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STD-Testing
Have I Been Tested for That? A Checklist for STD Testing 1000 668 Sandeep jain

Have I Been Tested for That? A Checklist for STD Testing

Depending on where you go, your first STD testing experience can be super awkward. You may not know what questions to ask, if you’re allowed to ask questions, or what any of your doctor’s answers mean. At Statcare, that’s not the kind of care we believe in. We want all of our patients to walk away feeling heard and comforted during their appointments— especially with the STD testing process.

Whether you’ve already received your test results but still feel confused, or you want to be prepared for your next STD testing appointment, we’ve got answers for you. Find out what most people wanted to ask during their doctor’s visit but didn’t, as well as other helpful information they wish they’d had about the testing experience.

How Long Are STD Testing Results Good For?

Realistically, your STD testing results are only accurate up until you engage with a new sexual partner. This also applies if you sleep with a previous partner who has slept with a new partner since your last test. Each new partner you introduce into your sex life can affect your sexual status.

This isn’t meant to scare you, but with “steep and sustained” increases in STDs lately, it’s important to know how easily the status of your sexual health can change. The more you know, the better you’ll be able to keep yourself safe and healthy.

Did I Get Tested for Every STD?

The short answer is probably not. If you’re being seen for a regular physical, your doctor will most likely not order any STD testing. If you make an appointment specifically for STD testing, it’s likely that your doctor will order blood tests for common STDs, but not everything. For example, your doctor will most likely not test for herpes unless you specifically ask to be tested for them. Also, if your doctor isn’t familiar with the various tests for herpes, a test may get ordered that is not useful for detecting new infections at all. Getting the right test for the STD can be a challenge but the more you know, the better you will be able to negotiate this maze.

Be your own biggest advocate during STD testing so that you get the most comprehensive and accurate results. Ask your doctor what they’re testing you for and why. If you have a concern that they’re not addressing, tell them you want additional testing. And be specific. Especially whether your concern is a new infection or a pre-existing one. The only way you’re going to get clear answers is if you ask for them.

When Should I Get Tested Again for STDs?

As we mentioned before, you can assume your results are accurate and up-to-date as long as you haven’t engaged with any new partners and your partners haven’t engaged with anyone new before sleeping with you. If both of those are true, you most likely don’t have to worry about coming in for new STD testing.

There are some exceptions to remember, though. For example, if you think you’ve come into contact with gonorrhea, get tested within 1 to 5 days. Similarly, if you think you’ve been exposed to chlamydia, visit an STD testing center between 2-6 days. With both chlamydia and gonorrhea, you should plan to get retested two weeks after your first test to be sure of your results. It can take up to two weeks after exposure for both to show up on an STD test.

Then, there are some STDs (example HIV, Hepatitis C) where your initial tests may be negative but you are still required to have repeat testing done after a couple of months.  Only when the second set of STD test results come back as being negative that it can be confidently determined that you are no longer at risk for that disease anymore.

What Are the Most Common STDs Doctors Test For?

Most often, your doctor will test for syphilis, chlamydia, and gonorrhea. They will test for anything additional that you request, but it’s up to you to ask. Don’t assume that your doctor is going to test for every STD, especially if you’re not at a center that does regular STD testing. A simple example is HPV Testing in men. HPV in men is quite common, yet testing for HPV is not on most doctors lists of STDs to test patients for.

Can a Regular Blood Test Cover STD Testing?

STD-Testing-Blood-Test

No. Your blood tests will only show results for the things your doctor requests. Typically, regular blood tests check how your organs are doing such as your liver or your kidney. Don’t rely on regular labs to tell you whether or not you have an STD. STDs are specific diseases and one has to get special tests to detect these infections. Take the time to visit a certified STD testing center, like Statcare, to get proper testing and reliable and accurate results. Plus, walking into a regular urgent care facility helps alleviate any embarrassment you might feel by visiting a center that only tests for STDs and pregnancy.

Why Won’t Doctors Test for Everything During STD Testing?

Not all doctors are trained or qualified to do extensive STD testing. Whether they lack the experience or the equipment, many doctors are limited by their resources when it comes to administering STD testing.

Additionally, mail-in STD testing kits taken at home can be particularly unreliable for patients. The best option you have to get comprehensive results is to visit a Statcare location, where our doctors are able to screen for any STD using blood tests, urine tests, and swab tests.

What If I Don’t Understand My Results?

