What tests are usually screened for by an STD Clinic?  The Health Collective STD Clinic routinely screens for Gonorrhea and Chlamydia with a simple urine test, and for Syphilis with an easy 1 tube blood test.  No longer necessary for guys to get the painful swab in the penis…so don’t be afraid, get checked out.  Often, if you have had unprotected oral or receptive (bottom) anal sex, we may also take a quick swab of your throat and/or of the rectum (anus) with a painless Q-tip.  This checks for Gonorrhea.  These bacterial (and common) STDs are certainly worth routinely screening for, because they are all CURABLE, usually just with ONE DOSE of antibiotics.  If you have multiple sexual partners, it is smart to be screened every 6 months.

What about Herpes or HPV?  Should I get checked for them too?  Both types of Herpes (Type I and Type 2) are best diagnosed by visible symptoms (blisters) on the mouth or genital area.  They can be diagnosed by physical exam, or by swabbing blister fluid and culturing it in the laboratory.  Herpes can be diagnosed too with a blood test, but it is expensive, and never routinely ordered at screening clinics.  There is no reason to be randomly tested for Herpes.  If you are having symptoms, then be seen for evaluation and treatment if needed.

Also, there is no routine testing for HPV (except Pap Tests).  HPV (Human Papilloma Virus) has over 100 strains, and can be best diagnosed by seeing visible warts.  If they are in the genital area, they can usually be removed in a clinic, but the virus remains in your system, and they could return, or still be contagious.  However, these warts are not usually related to the same strains of the virus that can later lead to cervical, rectal or throat cancer.  For THAT protection, consider getting the Gardasil (HPV) Vaccine if you are under age 27.

Got more questions?  Call Donna at the Health Collective at 860-278-4163 x13, and remember our motto…

Be well.  Be yourself.