTIMA® Urine Transport Medium within 24 hours of collection and before being assayed • ThinPrep® vial • SurePath™ vial

Urine: Patient should not have urinated within one hour prior to collection. Female patients should not cleanse the labial area prior to providing the specimen. Direct patient to provide a first-catch urine (a maximum of 20-30 mL of the initial urine stream) into a urine collection cup free of any preservatives. 2 mL of urine specimen must be transferred into the APTIMA® specimen transport within 24 hours of collection and before being assayed. Use tube provided in the urine specimen collection kit for urine specimens. The fluid (urine plus transport media) level in the urine tube must fall within the clear pane on the tube label.

Transport Container 

APTIMA® Transport tube


Includes

Hepatitis A Antibody, Total; Hepatitis B Surface Antibody, Qualitative; Hepatitis B Surface Antigen with Reflex Confirmation; Hepatitis B Core Antibody, Total; Hepatitis C Antibody with Reflex to HCV, RNA, Quantitative, Real-Time PCR

Hepatitis B Surface Antigen with Reflex Confirmation: Positive samples will be confirmed based on the manufacturer's FDA approved recommendations at an additional charge (CPT code(s): 87341).


If Hepatitis C Antibody is reactive, Hepatitis C Viral RNA, Quantitative, Real-Time PCR will be performed at an additional charge (CPT code(s): 87522).


Herpes Simplex Virus 1 (IgG), Type-Specific Antibody (HerpeSelect®) 

Tests for HSV 1 IGG, TYPE SPECIFIC AB to diagnose HSV-1 infection when lesions are absent. A positive HSV-1 IgG antibody test indicates a previous infection.

Reference Range(s)

Index Interpretation

  • <0.90 Negative 
  • 0.90-1.09 Equivocal 
  • >1.09 Positive 

This assay utilizes recombinant type-specific antigens to differentiate HSV-1 from HSV-2 infections. A index positive result cannot distinguish between recent and past infection. If recent HSV infection is suspected but the results are negative or equivocal, the assay should be repeated in 4-6 weeks. The performance index characteristics of the assay have not been established for pediatric populations, immunocompromised patients, or neonatal screening.

Limitations

Individuals infected with HSV may not exhibit detectable IgG antibody in the early stages of infection.

Clinical Significance

Herpes Simplex Virus (HSV) is responsible for several clinically significant human viral diseases, with severity ranging from inapparent to fatal. Clinical manifestations include genital tract infections, neonatal herpes, meningoencephalitis, keratoconjunctivitis, and gingivostomatitis. There are two HSV serotypes that are closely related antigenically. HSV type 2 is more commonly associated with genital tract and neonatal infections, while HSV type 1 is more commonly associated with infections of non-genital sites. Specific typing is not usually required for diagnosis or treatment. The mean time to seroconversion using the type specific assay is 25 days. The performance of this assay has not been established for use in a pediatric population, for neonatal screening, or for testing of immunocompromised patients.


Herpes Simplex Virus 1/2 (IgG), Type-Specific Antibodies (HerpeSelect®) 

  1. HSV 1 IGG, TYPE SPECIFIC AB
  2. HSV 2 IGG, TYPE SPECIFIC AB

Diagnose HSV infection when lesions are absent; determine HSV type

Reference Range(s)

Index Interpretation

  • <0.90 Negative
  • 0.90-1.09 Equivocal
  • >1.09 Positive

This assay utilizes recombinant type-specific antigens to differentiate HSV-1 from HSV-2 infections. A index positive result cannot distinguish between recent and past infection. If recent HSV infection is suspected but the results are negative or equivocal, the assay should be repeated in 4-6 weeks. The performance index characteristics of the assay have not been established for pediatric populations, immunocompromised patients, or neonatal screening.

Limitations

Individuals infected with HSV may not exhibit detectable IgG antibody in the early stages of infection.

Clinical Significance

Herpes Simplex Virus (HSV) is responsible for several clinically significant human viral diseases, with severity ranging from inapparent to fatal. Clinical manifestations include genital tract infections, neonatal herpes, meningoencephalitis, keratoconjunctivitis, and gingivostomatitis. There are two HSV serotypes that are closely related antigenically. HSV Type 2 is more commonly associated with genital tract and neonatal infections, while HSV Type 1 is more commonly associated with infections of non-genital sites. Specific typing is not usually required for diagnosis or treatment. The mean time to seroconversion using the type specific assay is 25 days. The performance of this assay has not been established for use in a pediatric population, for neonatal screening, or for testing of immunocompromised patients.



Herpes Simplex Virus (HSV) is responsible for several clinically significant human viral diseases, with severity ranging from inapparent to fatal. Clinical manifestations include genital tract infections, neonatal herpes, meningo-encephalitis, keratoconjunctivitis, and gingivostomatitis. There are two HSV serotypes that are closely related anti-genically. HSV type 2 is more commonly associated with genital tract and neonatal infections, while HSV type 1 is more commonly associated with infections of non-genital sites. Specific typing is not usually required for diagnosis or treatment. The mean time to seroconversion using the type specific assay is 25 days. The performance of this assay has not been established for use in a pediatric population, for neonatal screening, or for testing of immunocompromised patients.3


Herpes Simplex Virus 2 (IgG), Type-Specific Antibody (HerpeSelect®) 

HSV 2 IGG, TYPE SPECIFIC AB - Diagnose HSV-2 infection when lesions are absent.

Reference Range(s)

Index Interpretation

  • <0.90 Negative
  • 0.90-1.09 Equivocal
  • >1.09 Positive

This assay utilizes recombinant type-specific antigens to differentiate HSV-1 from HSV-2 infections. A index positive result cannot distinguish between recent and past infection. If recent HSV infection is suspected but the results are negative or equivocal, the assay should be repeated in 4-6 weeks. The performance index characteristics of the assay have not been established for pediatric populations, immunocompromised patients, or neonatal screening.

Limitations

Individuals infected with HSV may not exhibit detectable IgG antibody in the early stages of infection.

Clinical Significance

Herpes Simplex Virus (HSV) is responsible for several clinically significant human viral diseases, with severity ranging from inapparent to fatal. Clinical manifestations include genital tract infections, neonatal herpes, meningoencephalitis, keratoconjunctivitis, and gingivostomatitis. There are two HSV serotypes that are closely related antigenically. HSV type 2 is more commonly associated with genital tract and neonatal infections, while HSV type 1 is more commonly associated with infections of non-genital sites. Specific typing is not usually required for diagnosis or treatment. The mean time to seroconversion using the type specific assay is 25 days. The performance of this assay has not been established for use in a pediatric population, for neonatal screening, or for testing of immunocompromised patients.


HHV-6 is a distinct herpes virus that typically causes a self-limiting illness in patients who are not immunocompromised. In some patients, especially if immumocompromised, HHV-6 can cause febrile convulsions in infants, encephalitis mononucleosis-like symptoms, and hepatitis.


The Lactoferrin IBD-CHEK® is a qualitative (QL) Enzyme Linked Immunosorbent Assay (ELISA) for measuring concentrations of fecal lactoferrin, a marker for leukocytes. A positive level is an indicator of intestinal inflammation. The test can be used as an in vitro diagnostic aid to distinguish patients with active inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) from those with non inflammatory irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).

Clinical Significance

Assists in evaluating helper and suppressor cell immune status in immunodeficiency diseases such as AIDS.


Microsporidia infection was first recognized as a cause of chronic diarrhea in patients infected with HIV. Microsporidia may also cause pneumonia, acute bilateral keratoconjunctivitis, and infection of the biliary and pancreatic ducts.

Includes

  • CBC (includes Differential and Platelets)
  • Antibody Screen, RBC with Reflex to Identification, Titer, and Antigen Typing 
  • ABO Group and Rh Type
  • RPR (Diagnosis) with Reflex to Titer and Confirmatory Testing
  • Hepatitis B Surface Antigen with Reflex Confirmation*
  • Rubella Antibody (IgG), Immune Status
  •  
  • If Antibody Screen is positive, Antibody Identification, Titer, and Antigen Typing will be performed at an additional charge (CPT code(s): 86870, 86886, 86905).
  • If RPR screen is reactive, RPR Titer and FTA Confirmatory testing will be performed at an additional charge (CPT code(s): 86593, 86780).
  • If Hepatitis B Surface Antigen is positive, confirmatory testing based on the manufacturer's FDA approved recommendations will be performed at an additional charge (CPT code(s): 87341).
  •  

The major proteins seen in the serum are albumin and globulin-the latter being primarily alpha 1 and alpha 2 globulin, beta globulin and gamma globulin. Albumin accounts for more than 50% of the total serum proteins. The albumin to globulin (A/G) ratio has been used as an index of disease state, however, it is not a specific marker for disease because it does not indicate which specific proteins are altered. The normal A/G ratio is 0.8-2.0. The A/G ratio can be decreased in response to a low albumin or to elevated globulins. Total globulins may be increased in some chronic inflammatory diseases (TB, syphilis) multiple myeloma, collagen disease, and rheumatoid arthritis. Decreased levels are seen in hepatic dysfunction, renal disease and various neoplasms.