It’s important to ask as many questions as you have about your results and don’t worry about the time it takes. If this isn’t the direction that your doctor gives you when you go in for STD testing, use a different doctor. This is your health and you need to be able to fully understand it. At Statcare, our doctors are trained to give our patients thorough, helpful answers. We don’t want you to walk out of our locations feeling like your questions have been unanswered.

Will My Doctor Share My STD Testing Results?

At Statcare, STD testing is completely confidential. Your test results are for your eyes only. Of course, if you’d like to bring a friend or your partner with you for support, they are welcome. But we won’t share anything without your permission.

At Statcare, all our patients are sent email instructions on how to access their STD results through the Healow App that can be downloaded from the App Store. This avoids having to call and ask strangers to look at test results that are very personal, to begin with. Statcare’s medical providers can be contacted through the Healow app if you have questions about your test results. Our doctors are available to return your requests for a call all seven days a week.

We encourage all of our patients to share their status with their sexual partners so that everyone remains healthy and safe, but they won’t hear anything from us — even if they also choose to get STD testing at our location, too.

Most doctors honor this same commitment to confidentiality. But with mail-in STD testing kits, you’re at a much higher risk of someone else seeing your results. If you’re worried about privacy, come down to one of our locations. There is no place more secure or helpful.

Should I Always Get Tested for Every STD?

The only way to ensure your health is to be tested for every STD, every time you get tested. However, we understand that it’s not always possible for everyone. Some people might not be able to afford the extra tests, or they may not want to go through the whole process every time. We get it. At minimum, you should get tested for every STD you might have been exposed to every time you come in for STD testing. That means knowing your partner’s status and keeping open communication so that you both stay safe.

We realize you may have more questions, and we are happy to answer as many as you have. To be as prepared as possible for your next STD testing appointment, here are the top things to remember.

 

  • Tell your doctor exactly which STDs you’d like to be tested for, if you have a particular concern.
  • Tell your doctor if your concern is a recent exposure.
  • Plan to be tested twice if you think you’ve been exposed to gonorrhea or chlamydia — once within a few days of exposure and again two weeks later.
  • Ask your doctor all the questions you may have, including your treatment options when you get your results.
  • Talk to your partner about which STDs you may have been exposed to before your STD testing appointment.
  • Use a doctor and a testing center that you trust — your health depends on it!

Statcare also offers a number of other services for our patients. Our urgent care locations are staffed by qualified doctors ready to administer physicals, fix broken bones, treat burns and so many more health concerns. If you’d rather take an appointment from your home, we also offer telemedicine services where doctors can diagnose, treat and write your prescription all online. See the difference Statcare can make by visiting one of our five convenient locations!

std-testing
13 Misconceptions About STD Testing 1000 667 Sandeep jain

13 Misconceptions About STD Testing

Participating in STD testing is necessary to ensure good sexual health. Knowing your STD status and getting the treatments you may potentially need not only keeps you healthy but also protects your partners. Despite all the health benefits of STD testing, people are often still intimidated by them and largely try to avoid getting tested.

At Statcare, it’s our job to make STD testing quick, painless and helpful to all our visitors. We want you to approach STD testing the way you would any other routine checkup — because that’s exactly what it is. To do that, we found the most common misconceptions about STD testing and tried to debunk them one by one.

1. STD Testing Is Embarrassing

STDs are more common than you think. In fact, one in two sexually active people will contract an STD by age 25. That means half of the sexually active people you know have had an STD and an even larger percentage have gone through STD testing. Taking care of your physical health is nothing to be embarrassed about. It is a responsible decision and one that could mean the difference between a clean bill of health and significant illnesses.

2. STD Testing Is Too Public

While it is true that you have to come into a Statcare location to complete STD testing, it is a completely private and confidential process. Our doctors will never share your results (or why you even came in for a visit) with anyone. Often, our patients prefer STD testing at our locations because it is more private than a traditional STD testing center. If you do happen to run into a neighbor or a colleague while you’re here, they won’t automatically assume you’re here to treat an STD. All your results from the lab will be available on your healow app and you will get notifications the minute the STD tests are reported.

3. STD Testing Is Painful

STD testing shouldn’t hurt. In some cases, a simple swab on the inside of your cheek is all your doctor will need to test you for STDs. Other times, a doctor will order a lab test which does involve drawing blood, but this process isn’t typically painful. Some STDs require a Urine Test. At Statcare, STD testing is quick, mostly painless and always professional.

