STD Testing & Treatment

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The term sexually transmitted infection (STI) is used interchangeably with sexually transmitted disease (STD). But, there is a difference.

 

Not all diseases start with an infection, and not all infections progress into a disease, but many do.  An infection occurs when a bacteria, virus, or parasite enters the body and starts proliferating.

 

A sexually transmitted infection progresses to disease when the infection starts to disrupt the normal function of the body. Some STIs can be cured, and some cannot. Early detection is key, and we are happy to provide services for patients seeking testing and/or treatment for common STIs such as:

  • HIV

  • Human Papillomavirus (HPV)

  • Chlamydia

  • Gonorrhea

  • Syphilis

  • Herpes Simplex (I and II)

  • Trichomonas

  • Hepatitis A, B & C

How can I prevent STIs?

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Tips For Prevention

  • Practice abstinence

  • Practice monogamy

  • Get tested regularly before and after new partners

  • Always use condoms and/or dental dams

Common Symptoms of An STI
PAINFUL OR FREQUENT 
URINATION
RECTAL PAIN AND/OR
BLEEDING
ABNORMAL DISCHARGE
FROM THE VAGINA

BLOOD IN YOUR URINE

ABNORMAL BLEEDING

ITCHING IN THE VAGINAL AREA

PAIN DURING SEX

RASHES OR SORES

Having certain types of STIs makes it easier for you to get HIV (another STI) if you come into contact with it. How you choose to do it is your business, we just want to make sure you and your partners are protected.

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What To Expect

Timeline


Labs will be ordered during or after your telehealth visit with a BeyondMed Provider. Once your sample has been received, most results will take 24-48 hours to be reported. If you have requested a home kit, the home kit will be delivered within 2-3 days of your request. Your home kit will come with a prepaid return label. If you have any questions about the testing process, you may contact a BeyondMed Provider.




Treatment


Depending on which STD you have tested positive for, usually an antibiotic will be prescribed to treat your infection. Details about your specific treatment plan will be discussed with a BeyondMed provider. Once you start treatment, we will make a plan for follow-up to assess your tolerance of medication, absence or improvement of symptoms, and overall mental, physical and emotional health. While our practice does not specialize in the treatment of HIV, we will work with you to find resources for follow-up and treatment, and to get you paired with a specialist in your area.




Follow-Up


Results will be given to you via phone call or in your patient portal. At that time, we will discuss what your results mean and how they affect you and your future sexual behavior. We will also discuss a treatment plan and call in a prescription if necessary. You will also be able to review your results through your secure patient portal.




Testing


STD testing involves obtaining a urine sample, blood sample, and/or genital/oral/rectal swab. Most STD testing can be done via a discreet home kit, while some lab tests (such as HIV and Hepatitis) require you to physically visit a lab. Depending on your symptoms and what you are going to be tested for, you will either be sent to a walk-in lab or have a discreet testing kit sent to your home.





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Frequently Asked Questions

What are common symptoms of an STI?


• Yellow discharge from the vagina or urethra • Painful or frequent urination • Vaginal bleeding between periods • Rectal bleeding, discharge, or pain Keep in mind that you may not experience any symptoms of an STI but still have a positive result.




How often should I get tested for STIs?


This all depends on your sexual behavior. If you are NOT considered high-risk, the American College of Obstetricians and the CDC recommend patients be tested at least once a year. If you ARE considered a high-risk patient, testing is recommended at least every 6 months, at times every 3 months, or as often as with each new sexual partner.




Who is considered high-risk for contracting an STI?


Patients who: • Engage in unprotected sex, inlcuding vaginal, anal or oral sex. • Having multiple sexual partners • Use recreational drugs • Have sex for the exhange of goods




What if I am positive, do I have to tell my partner?


Your information is protected whether you are positive or negative. We highly encourage you to tell your partner that they may have been exposed and should seek testing and treatment. This is highly recommended because STIs that are left untreated can lead to long term health effects. If you need help starting the conversation, here are some helpful links: https://www.cdc.gov/actagainstaids/campaigns/starttalking/convo.html http://www.gytnow.org/




How can I protect myself from HPV?


There are a couple of different ways you can protect yourself from getting HPV. • Get vaccinated. There is a vaccine called Gardasil that is recommended by the CDC starting at age 11 or 12, but can be given as early as 9 years old. The vaccine is offered through the age of 26. • Practice safe sex. • Be in a mutually monogamous relationship - or only have sex with someone who only has sex with you. •Know your status and the status of your partner before engaging in sexual activity.




How do I know if I have HPV?


Unfortunately, most people with HPV do not know that they have it. Some people find out because they develop genital warts, women can find out if their pap smear results are "abnormal." This is why routine screening for HPV at appropriate intervals based on age and sexual behavior is so important.




How common is HPV?


According to the CDC, about 79 million Americans currently have HPV and about 14 million people become infected each year. HPV is so common that every person who is sexually active will most likely get HPV at some point in there life if they are not vaccinated or practice safe sex.




How long does the Hepatitis B virus last outside the body?


The hepatitis B virus can survive outside the body for at least 7 days and cause infection. Hep C: Can be passed through sexual activity Can cause a long term chronic infection Higher risk of exposure if you have other STI’S or HIV, or if you engage in sexual activities with an infected partner, have multiple partners or have rough sex that causes bleeding No vaccine available




What is the difference between each hepatitis strand?


Hep A: Typically passed via fecal to oral route and through the ingestion of contaminated food and water Can be sexually transmitted Usually short term infection Has a vaccine for protection Hep B: Can be passed sexually as it lives in blood, semen, and other body fluids Can be passed to newborn during delivery Can turn into a long lasting infection Has a vaccine for protection No true treatment




Are there vaccines available for each strand of hepatitis?


No, there are only vaccine products available for hepatitis A and B. The CDC recommends the hepatitis A vaccination for men who have sex with men. Sexually active adults are not considered at risk for hepatitis A unless they live with or are having sex with an infected person, inject drugs or have chronic liver disease.




What is HIV?


HIV is a human immunodeficiency virus that works to attack your immune system. Your immune system is needed to produce cells to fight off infection. The weaker your immune system, the harder it is for your body to recover from infections and diseases. If left untreated, your fighter cells can become depleted, leading to the fourth stage of HIV, also known as AIDS (Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome).




How is HIV spread?


HIV is spread by contact with certain bodily fluids of a person with HIV, such as semen, vaginal fluids, blood, and breast milk. These bodily fluids are commonly exchanged during sexual activity without a condom or dental dam, sharing IV drug needles, and breast feeding.




What happens if an STD is left untreated?


Certain types of untreated STIs can cause or lead to: Problems getting pregnant or permanent infertility Problems during pregnancy and health problems for the unborn baby Infection in other parts of the body Organ damage Certain types of cancer, such as cervical cancer





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