Does urgent care do STD testing?
If you’re sexually active, it’s important that you do everything you can to prevent contracting and spreading sexually transmitted diseases, or STDs. Two of the best things you can do to protect yourself are to use protection when engaging in sexual activity and get tested regularly.
Many people have questions about STD testing, including how often they should get tested, what the testing process looks like, and if there are specific tests they should request. We’re breaking down everything you need to know about testing so you can stay safe.
What’s the difference between an STD and an STI?
One of the most common questions people have about sexually transmitted diseases is the difference between STDs and STIs. Despite what many believe, the two are actually not the same thing.
An STD is a sexually transmitted disease, while an STI is a sexually transmitted infection. If an STI causes symptoms, it’s considered a disease. However, STI is usually the more accurate terminology to use.
You can think about it like this: an infection occurs before disease. In many cases, the infection won’t ever turn into a disease or cause any symptoms.
Can you get STD testing at urgent care centers?
Whether you’re showing symptoms of an STD or not, it’s a good idea to get tested regularly. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), all sexually active adults should get tested every year.
However, if you’ve experienced any of the following, you should get tested:
- Participated in sexual activity without protection
- Are sexually active with multiple partners
- Are pregnant
- Have reason to believe you’ve been exposed to an STD
Urgent care clinics are a great option for STD testing and treatment. At clinics like CareNow®, your testing can be easy, efficient, and discreet.
How much Is STD testing at urgent care?
Urgent care is known for being a cost-effective way to receive testing and treatment. The cost of testing will vary depending on which urgent care you choose, but you can check the clinic’s website before your visit to see if your insurance plan is accepted. Most urgent care clinics, such as CareNow®, offer competitive self-pay rates as well if you don’t have insurance.
What STD tests should you get?
If you have reason to believe you’ve been exposed to a certain STD, you need to get tested for that STD specifically. However, if you’re getting tested for precautionary reasons, you should talk to your provider about which infections to get tested for.
He or she may recommend you get tested for one or more of the following:
- Hepatitis B
What to expect during an STD test
Getting an STD test can be a nerve-wracking experience. It’s important to know that deciding to get tested is a responsible decision and will help keep you and your partner healthy.
In most cases, an STD test will be done by using urine or blood samples. Gonorrhea, Syphilis, Chlamydia, and HIV are all tested using this form of sample. For some infections, a vaginal, cervical, or urethral swab will provide more accurate results.
Many people are under the impression that a Pap smear performed at an annual OBGYN appointment serves as an STD test. This is not the case, as a Pap smear only looks for early signs of cervical and anal cancer.
Does urgent care do herpes testing?
Herpes is one of the most difficult STDs to test for as no good screening currently exists for the viral infection. Unfortunately, many people who have herpes don’t have symptoms or realize they have the infection and end up spreading it to others unknowingly.
In some cases, your provider may want to take a tissue scraping or culture of blisters or early ulcers for examination in a lab. Blood tests can also be done to determine if you’ve had a past herpes infection.
What happens if you get a positive test result?
If you receive a positive test result from your STD test, you and your provider will need to come up with a treatment plan that is dependent on the type of infection you have. One of the first things you should do is inform any of your partners that you’ve tested positive. They will also need to be evaluated as infections can easily be passed back and forth.
How are STDs treated?
If you have reason to believe you’ve been exposed to an STD, it’s imperative that you get tested as soon as possible. Not only do you potentially put others at risk, but untreated infections can become life-threatening in some cases.
For STDs that are caused by bacteria, yeast, and parasites, antibiotics are typically prescribed to help resolve the infection. Viral infections do not have a cure; however, they can usually be controlled with medication.
Can you prevent STDs?
The only way to guarantee you will not develop an STD is by abstaining from sex. However, if you plan to be sexually active, there are other things you should plan to do to help prevent the spread of infection, including:
- Staying with one uninfected partner instead of multiple partners
- Getting tested before engaging in sexual activity with a new partner
- Insisting a new partner gets tested before becoming sexually active
- Using condoms no matter what
When you need to get an STD test, consider visiting your local CareNow® clinic. We have over 175 locations throughout the country and are open after hours and on the weekends so you can get the answers you need quickly and without hassle.
By choosing CareNow®, you can rest assured you’re getting the best care as we’ve earned the distinction of Accredited Urgent Care Center from our industry’s association, Urgent Care Association (UCA).
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