Tuberculosis is a communicable disease caused by infection with M. tuberculosis complex. Infection results in either acute disease or Latent TB Infection (LTBI), a non-communicable asymptomatic condition. The main purpose of diagnosing the latent stage is to consider medical treatment for preventing overt disease. Until recently, the tuberculin skin test was the only available method for diagnosing LTBI.

QuantiFERON®-TB gold eliminates false positive skin test due to BCG vaccination and most Non-Tuberculous Mycobacteria (NTM) and is an objective, reproducible qualitative test. There are no side effects or adverse reactions due to patient hypersensitivity, and no "booster effect", whereby the first test induces a false positive response on re-testing. There is no need for follow-up patient visits to obtain test results.

The TB blood test has several advantages over a skin test.  Blood testing requires only one visit to the lab while skin testing requires multiple visits to a doctor's office.  Blood testing for Tuberculosis is typically more accurate than a skin test.  Skin testing has a higher likelihood of false positive results, especially if a person has been previously vaccinated for TB. 

 


Most Popular
Elevated RF is found in collagen vascular diseases such as SLE, rheumatoid arthritis, scleroderma, Sjögren's Syndrome, and in other conditions such as leprosy, tuberculosis, syphilis, malignancy, thyroid disease and in a significant percentage of otherwise normal elderly patients.

RPR (Diagnosis) with Reflex to Titer and Confirmatory Testing

IMPORTANT:  NOTE THIS IS A REFLUX TEST - The price charged for this test is only for the RPR. ADDITIONAL CHARGES WILL OCCUR FOR THE REFLUX TO TITER AND CONFIRMATION TESTING .

Clinical Significance

This is a non-treponemal screening test for syphilis. False positive results may occur due to systemic lupus erythematosus, leprosy, brucellosis, atypical pneumonia, typhus, yaws, pinta, or pregnancy. Monitoring of RPR is helpful in assessing effectiveness of therapy.

Limitations

False-positive results have been associated in patients with infections, pregnancy, autoimmune disease, old age, Gaucher disease, and malignancy.

Alternative Name(s) 

Premarital RPR,Syphilis Serology Screen, Blood,ART,Rapid Plasma Reagin,Automated Reagin Test


RPR (Monitor) with Reflex to Titer 

Reference Range(s)

  • Non-Reactive

Clinical Significance

This is a non-treponemal screening test for syphilis. False positive results may occur due to systemic lupus erythematosus, leprosy, brucellosis, atypical pneumonia, typhus, yaws, pinta, or pregnancy. Monitoring of RPR is helpful in assessing effectiveness of therapy.

IMPORTANT

A positive RPR screen must be followed by a specific treponemal antibody test (e.g., FTA-ABS):

A positive result on the second method confirms the screening result and the affected person is diagnosed with syphilis.

A negative result on the treponemal test may mean that the initial RPR test was falsely positive. Further testing and investigation may be done to determine the cause of the false positive.

Limitations

False-positive results have been associated in patients with infections, pregnancy, autoimmune disease, old age, Gaucher disease, and malignancy.

Alternative Name(s) 

Syphilis


Syphilis FTA-ABS (Confirmation for Syphilis RPR test)

FTA-ABS - Treponema pallidum Ab

Clinical Significance

The FTA-ABS is a specific treponemal assay to detect antibody to t. Pallidum. The FTA-ABS becomes reactive 4-6 weeks after infection. Unlike the nontreponemal tests, once the FTA-ABS test becomes reactive, it will remain reactive for many years. Since the reactivity found with the FTA-ABS does not indicate response to therapy, it is not suitable for monitoring treatment. The FTA-ABS test does not distinguish between syphillis and other treponematoses such as yaws, pinta and bejil.

The treponemal antibody test (FTA-ABS) is often used as an initial test. A positive result indicates the presence of syphilis antibodies in the blood, but since treponemal antibodies remain positive even after an infection has been treated, it does not indicate whether the person has a current infection or was infected in the past. Conversely, nontreponemal antibodies as detected with an RPR typically disappear in an adequately treated person after about 3 years. Thus, if an initial treponemal test is positive, an RPR can be performed to differentiate between an active or past infection. In this case, a positive RPR would confirm that the person has been exposed to syphilis and, if not treated previously, has an active infection or, if treatment had occurred more than 3 years ago, possible re-infection.

Alternative Name(s) 

Treponemal pallidum, Fluorescent Treponemal Antigen, Syphilis



Fact Sheet for Chlamydia

Chlamydia is a common STD (or sexually transmitted disease), and both men and women can get infected. If left untreated, it is capable of causing serious and permanent damage to the reproductive system of a woman and possible affect her ability to conceive. In simple terms, untreated chlamydia can make it extremely difficult or almost impossible for a woman to get pregnant. It can also lead to a potentially fatal ectopic pregnancy (a term used for pregnancy occurring outside the womb). The good news is that it is curable.

How Does It Spread?

You can get chlamydia through oral, anal, or vaginal sex with someone suffering from it. Keep in mind that you can get chlamydia from a male partner, even if there is no ejaculation. Also, you can get infected again if you have had this disease previously and it was successfully treated. It can happen to you if you indulge in unprotected sex with a person suffering from chlamydia. Pregnant women can give chlamydia to their babies during childbirth.

Tips for Reducing the Risk of Chlamydia

The only way of avoiding any STD is to not engage in oral, anal, or vaginal sex. However, there are certain things you can do as a sexually active individual to lower the chances of catching chlamydia.

  • Maintaining a long-term, mutually monogamous relationship with someone who has been tested for STDs with negative test results.
  • Use latex condoms correctly whenever you engage in sex.

What Is My Risk of Getting Chlamydia?

Chlamydia can infect anyone who engages in unprotected sex, be it oral, anal or vaginal. However, sexually active young people are at higher risk due to various biological factors and behaviors that are common among young people. Men who are bisexual, gay, or who otherwise have sex with men can also contact chlamydia as it spreads through anal and oral sex.

You should have a frank and open discussion with your healthcare provider. You should ask them whether you need to get tested for chlamydia as well as other STDs. It is recommended that women get tested for chlamydia each year if they are either younger than 25 years and sexually active, or they are older than 25 and have a sex partner with STDs or if they have multiple sex partners or a new sex partner. Pregnant women, bisexual men, and gay men should also get tested for chlamydia.

Effect of Chlamydia on Baby – Pregnant Women

If you are a woman suffering from chlamydia and you’re pregnant, it is possible to pass this infection to your newborn baby during the delivery. It might cause pneumonia or eye infection to your newborn. If you suffer from chlamydia, it’s also more likely for you to deliver the baby too early. In case you’re pregnant, it’s important to get tested for chlamydia at the very first prenatal visit. The right way to prevent any health problems is regular testing and treatment.

Checking for Chlamydia

Most people do not show any symptoms of chlamydia, even when they are infected. It is also possible that the symptoms do not appear for several weeks after having sex with someone who is already infected. Do not forget that chlamydia can damage your reproductive system even if there are no symptoms.

Symptoms for Women May Include:

  • Abnormal discharge from the vagina
  • A sensation of burning when urinating

Symptoms for Men Might Include:

  • A discharge from the penis
  • A sensation of burning when urinating
  • Swelling and pain in the testicles (one or both) – less common

Chlamydia infection can also happen in the rectum for both men and women. The infection can reach the rectum due to receptor anal sex or from another infected site. There are typically no symptoms for the anal infection, but it can lead to bleeding, discharge as well as rectal pain.

In case you show any of these symptoms, or in case your partner shows symptoms of an STD or has an STD, it is important to ask your doctor to examine you. Common STD symptoms include burning sensation when urinating, smelly discharge, bleeding between periods, or an unusual sore.

Chlamydia Testing by Doctor

Chlamydia can be diagnosed with laboratory tests. Testing for chlamydia may be done with a urine sample or by a swab sample from a woman’s vagina.

