The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), has a categorized list of recommended STD screening tests for sexually-active people. The CDC reiterates, again and again, the need to be conscientiously aware that yearly blood tests or Pap smear check-ups are not enough to cover you against STDs. Regrettably, not all doctors do routine STD testing as part of an annual general or executive check-up. You're lucky if your doctor requires std testing included with your check-up, without you asking them to. CDC also recommends a number of guidelines that you need to know, to ensure you complete all appropriate required regular std screening processes. 

Are all STD Tests Equally Accurate?

Today, technology advancement make every convenience possible. We have access to information with just a few click and swipes on our mobile or computer devices, within the privacy of our homes, and while on the go anytime of the day.  Institutions, establishments, and other industry sectors are on a rat’s race as to which of them can be the first to establish the best reputation and the widest reach in the World Wide Web. Information is freely fed and made available to the public for beneficial consumption by those who need and want them.

Browsing the net you can come across one or more ads related to std testing. Even if you are looking for them or not. These ads present varied sales pitches of companies selling DIY or STD Testing Home Kits. Given the stigma associated with STD diseases, understandably many would take the bait and order one online. Although you need to submit authentic credentials when ordering, you can still enjoy the anonymity of getting the kit delivered directly to your home. The attached stigma often make people who suspect they have STD to shy away from asking their doctors for an std screening test done.

Each ad presents their company's product as the best or the only accurate STD screening test. There is not one ad that says or tells about the availability of free std testing. Nope, not a single one. Well, according to studies made on STDs, in fact, several of them over the years, no single STD test is highly accurate when it comes to the full assessment of your sexual health. Regular screening for at least gonorrhea, chlamydia, and cervical cancer are recommended by CDC also universal HIV testing. Head over to CDC's website to see which STD screening recommendations are appropriate for you. 

CDC is proactively urging every sexually active person to regularly get STD tests and for doctors to advocate for the inclusion of STD tests on regular or executive annual checkups. This should be a must to prevent these asymptomatic diseases from spreading freely and becoming an epidemic.

STD Tests and Screenings -  The Common Misconceptions

When faced with a new and unknown concept, it is an acceptable response, feeling afraid or uneasy about it, at first. Especially, one that is attached to some sort of stigma. To counter these misconceptions, here are a few facts about the different kinds of STD testing that can protect our quality of life and remove the threat that STDs bring:

  • Pap smear – women are advised not to assume that the annual Pap smear they regularly get, also test for STD. Pap smear cannot detect STDs, even if Pap smear screening includes HPV Test.  As generally practiced by many gynecologists STD screening is not specifically required for women who are already over 24 years old. For the past decades, many women were unaware they have or of asymptomatic STD infections. 
  • The test for Syphilis, the VDRL (venereal disease research laboratory) which do not stand or refer to a virus, is only a test for syphilis, and do not cover viral STDs. VDRL will not detect herpes, HPV, HIV, or hepatitis B, which are caused by viruses. The bacterium Treponema pallidum subspecies pallidum cause Syphilis, not refer to.
  • HIV test is programmed only to detect HIV. As what doctors typically practice, they will not always require a routine follow up STD screening even if an HIV test came out positive.
  • Completing a full course of antibiotics treatment on gonorrhea or chlamydia cannot totally eradicate these diseases. These two are common bacterial STDs which doctors require routine screening for young adults but don't require the test for other kinds of STDs. It's disappointing to note however patients feel safe with the knowledge that gonorrhea or chlamydia can be treated. And completing a treatment course means they are free and clear of all STDs. Which is not true. Additional tests are required to detect other STDs.

You know yourself better than anyone else. When you get sick, you cannot say to friends, family, and loved ones; “Hey, can you take away some of this pain from me, can't take all of these anymore.” So, it will be to your best interest to manage your health, especially your sexual health. Get tested for STD, who knows you have asymptomatic infections you are unaware of for a long time now. There is free std testing that is made available in some localities for those who don't have extra money to pay for the tests. All you have to do is search for free std testing near me, you will get lists of local free STD testing centers and clinics within a few miles of your location.