4. STD Testing Always Leads to Bad News

This misconception is just false. Although 50% of sexually active people will contract an STD by the time they turn 25, that still leaves 50% of sexually active people who haven’t yet contracted one. More importantly, though, there are ways to treat and manage almost all STDs so even if your test comes back positive, we’ll help you through your treatment options. Your Statcare doctor will prescribe the right medication to eliminate the STD or they’ll provide medication that will treat the symptoms of a chronic STD like herpes or HIV. No matter what the results of your test are, we can help you with the right treatment so you’re able to live a comfortable, healthy life.

5. STDs Will Go Away On Their Own

Unfortunately, this isn’t the case. All STDs require treatment of some kind else they will progress. You can only know the best treatment plan with proper STD testing and diagnosis. People can carry some of the most common STDs without seeing a single symptom. Infections like HPV, gonorrhea, chlamydia, and herpes can be present in your body for weeks (even years) before you see any symptoms. If you’re sleeping with multiple partners or want to sleep with a new partner, it’s important to get checked to know your STD status. The more you know about your body, the healthier you will be.

6. I Can Just Wait for My Partner to Get Tested

This is a dangerous game that too many people play. One person’s STD testing results don’t necessarily match their partners. You should always want to take responsibility for your own sexual health and take an STD test for yourself. Statcare’s tests are quick and cost-effective, so there’s no reason to not take care of yourself and become better informed about your health.

7. STDs Aren’t That Common Anymore

Unfortunately, this is also false. Gonorrhea, syphilis, and chlamydia are all at record highs. Even more alarming, certain strains of gonorrhea are now resistant to treatment. With these new developments, it’s more important than ever to prioritize your physical health. That means regular STD testing and knowing the status of each of your sexual partners. It’s a single question that could save your quality of life. That seems worth it, right?

8. STD Testing Is Too Expensive

Statcare provides top-quality STD testing at an affordable price. Other STD testing services may be less expensive, but they won’t be as accurate as Statcare, nor will they be able to provide the kind of quality follow-up care that Statcare provides its patients. Now there are more websites than ever offering mail-in STD testing, but as a general rule, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. We encourage everyone to find a trusted doctor to administer proper STD testing at a price you can afford to ensure you are as healthy as possible.

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9. My Primary Doctor Needs to Administer My STD Test

You aren’t required to get STD testing from your primary care doctor. You can get tested by any doctor you prefer. A majority of our patients prefer to get tested at our facilities rather than their regular doctor for the sake of privacy and expertise in this fast-changing environment. Also, your primary care doctor will not keep injections or medicines on-site to treat your STD. Statcare, on the other hand has all the medicines on-site. No matter what your reason, we will provide the best quality STD testing and treatment for the areas we serve.

10. STD Testing Is Inaccurate Most of the Time

If you’re taking STD tests through an online service, it is very likely that the results you’re getting are inaccurate. The companies who provide cheap, quick results rarely use accurate laboratories. The same is true of STD Kits for home testing. However, if you come into your local Statcare location, you are guaranteed to get accurate results from your doctor plus a treatment plan if necessary. The extra effort is worth it when you’re dealing with your physical and sexual health.

11. My Primary Care Doctor Would Tell Me About Any STDs

Some people assume that if they’ve done lab tests in the past, they’ve been tested for STDs. It’s unfortunately a totally false assumption. For lab tests, your doctor must specifically tell the lab to test for STDs in order to get accurate results. Don’t rely on a generic blood test to tell you what your STD status is. Ask for the specific STDs you’d like to be tested for, or ask your doctor for a full screen. The best thing to do, in all matters of your health, is to be proactive and tell your doctors exactly what you need. Also, Statcare sees younger patients who are sexually active and our providers see and treat STDs every day whereas Primary Care Physicians see older populations with chronic illnesses like Diabetes and High Blood Pressure and STDs may no longer be their area of expertise.

12. As a Lesbian, I Don’t Need STD Testing

We recommend any sexually active person get regular STD testing in order to stay informed about their health. STDs can be spread from various types of contact including toys and swapping of body fluids, not just through vaginal penetration. If you’re a member of the LGBT community and have specific questions regarding STD testing, our doctors would be more than happy to offer you any information you need.

13. I Use Protection, I Don’t Need STD Testing

Consistently using protection during sex is the first step in being responsible for your health and the health of others. Protection is the best way to make sure that you don’t end up in the 50% of people diagnosed with an STD. However, it’s only effective if it’s used correctly and all the time. ANd many STDs spread from skin to skin contact or contact with body fluids like saliva, If you don’t use the proper protection every time you have sex, you still need to make a habit of getting tested. It’s just the smart thing to do. Plus, with how convenient and cost-effective Statcare STD testing is, there’s hardly a reason not to.