Cure for Chlamydia

It is possible to cure chlamydia with the right treatment. However, it is important to keep in mind that you need to take all the medications prescribed by the doctor in order to cure the infection. When you follow the prescription given by your doctor, the medication will stop the infection and may also prevent you from experiencing any complications at a later date. It is important never to share chlamydia medication with anyone else.

It is not uncommon to have a repeat chlamydia infection. It is recommended to get tested again for chlamydia after about three months once your treatment course is over. The testing should be done even when your sex partner has been treated.

How long do you have to wait for sex again after getting treatment for chlamydia?

It is recommended not to have sex until the treatment has been completed for you as well as your sex partner. In case only a single dose of medication has been prescribed by the doctor, it is recommended to wait for at least seven days after taking the prescribed medication before indulging in sex. In case the doctor has prescribed a course of medication for seven days, it is recommended to wait for sex until the course has been completed.

The Risks of Not Getting Treated for Chlamydia

Often, the damage caused by chlamydia goes unnoticed. However, ignoring it can lead to serious health problems.

Women should know that untreated chlamydia infection can spread to their uterus as well as fallopian tubes. Fallopian tubes carry the fertilized eggs to the uterus from your ovaries. It can also cause pelvic inflammatory disease (PID). PID often has no symptoms but may cause pelvic and abdominal pain in some women. Even when you don’t experience any symptoms initially, keep in mind that PID can cause permanent damage to your reproductive system. It can also lead to other consequences, including chronic pelvic pain, eco-topic pregnancy (pregnancy outside the uterus that can be potentially deadly), and not being able to get pregnant.

Men usually do not experience any health problems due to chlamydia. There are times when the infection reaches the tube carrying the sperm from the testicles, and that might cause fever and pain. Rarely, a man is unable to have children due to chlamydia.

Untreated chlamydia also increases the chances of giving or getting HIV (AIDS virus).

More Information about Chlamydia:

Resources – STD information and referrals to STD Clinics

CDC-INFO

1-800-CDC-INFO (800-232-4636)

TTY: 1-888-232-6348

CDC National Prevention Information Network (NPIN)

P.O. Box 6003

Rockville, MD 20849-6003

E-mail: npin-info@cdc.gov

American Sexual Health Association (ASHA)

P.O. Box 13827

Research Triangle Park, NC 27709-3827

919-361-8488

Content source: Division of STD Prevention, National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Order a Chlamydia Test:

https://www.ultalabtests.com/test/chlamydia

Essential Facts About Gonorrhea

Any sexually active individual runs the risk of contracting gonorrhea. Gonorrhea can cause serious health consequences if it is not treated correctly; it can be cured with the right medication.

Understanding Gonorrhea

Gonorrhea is a sexually transmitted disease that can affect both men and women at any age. It can cause serious infections in the throat, rectum, and genitals. Gonorrhea is a rather common infection that is prevalent in people between the ages of 15 to 24.

How Does Gonorrhea Spread?

Gonorrhea can spread through oral, vaginal, or anal sex with an individual who has the disease. In addition, a pregnant woman who has gonorrhea can pass it to her baby during childbirth.

How To Reduce The Risk

The only foolproof way of not contacting gonorrhea is to simply not have oral, vaginal, or anal sex.

How To Determine Your Risk

Any individual can get gonorrhea through unprotected oral, anal, or vaginal sex.

If you are a sexually active individual, it is best to have a discussion with your physician about your lifestyle and decide if you should be tested for gonorrhea as well as other STDs. If you are a man who has sex with other men, you should have yearly tests for gonorrhea. Women should be tested every year if you are 25 or younger or if you have new or multiple sex partners or a sex partner with an STD.

How Can Gonorrhea Affect My Baby?

If you are expecting a baby and have gonorrhea, it is essential to understand that the infection may be passed to your baby during delivery. This can lead to serious health complications for your baby. If you are pregnant, you should speak with your physician to ensure that you get the proper treatment, testing, and medication for your safety and that of the baby. The sooner you are treated for gonorrhea, the better it will be for your baby.

How To Tell If You Have Gonorrhea

Some men who may exhibit no symptoms at all. For those men who do show some symptoms, they may have:

  • A burning sensation while urinating
  • A green, white or yellow discharge from the penis
  • While less common, the testicles may become swollen or painful

Most women who develop gonorrhea will not show any symptoms as well. Even when a female does exhibit symptoms, they are usually mild and may be mistaken for a vaginal or bladder infection. Women who have gonorrhea are at risk for further medical complications.

Some of the various symptoms women can develop include:

  • A burning or painful sensation during urination
  • Increased vaginal discharges
  • Vaginal bleeding in between regular periods

Men and women both may suffer rectal infections with either no symptoms or symptoms which may include:

  • Anal itching
  • Discharge
  • Bleeding
  • Soreness
  • Painful bowel movements

If you notice any of these symptoms, or if your partner has STD symptoms, it is essential to speak with a physician.

How Will A Physician Know If I Have Gonorrhea?

Many times a physician will use a simple urine test in the search for gonorrhea. However, if you have had oral or anal sex, the physician may use swabs to collect samples from those areas for testing.  Sometimes samples from a man’s urethra or woman’s cervix may also be collected using a swab.

Is Gonorrhea Curable?

Yes, it is possible to cure gonorrhea with the right treatment. You need to use all the medication that your physician prescribes. You should not share any medication you receive for the treatment of gonorrhea. While medication will stop the infection, it cannot undo any damage that has already been caused.

As some drug-resistant strains of gonorrhea are on the rise, it is becoming more challenging to treat these strains. If your symptoms continue after a few days after you have received treatment, you should return to your doctor for further treatment.

How Soon After Treatment Can I Have Sex Again?

It is best to wait a full seven days after finishing all your medications before having sex. To avoid getting gonorrhea again, or spreading it to other individuals, it is in everyone’s best interest to wait for the full treatment to be completed. If you had gonorrhea in the past and used medication, it is still possible to get infected again if you have unprotected sex with another individual who has gonorrhea.

What If I Do Not Get Treatment?

If gonorrhea goes untreated for an extended period of time it has the possibility of creating serious and permanent health conditions in both men and women.

In women, it can lead to the development of pelvic inflammatory disease. Some typical complications of this disease include:

  • Long term pelvic and/or abdominal pain
  • Infertility
  • Ectopic pregnancy (pregnancy that occurs outside of the womb)
  • Formation of scar tissue that blocks the Fallopian tubes

In men, gonorrhea can lead to a painful condition in the tubes connected to the testicles. In limited cases, this can lead to sterility (the inability to father a child). While rare, the infection can pass to the blood and joints, if left untreated – this can be life-threatening. In addition, leaving gonorrhea untreated can increase the chances of giving or getting HIV (the virus that causes AIDS).

Where can I get more information?

STD information and referrals to STD Clinics

CDC-INFO

1-800-CDC-INFO (800-232-4636)

TTY: 1-888-232-6348

In English, en Español

Content source: Division of STD Prevention, National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Tests

Gonorrhea Testing 

Fact Sheet On Genital Herpes

Genital herpes is a common sexually transmitted disease (STD). A majority of people who have this virus do not have any symptoms. However, even when there are no signs of this disease, herpes may still be spread to the sex partners of the infected person.

What is genital herpes?

It is a type of sexually transmitted disease caused by two kinds of viruses. These viruses are HSV-1 (herpes simplex virus type 1) and HSV-2 (herpes simplex virus type 2).

What is oral herpes?

Usually, oral herpes is caused by HSV-1. It may result in fever blisters or cold sores around or on the mouth. However, a majority of individuals don’t have symptoms. Most individuals who have oral herpes became infected as children or young adults from non-sexual forms of contact with saliva.

Are there any links between oral herpes and genital herpes?

Oral herpes, which is caused by HSV-1, may be spread to the genitals from the mouth via oral sex. That is why HSV-1 causes some genital herpes cases.

Is genital herpes common?

In the US, genital herpes is fairly common – over one out of each six 14-49-year-old individuals has genital herpes.

How is genital herpes spread?

A person gets genital herpes from having oral, anal, or vaginal sex with an individual who has this disease. You can get infected with herpes, if you don’t have it already, by coming into contact with this virus in:

  • A herpes sore
  • Genital secretions (if a partner is infected with genital herpes) or saliva (if a partner is infected with oral herpes)
  • The skin within the oral area if a partner is infected with oral herpes, or skin within the genital area if a partner is infected with genital herpes

Herpes can be contracted from a sex partner who doesn’t have any visible sores or who isn’t aware that she or he is infected. Genital herpes can also be contracted if a sex partner with oral herpes gives you oral sex.

