mature male doctor showing test results to a patient inside of a hospital during the day

Symptoms


How Do I Know if I Should Visit an STD Testing Clinic?

If you have had unprotected sex with someone that you know has, or suspect has, an STD or whose sexual history you do not know, you should consider going to a healthcare provider or an STD clinic for testing. You should also have an STD check if you experience any of the following:

 

  • Unusual discharge from your vagina or penis
  • Sores or bumps around your thighs, genitals, or anus
  • Increased or painful urination
  • Pain, itching, swelling, or irritation around your anus or genitals
  • Fever, body aches, swollen glands, and other flu-like symptoms

STD Testing


Which Sexually Transmitted Diseases Are Detected In an STD Screening?

There isn’t a single test that checks for all STDs. Individual STD screenings are available for common sexually transmitted diseases, such as gonorrhea, syphilis, chlamydia, HIV, and hepatitis. Your MD Now provider will determine which tests you need based on your symptoms and history.

What Can I Expect During an STD Check?

Most tests can be performed quickly and cause little, if any, discomfort. Most screenings involve providing a sample of urine or blood or a cheek swab. Depending on the circumstances, the provider may also perform a physical exam or take a sample of cells or discharge from any lesions or the genitals.

Are Walk-In STD Testing Sites Safe and Confidential?

Whether you get tested at a doctor’s office or an STD clinic, the law requires most STDs to be reported to the local health department and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to ensure that anyone who may have been infected is identified and given the opportunity to seek treatment. To ensure that your tests and results are as confidential as possible, we do have systems in place for confidential disease notification.

What Should I Consider When Choosing an STD Testing Clinic?

Getting tested for a sexually transmitted disease can be an emotional experience. When choosing an STD testing clinic, you should consider the following:

Convenience: MD Now clinics are open 365 days a year and offer extended hours, which means that you don’t have to schedule time away from work or school to get tested.

Knowledgeable Providers: In addition to performing any necessary tests, MD Now providers will ensure that you understand your test results and provide you with the information you will need to protect yourself and your partners.


HIV


What Is the Best STD Check for HIV?

There are two basic categories of tests for HIV. The first is a rapid HIV test that will provide results in approximately 20 minutes. If you test positive on a rapid test, follow-up testing is normally performed to confirm the result. The second is the standard test that is sent off to a lab. It can take 24 to 48 hours to get the results of a standard test. Depending on the test used, an HIV screening will look for the proteins produced by the HIV virus, the antibodies that the body produces in response to the virus, or a combination of both. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved two home tests for HIV testing. The increased risk of false results with at-home tests and the lack of counseling and treatment before and after the tests mean that an STD testing clinic or your healthcare provider are still your best options.

How Soon Can HIV Be Detected by a Blood Test?

How soon an HIV test will detect the virus can vary based on the type of test used. An early HIV test that detects both antigens and antibodies may test positive as soon as a month after exposure. Almost all tests will test positive by six months.


Recommendations


What Are the Current STD Screening Recommendations?

Anyone who is sexually active should have an honest conversation with their healthcare provider regarding their sexual history to determine if they are at risk for a sexually transmitted disease and which tests and/or treatments may be appropriate. If you are not comfortable talking with your primary care provider or going to a traditional STD testing center, our MD Now providers offer low-cost and confidential testing. The following are the current STD testing recommendation from the CDC:

 

  • STD Testing for All Adults and Adolescents: All sexually active adolescents and adults between the ages of 13 and 64 should be tested for HIV at least once. Anyone who engages in unprotected sex or shares intravenous drug equipment should be tested for HIV annually.
  • STD Testing for Women: Sexually active women under the age of 25 should be tested annually for chlamydia and gonorrhea. Women age 25 and older who have multiple sexual partners, a sex partner known to have an STD, or other risk factors should also have annual chlamydia and gonorrhea tests. Pregnant women should be tested for HIV, syphilis, and hepatitis B early in their pregnancy. If at risk, they should also have chlamydia and gonorrhea tests. Based on the woman’s risk factors, tests may need to be repeated throughout the pregnancy to protect both the mother and the baby.
  • STD Testing for Men: Sexually active men should have annual tests for gonorrhea, chlamydia, and syphilis. Based on their particular sexual practices and risk factors, gay and bisexual men may want to talk to their healthcare provider about more frequent testing for HIV and other STDs.

Treatment


What Happens If My STD Check Is Positive?

Many STDs can be managed and even cured with the proper treatment. If you test positive for a sexually transmitted disease, an MD Now provider can treat you and, if necessary, refer you to the appropriate specialist for treatment.


The content provided on the MD Now website is for informational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for receiving medical care and treatment from a qualified healthcare provider. Never delay seeking advice, evaluation, and treatment from a medical professional because of what you’ve read on this site, since the information provided may not apply to you or your symptoms.