Blood Tests for STDs

 

Blood tests have been in use a long time, helping make sure that infections and diseases are correctly identified. Since the blood is carried to each cell of the body, the blood may hold the virus, bacteria, or other infection markers that can help your professional give you the correct results and treatments.

 

What Happens During The Test?

 

From you, a sample of blood is taken. If you have requested a full screening, this sample can be divided by the lab into several smaller samples, each of them ready to be tested separately for individual infections. The blood sample is marked with a coded number, or a combination of numbers and letters. These are checked every time a result is given, or more sample is taken from the vial to make sure that mistakes are few and far between.

 

Some of the samples may end up being used in different testing methods, simply because experience has shown that that particular testing method has the most accurate results. None of the samples are usually sent outside of the lab where your professional does their testing, unless there is a good reason to. But your blood will only be identified with the code that the lab or your professional assigns it.

 

Why Is Both A Test And An Exam Needed?

 

The blood test will show the infections, but occasionally you will have your appointment quickly enough after catching a STD that there will be a very low amount of either the infection or the antibodies that you produce to fight off the infection in your blood. The experience of your professional can also tell the difference with examination between a 'zipper cut', and the possibility of syphilis signs.

 

Also, there are STDs that do not show on a blood test: they have their own properties that are more easily seen in either urine or a swab. For these tests, blood work is mostly useless, showing only that your body is fighting an infection of some sort.

 

Even with a mirror, a bright light, and time, you simply cannot see the genital region as easily as someone else can. Taking the time to talk to various professionals, finding one that you are comfortable with and can trust is an important step in making sure that this exam is not something that you avoid as a routine.

 

Is There A Way To Avoid Blood Tests?

 

Thankfully for some, the answer is closer to yes than it used to be. Some of the urine tests are becoming as accurate as the blood tests, and are slowly replacing them. The only possible current STDs that are still best diagnosed by blood are HIV, syphilis, and hepatitis B. There may still be an option to have other tests done by blood: if you need to have a sample drawn, it may as well be there to confirm any of the other lab results.

 

One of the problems with blood tests is that they can take a longer time than swabs or urine tests to show results. This is one reason that the sample may be used to confirm results of other types of tests.