You won’t get herpes from swimming pools, bedding, toilet seats, or from touching objects like towels, soap, or silverware. If you have any more questions about the ways that herpes is spread, you should talk to a healthcare provider about your concerns.

What can I do to lower the chances of getting genital herpes?

The only thing you can do to avoid getting STDs is not having oral, anal, or vaginal sex. If you are a sexually active person, the following things can be done to reduce the risk of you getting genital herpes:

  • Use latex condoms properly each time that you have sex
  • Have a mutually monogamous long-term relationship with a partner not infected with an STD (a partner who was tested for STDs and showed negative test results)

Be aware that herpes sores do not always occur in areas covered by a latex condom, and the herpes virus may also be shed (released) from parts of the skin without any visible herpes sores. That is why condoms do not fully protect you from getting herpes.

If your partner has genital herpes, you can reduce your risk of obtaining genital herpes when:

  • Anti-herpes medication is taken daily by your partner. This is something that should be discussed by your partner and his or her physician
  • Avoid having oral, anal, or vaginal sex whenever your partner has any herpes symptoms (i.e., when your partner has an outbreak).

I am pregnant. How can my baby be affected by genital herpes?

If you have genital herpes and are pregnant, it is critical that you have prenatal care visits. Inform your physician if you have been diagnosed in the past with genital herpes or had any symptoms. You should also let your doctor know if you have been exposed at any time to genital herpes. Some research suggests that a genital herpes infection might lead to a miscarriage, or it could increase the chances of our baby being delivered too early.

Although it is possible to pass a herpes infection to your unborn baby,  it is more common to pass it to your baby during delivery. Either way, your baby can get a potentially fatal infection (neonatal herpes). During pregnancy, it is critical to avoid getting herpes. If you have genital herpes and are pregnant, towards the ending of your pregnancy, you may be offered anti-herpes medicine. The medicine may reduce your risk of having symptoms or signs of genital herpes when you are delivering our baby. At the delivery time, your doctor should examine you carefully for herpes sores. Usually, a C-section will be performed if you have herpes symptoms at the time of your delivery.

How can I tell if I have genital herpes?

A majority of individuals with genital herpes have only very mild symptoms or no symptoms at all. You might notice having mild symptoms, or you might mistake them for a different skin condition like ingrown hair or a pimple. This is why the majority of individuals with the virus are not aware that they have herpes.

Usually, herpes sores appear as one or several blisters around or on the mouth, rectum, or genitals. These blisters break and can leave sores that are painful and can take a week or longer to heal. Sometimes the symptoms are referred to as “having an outbreak.” The very first time that a person has an outbreak, the individual might have flu-like symptoms as well, like swollen glands, body aches, or fever.

People experiencing an initial herpes outbreak may have repeated outbreaks, particularly if they have been infected with HSV-2. Repeated outbreaks are normally less severe and shorter compared to the initial outbreak. Although this infection remains in the person’s body for the rest of their life, over time, the number of outbreaks might decrease.

You should have your doctor examine you if you notice any symptoms or if your partner has STD symptoms or an STD. STD symptoms may include burning when urinating, an unusual sore, smelly genital discharge, or bleeding between periods (for women).

How can my doctor tell if I have herpes?

Your healthcare practitioner might diagnose genital herpes by just looking at your symptoms. A sample can be taken from the sore(s also and tested. Also, a blood test might be used in certain situations to search for herpes antibodies. Talk to your healthcare practitioner and ask them whether you should be tested for STDs such as herpes.

Note: Although a herpes blood test may help to determine whether or not you have a herpes infection, it will be unable to tell how long you have been infected or who gave you your infection.

Is there a cure for herpes?

Herpes has no cures. However, medicines are available that can help to shorten or prevent outbreaks. There is an anti-herpes medication that is  taken on a daily basis, which makes it less likely that an infection will be passed to a sex partner.

What will happen if I am not treated?

Genital herpes may cause painful genital sores, and for individuals with suppressed immune systems, it can be severe.

If you touch fluids from your sores or the sores themselves, you could transfer herpes to a different part of your body, like your eyes. You should not touch the fluids or sores to avoid spreading herpes to a different part of your body. But if you do happen to touch the fluids or sores, thoroughly wash your hands immediately to avoid spreading the infection.

For a pregnant woman, there may be problems for the mother and her newborn baby or developing fetus. See the section above for more information.

If I have herpes, can I still have sex?

If you have herpes, it is important to discuss it with your sex partner(s) and tell them that you have the virus and the risks that are involved. You can help to lower the risk by using condoms, but it won’t completely eliminate the risk. Having sores or other herpes symptoms can help to increase the risk of you spreading the disease. You can still end up infecting your sex partners even if you don’t have symptoms.

You might have concerns about the ways that genital herpes can impact your relationships, sex life, and overall health. The best thing to do is to talk with your healthcare practitioner about any concerns you have, but also it is very important for you to recognize that although there is no cure for herpes, you can manage it by taking medication. Using antiviral medicines daily (or daily suppressive therapy) can reduce the risk of you spreading genital herpes to sexual partners. Treatment options should be discussed with your healthcare practitioner. A genital herpes diagnosis might affect the way you feel about a future or current relationship, so understanding how to discuss STDs with sexual partners is very important. 

Is there a link between genital herpes and HIV?

Breaks or sores in the skin or the lining of the rectum, vagina, or mouth can be caused by herpes infection. That can provide HIV with a way of entering the body. Even without any visible sores, when you have genital herpes, it increases how many CD4 cells you have (cells targeted by HIV for entering the body) in the lining of your genitals. When an individual has both genital herpes and HIV, there is a higher chance that HIV will spread to the sex partner who is not infected with HIV during sexual contact with a partner’s rectum, vagina, or mouth.

Where can I get additional information on genital herpes?

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Division of STD Prevention (DSTDP)

www.cdc.gov/std

CDC-INFO Contact Center

1-800-232-4636 (1-800-CDC-INFO

wwwn.cdc.gov/dcs/ContactUs/Form

American Sexual Health Association (ASHA)

www.ashasexualhealth.org

919-361-8488

P. O. Box 13827

Research Triangle Park, NC 27709-3827

CDC National Prevention Information Network

https://npin.cdc.gov/disease/stds

P.O. Box 6003

Rockville, Maryland 20849-6003

Content source: Division of STD Prevention, National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

 

What Everyone Needs To Know About Syphilis

Syphilis is an STD (a sexually transmitted disease) that has the potential to cause severe health problems if it isn’t treated. 

Syphilis Defined

Syphilis is an infectious disease with potentially serious consequences if it remains untreated. Syphilis spreads through sexual contact. The disease is divided into stages: primary, secondary, latent, and tertiary. Different stages of syphilis have their own signs and symptoms, or lack thereof.

How Does Syphilis Spread?

Syphilis spreads through sexual contact. Syphilis sores appear on or near the penis, vagina, anus, and mouth. You can contract syphilis through any act of vaginal, oral, or anal sex if you make direct contact with a syphilis sore. A pregnant woman with syphilis can infect her unborn baby with the disease.

What Does Syphilis Look Like?

As mentioned above, syphilis is divided into stages, with each stage having different signs and symptoms. In the primary stage, an infected person will generally have one or more syphilis sores near their original infection site. The sores usually occur on or near the genitals, around the anus, in the rectum, or inside or close to the mouth. Most syphilis sores are free of pain, round, and firm to the touch. Symptoms of secondary stage syphilis include fever, swollen lymph nodes, and rashes on the skin. In the primary and secondary stages, the symptoms of syphilis can be mild and consequently overlooked. The latent stage of syphilis gets its name from its lack of symptoms. Tertiary syphilis involves more severe medical issues. In this stage, the disease can affect the brain, heart, and other organs. Doctors use a range of different tests to diagnose tertiary syphilis.

What Can I Do To Reduce My Risk Of Contracting Syphilis?

Abstaining from sexual contact is the only guaranteed way to avoid an STD like syphilis. There are ways to reduce your risk if you are sexually active:

* Restrict yourself to a monogamous relationship with a partner who has tested negative for syphilis.

* Use latex condoms properly in every sexual encounter. Condoms can protect you from syphilis by preventing contact with syphilis sores. Condoms are not a foolproof defense against syphilis because sex may involve intimate contact with areas not covered by a condom. Syphilis sores in these areas can still transmit the disease even if you use a condom.

What Is My Risk for Syphilis?

If you are sexually active, any unprotected sex (vaginal, anal, or oral) puts you at risk of contracting syphilis. Talk honestly about your sexual activity with your health care provider to find out whether or not you need testing for syphilis and other STDs.

