STD Testing in Santa Fe, NM
No one likes the idea of testing for STDs (sexually transmitted diseases). Patients often worry about social stigmas surrounding sexual health, including the fear that they have caught or unknowingly passed on an STD. Although STD testing can cause anxiety, at Aspen Medical Center, we understand that sexual contact is a normal part of the human experience and treat every patient with non-judgmental compassion.
If you arrived at our website while searching for “STD testing near me,” we urge you to call us today to schedule your appointment with an Aspen Medical Center health care provider. Our board-certified physicians provide testing services, including pelvic exams, blood and urine screenings, and other tests to understand your situation. Catching an STD in its early stages allows us to help you treat or cure it, while negative STD tests will enable us to discuss preventative measures in the future.
What Are STDs?
Sexually transmitted diseases affect people who have oral, anal, or vaginal contact with a contagious sexual partner. Most sex partners who pass on an STD don’t know they have one, often due to not experiencing or recognizing symptoms. Sometimes, you may not realize you have an STD until you request testing services.
STDs come up in movies, TV shows, and everyday conversation, often with negative connotations or as part of a comedic set-up. At Aspen Medical Center, we understand that STDs require serious consideration since they can affect much more than your sexual health.
The best-known and most common STDs include:
Oral herpes, or HSV-1, causes blisters around the mouth, commonly known as cold sores. HSV-2, or genital herpes, produces painful, itchy sores on your genital areas. Although incurable, modern herpes medication helps control and reduce flare-ups.
Caused by a bacterial infection, chlamydia often goes undetected due to its minimal symptoms. If you notice pain while urinating, pain in your lower stomach, or unusual discharge, visit your doctor for STD testing. Fortunately, you can cure chlamydia with doctor-prescribed antibiotics.
While caused by a different sort of bacteria, gonorrhea may mimic chlamydia symptoms. Gonorrhea also disappears after proper antibiotic treatment.
Typically shortened to HPV, this virus usually causes no serious harm and often goes away with no treatment. However, certain variants of HPV may cause genital warts or produce cancerous cells in the future. If diagnosed with HPV, follow your doctor’s recommendations on follow-up appointments until they give the all-clear.
Human Immunodeficiency Virus
Known as HIV, this incurable STD can ruin your immune system and develop into AIDS. HIV-positive patients should regularly visit their doctor and follow recommended practices to avoid spreading this life-threatening virus.
Other sexually transmitted diseases your doctor can test for include:
- Pelvic inflammatory disease
- Pubic lice
How Does STD Testing Work?
Appointments for STD testing rarely include only one type of test. You may experience physical examinations, urine screenings, and blood tests during testing services. Even when you present symptoms or want to test for a particular STD, it’s safer to have multiple tests performed at once to cover all the possible diseases.
Some STD tests provide results while you’re still in the doctor’s office. Other screenings require testing at a specialized lab, where results may take several days or weeks to come back. You’re always welcome to call Aspen Medical Center to check in on your results if you have not heard back after a few days.
Do I Need an STD Test?
Regardless of your relationship status, regular STD testing prevents dangerous, life-altering surprises down the road. At Aspen Medical Center, we recommend STD testing for patients during certain situations:
- Leaving a long-term relationship
- Entering a new relationship
- After contact with a new sexual partner
When you have an STD test performed, you should abstain from sex until you’ve received your results. You should also check with future sexual partners and ensure they’ve had recent tests before engaging in sexual activities. STDs can pass from anyone, so never assume that a new partner has a clean bill of health.