Q: What is an STI?
A: An STI is a sexually transmitted infection; an infection that is transmitted through oral, vaginal or anal sex, intravenous drug use or through nonsexual contact such as childbirth or breastfeeding. According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates, there are 19 million reported STI cases each year in the United States. STIs are common and it is possible to be infected without being aware because many STIs do not display obvious signs or symptoms. STI testing once or twice every year is recommended. Regular STI testing is a great way to protect your sexual health as well as the health of your partner.
Q: Should I get tested for STIs?
A: Yes. Take charge of your sexual health. Some STIs, like chlamydia and gonorrhea, may not display any symptoms at all, but are still just as contagious. Especially get tested if you experience any of these common STI symptoms: Genital sores, itching, unusual discharge from the penis or vagina, or a burning sensation during urination. Some people assume that they are tested for STIs when they have a Pap test or physical, but often this is not the case. There is no comprehensive test for all STIs because each test is specific to an infection. If you have STI symptoms, or have had unprotected sex, it is crucial that you and your partner get tested. By getting an STI test, you can officially put your mind at ease-- Afterall, the most common STI symptoms is to have no symptoms at all.
Q: How do I know if I have an STI?
A: You can have an STI and not know it due to a lack of symptoms. For instance, you can contract chlamydia or gonorrhea and not have the infection treated due to lack of bumps, rashes or itching. The "silent" nature of STIs helps explain why these infections are so widespread as so many individuals are simply unaware that they have one or more and they spread them unknowingly. Help put an end to the spread of STIs and help protect yourself by learning your status.
Q: Is oral sex safe sex?
A: Simply put, no. You are just as vulnerable to STIs from unprotected oral sex, whether you are the giver or the recipient, as you are with any other unprotected sexual activity. Oral sex may be comparatively less risky than vaginal or anal sex, but it is still advisable to use a latex or polyurethane condom, or dental dam in order to be safer. STIs can be transmitted through mouth sores and/or cuts, and some infections, such as herpes, can be spread via skin-to-skin contact. While condoms are not 100% effective in preventing all STIs, they greatly decrease the risk of transmitting an STI during oral sex.
Q: Are your test results accurate?
A: Yes, our test results are reliable and accurate. Our labs are certified by the HPCSA and our tests are FDA-approved. In fact, they are the same labs used by most doctors and hospitals in your area.
Q: How does your lab perform STI testing?
A: Our STI lab tests rely on either a small swab sample (for detecting chlamydia and/or gonorrhea) or a small blood sample (for detecting herpes, syphilis, hepatitis and/or HIV).