A pregnant woman’s first prenatal visit should include a syphilis test.

Regular syphilis testing is important if you fall into the following risk groups:

* If you are a man who has sex with men,

* If you have HIV, or

* If a current or former sexual partner has tested positive for syphilis.

Why Is Syphilis A Concern For Pregnant Women?

If you are infected with syphilis and become pregnant, the infection may be passed to your child before it’s born. Syphilis can cause serious pregnancy complications, including low birth weight, premature delivery, or a stillborn birth (that is, a dead baby). Receiving at least one syphilis test during your pregnancy is a vitally important way to protect your child. If you test positive, you should seek immediate treatment. 

It is possible for a baby infected with syphilis to be born without showing any signs or symptoms. However, serious medical problems can develop within a few weeks of birth if syphilis is not treated immediately. Untreated syphilis in infants can cause cataracts, seizures, deafness, and even death.

What Are The Symptoms Of Syphilis?

As already discussed, adult syphilis occurs in stages, each of which has different signs and symptoms. Here is a more detailed breakdown:

* Primary Syphilis

At this stage of the disease, you may see one or more sores appear. Primary syphilis sores are found most often around the site of initial infection. These sores are usually round, firm, and free from pain. Because syphilis sores are typically painless, they are easy to overlook. Syphilis sores heal after approximately three to six weeks whether or not you receive treatment for the disease. Treatment is still essential even after the sores disappear; without treatment, the disease will progress to the next stage.

* Secondary Syphilis

In secondary syphilis, you may have skin rashes and/or mucous membrane lesions. These lesions are sores in the anus, vagina, or mouth. The secondary stage of syphilis usually begins with the appearance of a rash on one or more areas. This stage can start anytime from while your primary sores are still healing to several weeks after the sores have healed. Syphilis rashes can look like red or reddish-brown spots or rough patches of skin on the palms of your hands and/or the bottoms of your feet. Secondary syphilis rashes are not usually painful or itchy, and sometimes they are so faint that you may not notice them. Secondary syphilis may or may not also have these other symptoms: fever, headaches, swollen lymph glands, sore throat, weight loss, patchy hair loss, muscle pain, and fatigue (extreme tiredness). As with primary syphilis, your secondary syphilis symptoms will eventually go away with or without treatment. Treatment is vital to prevent further progression.

* Latent Syphilis

In the latent stage of syphilis, the disease does not have any signs or symptoms. Syphilis can stay in your body for years in the latent stage if you do not get treatment.

* Tertiary Syphilis

Not every syphilis infection proceeds to tertiary syphilis. When it does develop, tertiary syphilis can cause severe damage to the heart and circulatory system and the brain and nervous system. Tertiary syphilis usually begins 10 to 30 years after you were first infected. Tertiary syphilis damages your internal organs and can be fatal.

Neurosyphilis and Ocular Syphilis

When left untreated, syphilis can spread to the nervous system or the eyes. Neurosyphilis affects the nervous system, while the eyes are affected by ocular syphilis. These complications can occur during any stage of syphilis.

Neurosyphilis symptoms:

* Severe headaches,

* Paralysis (inability to move your body parts),

* Diminished muscle coordination,

* Numbness, and

* Dementia.

Ocular syphilis can include vision changes or blindness.

How Can I Find Out If I Have Syphilis?

A healthcare provider can generally diagnose syphilis with a simple blood test. In some instances, your doctor may diagnose syphilis by taking fluid from a sore and testing it.

Is Syphilis Curable?

Yes! Syphilis is curable with prescribed antibiotics from your healthcare provider. Note that syphilis treatment may not undo any damage that the disease caused before you get treated.

Can I Get Syphilis Again After I Have Been Treated?

Contracting syphilis does not give you any protection from getting the disease again, and you can be re-infected even after receiving successful treatment. Laboratory testing is the only sure way to determine whether or not you have syphilis. Your healthcare provider should order follow-up testing after treatment to confirm that the disease is gone.

Even though a sex partner has to have sores to infect you, these can easily be overlooked. Syphilis sores may appear inside the vagina, mouth, or anus, or under the foreskin of the penis. Unless you are certain that all of your sex partners have tested negative for syphilis, you are still at risk for getting it again.

To receive more STD information and STD clinic referrals, contact the CDC-INFO contact center:

1-800-CDC-INFO (1-800-232-4636)

TTY: (888) 232-6348

https://wwwn.cdc.gov/dcs/contactus/form

Content source: Division of STD Prevention, National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

A Fact Sheet About Trichomoniasis

Most of those with trichomoniasis don’t show any symptoms.

What Specifically Is Trichomoniasis Anyway?

Trichomoniasis is also known just as ‘trich’, but whatever you refer to it as, it’s a sexually transmitted disease. It’s also a very frequently diagnosed STD. The source of it is an infection that has a protozoan parasite known as trichomonas vaginalis. Even though symptoms of this disease can vary, the majority of those who have the parasite do not know that they are infected.

How Common Is This STD?

Trichomoniasis is the most frequently diagnosed among curable STDs. Inside the United States, estimates suggest that 3.7 million people have this infection. Having said that, less than a third of them develop any of the known symptoms. Infection is more prevalent in women as compared to men. Also, older women are more likely to have a trichomoniasis infection than younger women.

How Is It That People Even Get Trichomoniasis in the First Place?

This parasite is one that can pass from an infected host to someone that is not infected during the act of sexual intercourse. For women, the parts of their body that are infected most frequently are the lower genital tract, including the urethra, cervix, vagina, and vulva. For men, the urethra (or interior of the penis) is the most common area of infection. During sexual intercourse, the parasite can spread from a vagina to a penis, or vice-versa. It can even spread from one vagina to another. It’s uncommon for this parasite to wind up infecting other body parts, such as the anus, mouth, or hands. It’s not clear why some individuals who have this infection wind up with symptoms when others don’t. It likely depends on numerous factors, possibly including a person’s total health and specific age. Those who are infected but show no symptoms can still pass this infection onto others.

What Symptoms and Signs Are Associated with Trichomoniasis?

More than two-thirds of those infected don’t show either symptoms or signs. When symptoms do arise from trichomoniasis, they can range anywhere from mild levels of irritation up to severe inflammation. Some of those who do have symptoms first get them anywhere from 5 days up to 4 weeks after the initial infection.

Others don’t wind up developing symptoms until a lot later. Symptoms, in any case, may come and go periodically.

Men who have trichomoniasis might notice the following:

  • Irritation or itching inside their penis
  • A burning sensation following ejaculation or urination
  • Penile discharge.

Women who have trichomoniasis might notice the following:

  • Genital soreness, redness, burning or itching
  • Discomfort with urination
  • Changes in vaginal discharge, increased volume or thin discharge, that may be yellowish, white, clear, or greenish with a strange fishy smell.

Having this STD can make sexual intercourse unpleasant. If you don’t get treatment, then this infection might last months to years.

What Are the Potential Complications?

Trichomoniasis makes it easier to spread or become infected with other STDs. For instance, the genital inflammation that can result from trichomoniasis makes it easier for you to contract HIV or pass on the virus to others.

How Does Trichomoniasis Impact Pregnant Women and Babies?

An expecting woman with this STD is someone with a higher likelihood of preterm delivery, where she has her child born too soon. Also, babies delivered from infected mothers are more likely to have a low birth weight of under 5.5 lbs.

How Do Healthcare Professionals Diagnose Trichomoniasis?

Trichomoniasis can’t be diagnosed just based on symptoms. Healthcare professionals can examine men and women alike and can order the lab tests used in diagnosing this disease.

How Is Trichomoniasis Treated?

At the time of writing, two different medications are used for treating trichomoniasis – tinidazole and metronidazole (both pills that are ingested by mouth). Pregnant women can usually take this medication safely. Individuals are advised to avoid drinking alcohol in the first 24 hours after taking either drug.

Anyone who gets treated for this STD can wind up getting it again. Roughly 20 percent of all trichomoniasis patients wind up having a new infection within 3 months following their initial treatment. To avoid reinfection, you need to be sure that any sex partners you have also get treated. After your partner(s) and you are treated, wait a week to 10 days before resuming sexual intercourse. If either of you has symptoms that return, both of you should get checked out again.

Is Trichomoniasis Preventable?

