Confidential STD Testing Questions and Answers
There’s no need to be embarrassed about sexually transmitted diseases. We are here to confidentially and respectfully answer your questions, test, and treat STDs, as well as other health concerns at Primary Care 360. Walk in to one of our locations in Sherwood, East End and White Hall AR when you like, or request an appointment online.
What are the types of STDs?
Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) are contagious diseases that are commonly spread by sexual activity, although they can also be spread in other ways as well. The viruses, bacteria, or parasites that cause STDs are passed from person to person in blood, semen, and other bodily fluids. Pregnant mothers can also pass STDs to infants during pregnancy or birth. Some STDs are also transmitted through blood transfusions, or by sharing personal items like toothbrushes. Intravenous drug users can also spread some STDs if they share needles.
Some STDs can be cured or controlled with antibiotics or antiviral medications. Generally, people have a full recovery from bacterial and parasitic infections, such as gonorrhea, syphilis, chlamydia, and trichomoniasis. Viral infections such as herpes, HPV, and HIV have medications to control and suppress symptoms, but patients remain infected for life and can still spread it to others.
Testing for STDs can be completed through blood tests, urine samples, or samples of fluid from any open sores you may have.
You can be tested for STDs if you have any signs or symptoms, or if you are sexually active and you are aware that a partner may have exposed you to an STD. You can also be proactively screened for STDs as part of your routine health care or before you are sexually active with a new partner. Primary Care 360 & Walk-in Clinics in Sherwood, Hensley, and White Hall, AR test for STDs and provide treatment and follow-up.
What are the symptoms of STDs?
Symptoms vary depending on the type of infection. Symptoms can start a few days after the transmission, or years later. Some STDs cause no symptoms at all, and there are many different symptoms, including the following:
- Sores, bumps, or itching in the genital area
- Pain or burning when urinating
- Unusual discharge
- Pain during sexual intercourse
- Pain in the lower abdomen
- Swollen lymph nodes
If left untreated, some STDs can cause serious outcomes, including blindness, infertility and pregnancy or infant loss, cancer, and even death. And of course, if not treated, you can spread STDs to others.
As many of these symptoms are not specific only to STDs, any sexually active person should be screened for STDs, particularly anyone who is at higher risk. People at higher risk include those who don’t use condoms, who have multiple partners, or whose partners have multiple partners.
How to prevent STDs?
It is important to discuss sexual history and health matters with partners frequently and definitely before having sex.
- If a partner has signs or symptoms of an STD, avoid sex with them until they test negative.
- Reduce number of sex partners.
- Use a latex condom when having sex, especially with a new partner or a non-exclusive partner.
- Use good hygiene both before and after intercourse.
- Do not share towels or clothing.
- There are vaccines for some STDs (hepatitis B, HPV) that can prevent infection.
Regular testing is the only way to know for sure that you have not acquired an STD.
Are STD tests confidential?
We know the idea of being tested for an STD is uncomfortable, and you may be worried about what would happen with a positive result. But you need to be diagnosed so you can be treated and to prevent infecting others. All information you share with, testing you undergo, and treatment that you begin with a health care provider is confidential. Primary Care 360 & Walk-in Clinics has a team of medical professionals who will treat all your health care needs with respect and confidentiality. We serve the surrounding areas of Little Rock AR, Jacksonville AR, Maumelle AR, Cabot AR, Bryant AR, and Conway AR.