The only surefire way of avoiding all STDs is by avoiding oral, anal, or vaginal sex. If you are currently sexually active, then you can take certain steps to minimize your odds of contracting trichomoniasis:

  • Stay within a long-running, sexually monogamous relationship where both of you are tested for STDs and have negative results.
  • Always use latex condoms whenever you have sexual intercourse. Also, use them properly. This will reduce your odds of contracting trichomoniasis, but condoms don’t cover all potential areas of infection.
  • Talk to your new partners about the risk of possible STDs before having intercourse with them the first time. This lets you make educated decisions about your comfort level in terms of risk with your sex life. Consult a healthcare professional if you or anyone you know has any questions about STDs such as trichomoniasis.

Content source: Division of STD Prevention, National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

HIV AIDS Fact Sheet

HIV stands for human immunodeficiency virus.  It is the virus that can lead to acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) if not treated.  Unlike some other viruses, the human body can’t get rid of HIV completely, even with treatment.  So, once you get HIV, you have it for life.

HIV attacks the body’s immune system, specifically the CD4 cells (T cells), which help the immune system fight off infections. Untreated, human immunodeficiency virus reduces the number of T cells in the body, making the person more likely to get other infections or infection-related cancers. Over time, human immunodeficiency virus can destroy so many of these cells that the body can’t fight off infections and disease. These opportunistic infections or cancers take advantage of a week immune system and signal that the person has AIDS, the last stage of HIV infection.

No effective cure currently exists, but with proper medical care, human immunodeficiency virus can be controlled. The medicine used to treat HIV is called antiretroviral therapy or ART. If taken the right way, every day, this medicine can dramatically prolong the lives of many people infected with human immunodeficiency virus, keep them healthy, and significantly lower their chance of infecting others. Before the introduction of ART in the mid-1990s, people with HIV could progress to AIDS in just a few years. Today, someone diagnosed with human immunodeficiency virus and treated before the disease is far advanced can live nearly as long as someone who does not have human immunodeficiency virus.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that everyone 13 to 64 years old gets tested for human immunodeficiency virus at least once and that people at high risk of the infection get tested more often.  Risk factors for HIV infection include: having unprotected sex (sex without a condom) with someone who is HIV positive or whose HIV status you don’t know; having sex with many partners; and injecting drugs and sharing needles, syringes, or other drug equipment with others. The CDC recommends that all pregnant women get tested for human immunodeficiency virus as early as possible during each pregnancy.

[Sources:  U.S. Department of Health and Human Services; and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention]

About HIV Testing

The only way to know for sure whether you have HIV is to get tested.  CDC recommends that everyone between the ages of 13 and 64 gets tested for human immunodeficiency virus at least once as part of routine health care and that people at high risk of infection get tested more often. Knowing your HIV status gives you powerful information to help you take steps to keep you and your partner healthy.

The HIV Antibody test shows if you have antibodies to HIV in your body. (human immunodeficiency virus antibodies are a sign that HIV has entered your body.)  A blood sample will be taken from you and be tested.  If the first test shows that you have the antibodies, a different test will be done to make sure the first test was right. The test for HIV antibodies is exceptionally accurate and reliable.  However, in rare instances, the test may be positive in individuals who are not infected with the virus (false positive), and occasionally it may be negative in persons infected with HIV (false negative), especially when infection occurred within the 3-6 months before testing.

A negative test means you’re probably not infected with human immunodeficiency virus.  But it takes the body time to produce HIV antibodies.  It may just be too soon for the antibodies to be seen in the test.  If you recently had sex without a condom or shared needles with someone who may be infected, you may want to be tested again in three to six months.  Please talk to your doctor about this.

A positive confirmatory test result means you are infected with human immunodeficiency virus.  It doesn’t necessarily mean you have AIDS, but human immunodeficiency virus is the virus that causes AIDS.  It also means you could give the virus to other people.  People who are infected can pass the virus during sex or by sharing needles during drug use.  A pregnant woman who is infected can pass the virus to her baby during pregnancy or childbirth.

If you test positive for human immunodeficiency virus, you should see your primary care physician for a referral to an Infectious Disease physician or seek information from your local health department.

[Sources: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services; Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; and Connecticut Department of Public Health]

 

HIV stands for human immunodeficiency virus. It is the virus that can lead to acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) if not treated. Unlike some other viruses, the human body can’t get rid of human immunodeficiency virus completely, even with treatment. So, once you get human immunodeficiency virus, you have it for life.

HIV attacks the body’s immune system, specifically the CD4 cells (T cells), which help the immune system fight off infections. Untreated, HIV reduces the number of T cells in the body, making the person more likely to get other infections or infection-related cancers. Over time, human immunodeficiency virus can destroy so many of these cells that the body can’t fight off infections and disease. These opportunistic infections or cancers take advantage of a week immune system and signal that the person has AIDS, the last stage of HIV infection.

No effective cure currently exists, but with proper medical care, HIV can be controlled. The medicine used to treat HIV is called antiretroviral therapy or ART. If taken the right way, every day, this medicine can dramatically prolong the lives of many people infected with HIV, keep them healthy, and significantly lower their chance of infecting others. Before the introduction of ART in the mid-1990s, people with human immunodeficiency virus could progress to AIDS in just a few years. Today, someone diagnosed with HIV and treated before the disease is far advanced can live nearly as long as someone who does not have human immunodeficiency virus.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that everyone 13 to 64 years old gets tested for HIV at least once and that people at high risk of the infection get tested more often. Risk factors for HIV infection include: having unprotected sex (sex without a condom) with someone who is HIV positive or whose human immunodeficiency virus status you don’t know; having sex with many partners; and injecting drugs and sharing needles, syringes, or other drug equipment with others. The CDC recommends that all pregnant women get tested for human immunodeficiency virus as early as possible during each pregnancy.

[Sources: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services; and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention]

About HIV Testing

The only way to know for sure whether you have human immunodeficiency virus is to get tested. CDC recommends that everyone between the ages of 13 and 64 gets tested for human immunodeficiency virus at least once as part of routine health care and that people at high risk of infection get tested more often.

Knowing your HIV status gives you powerful information to help you take steps to keep you and your partner healthy.

The HIV Antibody test shows if you have antibodies to HIV in your body. (HIV antibodies are a sign that human immunodeficiency virus has entered your body.) A blood sample will be taken from you and be tested. If the first test shows that you have the antibodies, a different test will be done to make sure the first test was right. The test for HIV antibodies is exceptionally accurate and reliable. However, in rare instances, the test may be positive in individuals who are not infected with the virus (false positive), and occasionally it may be negative in persons infected with human immunodeficiency virus (false negative), especially when infection occurred within the 3-6 months before testing.

A negative test means you’re probably not infected with HIV. But it takes the body time to produce HIV antibodies. It may just be too soon for the antibodies to be seen in the test. If you recently had sex without a condom or shared needles with someone who may be infected, you may want to be tested again in three to six months. Please talk to your doctor about this.

A positive confirmatory test result means you are infected with human immunodeficiency virus. It doesn’t necessarily mean you have AIDS, but HIV is the virus that causes AIDS. It also means you could give the virus to other people. People who are infected can pass the virus during sex or by sharing needles during drug use. A pregnant woman who is infected can pass the virus to her baby during pregnancy or childbirth.

If you test positive for human immunodeficiency virus, you should see your primary care physician for a referral to an Infectious Disease physician or seek information from your local health department.

[Sources: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services; Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; and Connecticut Department of Public Health]

 

 

 

The most common sexually transmitted infections among Americans is known as human papilloma virus (HPV). It is important to note that some health issues associated with HPV are preventable by vaccine. 

Basic Information About HPV 

HPV holds the title as the most common sexually transmitted infection (STI) in the U.S. There are many different types of HPV spread among the estimated 79 million people in the U.S. who have the infection. Keep in mind that HPV is not the same as HIV or HSV viruses. 

Certain types of HPV can cause health problems, most notably, genital warts and cancer. HPV vaccines can prevent these problems. 

Research shows that people from late teens to early 20s are the most likely to be infected. 

The Spreading Of HPV 

Any sexual contact with a person that carries the virus creates an opportunity to spread HPV. The interaction is not limited to vaginal and anal intercourse. Oral sex can also spread the virus spread. Essentially, all it takes to be vulnerable to HPV is to be sexually active. 

Even in cases where the person carrying the virus does not show any signs or symptoms, HPV can still be passed on, and it only requires sex with a single individual. As symptoms for HPV can take years to develop, tracking exactly when the virus was contracted may be challenging. 

Possible Health Problems From HPV?

In general, the virus will naturally go away and not cause any health problems. But there are certain situations when HPV causes more significant issues like genital warts and cancer. 

Genital warts usually appear as a single or group of bumps in the area of the genitals. These bumps can also be large or small, flat or raised, or shaped like a cauliflower. A healthcare provider can often diagnose warts with an examination. 

Can HPV Lead To Cancer? 

Unfortunately, HPV can cause various types of cancer. The areas where HPV can cause cancer include:

– Vagina,

– Vulva,

– Penis,

– Anus, 

– Back of throat/base of tongue and tonsils.

Cancer caused by HPV will often take years to develop. In certain instances, cancer development from HPV can take decades. However, the types of HPV that lead to genital warts are not the same types of HPV that can cause cancer. 

There is no way to predict which people who get HPV are going to develop cancer or other health issues, or even if any reaction is to be expected. Individuals with weaker or compromised immune systems, such as those fighting HIV/AIDS, have a higher risk of developing problems due to HPV. 

Can You Lower The Risk Of An HPV Infection? 

By using preventative measures instead of treatment, you can lower the risk by several means. Here are some suggestions: 

– Vaccinate: 

Getting vaccinated against the HPV virus is safe and effective, especially when done at the recommended age. According to the CDC, it is best to receive the vaccination around 11 or 12 years of age. Alternatively, vaccination for HPV can be administered for children as young as nine and is recommended for everyone through the age of 26. More information about the vaccination process and benefits can be found at https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/vpd/hpv/public/index.html. 

– Regular Screening 

Regular screening for cervical cancer is recommended for women between the ages of 21 and 65. 

– Use Condoms 

Using condoms properly can lower your chances of getting HPV. But areas not covered by a condom may be vulnerable to infection. 

– Stick To One Sexual Partner

It helps to be in a relationship where you only have sexual intercourse with your partner (and vice versa). 

Who Should Get Vaccinated For HPV? 

Vaccination is not recommended for adults older than 26. It is best to speak with your healthcare provider before getting vaccinated. Given the long-term exposure to HPV already, you want to get clarity about how vaccination may help.

The truth is that you expose yourself to a new HPV risk every time you have new sexual partners. 

How Can I Tell If I Have HPV? 

Medical research and technology have yet to create a test to determine HPV status. Nor is there a test to find HPV in the mouth or throat. The truth is most people only realize HPV is a problem when other health issues surface. 

There are, however, HPV tests to screen for cervical cancer. These tests are only recommended for women ages 30 and older. HPV tests are not recommended for children, men, or women younger than 30. 

Most people who have HPV do not know they are infected and never develop symptoms or health problems from it. Some find out when they get genital warts. Women may find out they have HPV when they get an abnormal Pap test result (during cervical cancer screening). Still others may only find out once they’ve developed more serious problems from HPV, such as cancers.

How Common Is HPV Really? 

To give you a good idea of how common HPV really is, consider that, on average, 14 million people are newly infected every year. Almost every sexually active person will get the virus at some point if they have not already been vaccinated. 

Health Problem Statistics Related To HPV 

– Genital Warts: 

The rough estimation of men and women suffering from HPV caused genital warts before the vaccination option was between 340,000 and 360,000 per year. It is also interesting to note that one in about every 100 sexually active adults has genital warts at any given time. 

– Cervical Cancer: 

An estimated 12,000 American women are diagnosed with cervical cancer on an annual basis. A sadder statistic is that 4,000 of these women will die due to cervical cancer.

– Other Health Issues: 

HPV is not limited to genital warts and cervical cancer, as established earlier. Findings show that an average of 19,400 women (along with 12,100 men) are affected every year by cancer caused by HPV. 

How Does HPV Affect Pregnancy? 

While pregnant, general risks include genital warts and abnormal cell changes on your cervix. The latter can be detected via regular cervical cancer screening tests. It is recommended to get these routine checks even if you are pregnant. 

Is There Treatment For HPV? 

Unfortunately, there is no cure or treatment for HPV itself. But treatments are available for the health problems created by the virus. For instance, genital warts can be addressed with medication from your healthcare provider. Cervical precancer is treatable if caught early on; women who have regular Pap tests and follow up can identify problems before cancer develops. Early diagnosis and treatment will aid in fighting other HPV related cancers. You can get more insight at www.cancer.org.

Where can I get more information?

STD information

HPV Information

HPV Vaccination

Cancer Information

Cervical Cancer Screening

CDC’s National Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program

STD information and referrals to STD Clinics

CDC-INFO

1-800-CDC-INFO (800-232-4636)

TTY: 1-888-232-6348

 In English, en Español

CDC National Prevention Information Network (NPIN)

P.O. Box 6003

Rockville, MD 20849-6003

E-mail: npin-info@cdc.gov

National HPV and Cervical Cancer Prevention Resource Center American Sexual Health Association (ASHA)external icon

 P. O. Box 13827

 Research Triangle Park, NC

 27709-3827

 919-361-8488

 E-mail: info@ashasexualhealth.org

Content source: Division of STD Prevention, National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and T.B. Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

 

All women are at risk of developing Bacterial Vaginosis. Getting this condition will increase your chances of contracting a sexually transmitted disease (STD).

Bacterial Vaginosis Defined: Bacterial Vaginosis is a condition that occurs when there is an excess of certain bacteria in the vagina. This condition directly impacts the natural bacterial balance in the vagina.

How Widespread Is Bacterial Vaginosis?

The most common vaginal infection in women between 15 and 44 years of age is bacterial vaginosis.

 

What Causes Bacterial Vaginosis and How Does It Spread?

 

Scientists are still unaware of the exact cause of BV. The fact is that bacterial vaginosis occurs in sexually active women. BV is associated with an imbalance between “good” and “harmful” bacteria that populate a woman’s vagina. This bacterial imbalance can be linked to intercourse with a new partner or with multiple partners, as well as by douching. All these increase the risk for a woman to get bacterial vaginosis.

We are also unaware of how sex contributes to BV. There are no studies to evidence that treating a sex partner has a direct influence on the chances that the woman gets BV. However, women who suffer from BV have a higher risk of contracting various STDs.

BV is almost nonexistent in women who haven’t had sex and you cannot get BV from bed sheets, swimming pools, or toilet seats.

Is There A Way I Can Avoid Getting BV?

Although medical doctors don’t totally understand how this condition spreads, there are things you can do to minimize your risk of getting BV – refraining from having sex, limiting the number of your sex partners, and not douching.

I’ve Been Diagnosed While Pregnant. Will Bacterial Vaginosis Affect My Newborn Baby?

Pregnant women can get bacterial Vaginosis. Premature birth and low birth weight are among the most common risks of women suffering from BV. Treatment is particularly important for pregnant women.

 

What Are The Main Symptoms Of Bacterial Vaginosis?

 

In many women, the condition can be asymptomatic.

The most commonly encountered symptoms are:

  • A vaginal discharge, either gray or white
  • A strong fish-like odor that intensifies after sex
  • A burning sensation during urinating
  • Itches around the outer portion of the vagina

How Will My Doctor Determine Whether I Have Bacterial Vaginosis?

Your doctor will start by examining you for vaginal discharge. Laboratory tests on a sample of vaginal fluid can determine whether or not you have BV.

What Is The Treatment For Bacterial Vaginosis?

Sometimes, BV may go away without the need for any medication or treatment. However, you shouldn’t overlook your symptoms of BV, but rather seek for medical help. It is also essential to stick to the treatment and take all medicines as prescribed by your doctor. Sometimes, healthcare providers recommend antibiotics as the first treatment option. Nevertheless, BV may return even after such treatments. The correct treatment may lower your risk for some STDs.

Male sex partners of women diagnosed with bacterial vaginosis don’t usually require any treatment. Infected women can transmit the disease to their female sex partners.

What If I Don’t Seek Treatment?

BV can lead to some significant health risks.

Here are a few of them:

  • It increases your risk to get HIV if you have sex with an HIV infected partner
  • If you are HIV positive, you’ll have higher chances to pass it to your sex partners
  • If you have BV during pregnancy, you risk premature delivery of your baby

Suffering from BV increases your risks to get chlamydiagonorrhea, or other STDs. These bacteria can also trigger pelvic inflammatory disease, making it difficult or even impossible for you to bear children.

Information:

STD information and referrals to STD Clinics

CDC-INFO

1-800-CDC-INFO (800-232-4636)

TTY: 1-888-232-6348

CDC National Prevention Information Network (NPIN)

P.O. Box 6003

Rockville, MD 20849-6003

E-mail: npin-info@cdc.gov

American Sexual Health Association (ASHA)

P. O. Box 13827

Research Triangle Park, NC 27709-3827

919-361-8488

Content source: Division of STD Prevention, National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Tests

STD Basic Panel

STD Comprehensive Panel

 

Are STDs associated with HIV?

You are more likely to contract HIV or transmit the disease to other sexual partners if you have an STD.

People in the U.S. who have syphilisherpes, or gonorrhea often also have HIV or are at a higher risk of getting HIV.

Why does having STDs put you at higher risk for contracting HIV?

Having an STD puts you at a higher risk of getting HIV because the same circumstances and behaviors that may put you at risk for STDs also can put you at greater risk of getting HIV. Additionally, when STDs result in breaks in the skin or sores, HIV may enter your body more easily. For these two reasons, it is more likely that you will get HIV if you have an STD.

It is highly recommended to get tested regularly for both HIV and STDs if you are sexually active. Even if you aren’t experiencing any of the symptoms of an STD/HIV or if you are having sex with only one partner, get tested.

Which activities can increase the risk of getting both STDs and HIV?

  • Not using a condom while having oral, vaginal, or anal sex.
  • Having more than one sex partner.
  • Having sex with anonymous people.
  • Being under the influence of drugs or alcohol can lead to lower inhibitions, which can lead to taking greater sexual risks.

How Can I Avoid getting an STD or HIV?

There is only one way to be 100% sure that you can’t get HIV or an STD, and that is to abstain from all sexual activity, which means no oral, vaginal or anal sex. However, there are some steps that you can take to lower your chances of contracting these diseases if you choose to be sexually active:

  • Choose sexual activities that are less risky.
  • Wear a new condom or insist that your partner wears a new condom for each oral, vaginal, or anal sexual act throughout the entire act.
  • Reduce the number of sexual partners.
  • Don’t drink or use drugs that affect your decision-making behavior regarding sex.
  • Talk openly and honestly with a healthcare provider and get tested for HIV and STDs regularly.
  • Ask your healthcare provider whether pre (PrEP) or post-exposure (PEP) prophylaxis may be a good option for you.

If I already have HIV and get an STD, does this increase the risk of transmitting HIV to my sexual partner(s)?

Getting infected with an STD can increase the risk of transmitting HIV to your sex partner(s). You can lower the risk by taking the following steps:

  • Get treated for your HIV with antiretroviral therapy (ART) and make sure that you stay on the medication. Taking HIV medication can reduce the viral load or the amount of the virus that is present in your bloodstream. In fact, ART’s can reduce a viral load to such an extent that it becomes undetectable in HIV tests. If you have an undetectable viral load, it is much less likely that you will transmit HIV to your sexual partners. However, it is important to note that an undetectable viral load does not mean that you are cured.
  • Engage in less risky sexual activities.
  • Always use a new condom for each oral, vaginal, or anal sex act and wear the condom throughout the act from the beginning to the end. 
  • Your sexual partner may want to consider taking pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) and discuss this with a qualified healthcare provider to determine if this is a suitable option. PrEP is highly effective at reducing the risk of contracting HIVwhen taken daily. Inconsistently taking the prophylactic treatment lowers the efficacy. Be aware that PrEP is not intended to prevent the transmission of other STDs and, therefore, still use condoms.

Will STD treatment stop me from getting HIV?

The answer is No. Treatment for STDs is primarily to help prevent complications and the transmission of the disease to other sexual partners. Treatment for an STD is different from the treatment for HIV and therefore, will not prevent spreading HIV. STD treatment is not sufficient to prevent HIV. If you have been diagnosed with an STD, talk to your healthcare provider or doctor about how to prevent getting reinfected with the same STD, or getting HIV.

Where can I get more information regarding STDs and HIV?

HIV/AIDS and STDs

www.cdc.gov/std/hiv/

PrEP (pre-exposure prophylaxis)

www.cdc.gov/hiv/basics/prep.html

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

www.cdc.gov/std

CDC-INFO Contact Center

1-800-CDC-INFO

(1-800-232-4636)

https://wwwn.cdc.gov/dcs/

CDC National Prevention Information Network (NPIN)

https://npin.cdc.gov/disease/stds

American Sexual Health Association (ASHA)

https://www.ashasexualhealth.org

P. O. Box 13827

Research Triangle Park, NC

27709-3827

919-361-8488

Content source: Division of STD PreventionNational Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB PreventionCenters for Disease Control and Prevention

Tests:

STD PANEL: https://www.ultalabtests.com/testing/search?itemname=std

SYPHILIS/RPR: https://www.ultalabtests.com/test/syphilis-rpr-fta-abs

HERPES 1/2: https://www.ultalabtests.com/test/herpes-1-2

GONORRHEA: https://www.ultalabtests.com/test/gonorrhea

 

Pelvic inflammatory disease, or PID, is an infection that affects women and can be caused by sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) that are left untreated. 1 in 8 women who have a history of experiencing PID have difficulties getting pregnant. If you know how to protect yourself adequately, you can prevent PID.

What is Pelvic Inflammatory Disease?

PID is a type of infection of the reproductive organs of a woman. It is a complication often caused by certain STDs, such as gonorrhea and chlamydia. Other non-sexually transmitted infections can also cause PID.

How can I get PID?

It is more likely for you to get Pelvic Inflammatory Disease in cases where you: 

  • Have an STD that is not treated
  • Are sexually active and 25 years old or younger
  • Have had PID in the past
  • Have a sex partner who has other sex partners besides you
  • Have multiple sex partners
  • Douche
  • Use an IUD (intrauterine device) for birth control (This is a small increased risk and is mainly limited to the initial three weeks after a doctor places the IUD inside the uterus.)

How can I lower my risk of getting PID?

The only way to avoid getting STD is not having oral, anal, or vaginal sex.

If you are sexually active, the following things can be done to reduce your risk of getting PID:

  • Be in a mutually monogamous long-term relationship with a partner who has been tested for STDs and has negative test results
  • Use latex condoms properly each time you engage in sexual activity

How can I tell if I have Pelvic Inflammatory Disease or not? 

There are no PID tests. Usually, a diagnosis is based on the combination of other test results, a physical exam, and your medical history. You might not be aware that you have Pelvic Inflammatory Disease since symptoms can be mild, or you might not be experiencing any symptoms at all. 

However, if you are experiencing symptoms, you might notice: 

  • Pain within your lower abdomen
  • Bleeding and/or pain when having sex
  • An unusual discharge that has a bad odor coming from your vagina
  • Fever
  • Bleeding in between periods
  • A burning sensation when you urinate

Take the following action: 

  • If you have any of the above symptoms, you should have your doctor examine you
  • See a doctor right away if you believe that either you or your sexual partner(s) or were exposed to or have an STD
  • See a doctor right away if you have genital symptoms like bleeding between periods, burning when urinating, a smelly discharge, or an unusual sore
  • If you are sexually active and 25 years or younger you should be tested every year for chlamydia
  • If you are sexually active, have an open and honest discussion with your healthcare provider and ask whether or not you should be tested for STDs.

Is there a cure for PID?

Yes, when PID is diagnosed early enough, it is possible to treat it. However, being treated does not undo any of the damage that has occurred within your reproductive system already. Therefore, the longer that you wait before receiving treatment, the more likely you will experience PID complications. Your symptoms might go away before your infection is cured while taking antibiotics. However, even if your symptoms disappear, you should still take all of your medicine. Make sure to inform your recent sex partner(s), so they also can be tested and treated for STDs. Also, you and your partner must finish your treatment before having any type of sex, so you don’t re-infect one another. 

If you are infected with an STD again, you can also get PID again. If you had PID in the past, you have a greater chance of getting it again.

What will happen if I am not treated?

PID complications can be prevented if you are diagnosed and then treated early.

Some PID complications include: 

  • Long-term abdominal/pelvic pain
  • Infertility (unable to get pregnant)
  • Ectopic pregnancy (pregnancy that occurs outside of the womb)
  • Scar tissue formation both inside and outside the fallopian tubes that may result in tubal blockage

Where can I get information on PID?

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Division of STD Prevention (DSTDP)

www.cdc.gov/std

CDC National Prevention Information Network (NPIN)

E-mail: npin-info@cdc.gov

https://npin.cdc.gov/disease/stds

P.O. Box 6003

Rockville, MD 20849-6003

CDC-INFO Contact Center

(1-800-232-4636)

1-800-CDC-INFO

https://wwwn.cdc.gov/dcs/contactus/form

American Sexual Health Association (ASHA)

https://www.ashasexualhealth.org/

919-361-8488

P. O. Box 13827

Research Triangle Park, NC 27709-3827

Content source: Division of STD PreventionNational Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB PreventionCenters for Disease Control and Prevention

Tests:

STD Basic Panel

STD Comprehensive Panel