The main theme in every single one of these common misconceptions — the theme we want to drive home — is that STD testing is important, convenient and most of all, not something to be ashamed of. Keeping yourself and your partners are something to be proud of.

If you’re looking for more information about the services Statcare provides beyond STD testing, check out our full list. We offer exceptional urgent care services, telemedicine and more. We’re open 365 days a year for extended hours for your convenience. Just come in and let us help you!

urgent-care
How Long do Typical Appointments Last at Urgent Care? 364 243 Sandeep Jain, MD

How Long do Typical Appointments Last at Urgent Care?

The first thing to understand is whether the facility you are visiting or planning to go to is really an urgent care or just a namesake business merely calling itself an urgent care. Unfortunately, there are medical offices that call themselves an urgent care when in reality they are merely regular medical offices that are misrepresenting themselves as urgent care. These offices have confused customers who now believe that many or all urgent care centers are inefficient. As a consumer, it is important to visit only Urgent Care Association (UCA) Accredited Urgent Care Centers, the important word here being ‘Accredited’. UCA Certified Urgent Care is merely a certification obtained by mail based on membership and a paper application whereas an Accreditation process involves a higher level of recognition for maintaining suitable standards as verified through site visits by UCA Examiners.  All Statcare Urgent Care locations are recognized and fully Accredited by the UCA.

As with many other medical offices, patients sometimes notice that they spend more time in the waiting room than in a room with a doctor. In fact, studies show in primary care practices across the United States, most patients only meet with their doctor for an average of 17 minutes despite being scheduled for a standard hour-long appointment. It’s no wonder people are often frustrated.

At Statcare Urgent Care, we strive to make your visit as efficient as possible. We know that your time is precious and the last thing you want to do when you’re feeling sick or injured is spend time in the waiting room at a doctor’s office. Find out more information about our average appointment lengths as well as how to cut down on your wait time, below.

Average Length of an Urgent Care Visit

There are many factors that affect how long you’ll stay at an urgent care during an appointment. At Statcare, you can check in online with a few clicks by putting in your name and phone number and email ID. If you are logged into Statcare Urgent Care patient portal you can request an appointment via email as well. If you are on the phone with our dedicated patient care coordinator, our staff can create the appointment for you on the phone. So, there is more than one way you can make your appointment ahead of time. This will definitely save you time when you come to the office as all you need to do in the office is to go to one of the kiosks and check-in. Our staff then knows about your arrival and you will have maintained your position in the line.

At Statcare, sometimes a patient may come in needing immediate attention; such as someone with a bleeding cut or chest pain or nausea and vomiting. Our staff will attend to them on a priority basis. And there are times when our provider will go into a room and realize the patient needs far more services and hence more time than initially anticipated. This is just how the flow in a typical urgent care works as the staff is constantly dealing with the unknown. Therefore, it’s challenging to make a definitive statement on the average appointment length. On a good day with a few people in line before you, you could get in and out in well under an hour. But when an urgent care is full and you have a particularly complicated medical concern, it’s not uncommon for your urgent care visit to take longer than what you anticipated. The staff at Statcare knows how to keep the flow of patients moving.  So, if you are there just for a PPD Test Reading or a vaccine, you will be able to get in and out in less than 20-30 minutes.

At Statcare, we try hard to keep your urgent care appointments to much less than an hour. We understand that most of our patients are busy at work during the week, or simply can’t waste an entire day sitting in a waiting room. Part of our success for reducing time spent at our urgent care centers is offering several convenient locations for our patients to visit. We built our urgent care centers in close proximity to public transportation because we want you to be able to come in, get treated and go on your way again seamlessly.

While we want to be efficient, we don’t want to rush you through your appointment either. Our doctors are trained to answer all your questions thoroughly and pay attention to the symptoms you describe. We are constantly juggling quality patient care with the best use of your time. We think we do a good job of getting it right.

Urgent Care Innovations to Cut Down on Wait Time

Statcare is always innovating our service offerings and procedures to make sure that you’re getting the quality care you need. We’re also dedicated to focusing on the future of medicine — specifically, we’ve created an efficient Telemedicine department.

Telemedicine appointments, or meeting with an online doctor, are very similar to a traditional urgent care appointment, except much more convenient. You can schedule an appointment with your online doctor from anywhere as long as you have a reliable connection to wifi. During your virtual appointment, you can be diagnosed, ask questions and seek treatment from the comfort of your own house. Avoid worrying about extra commuting time or even wait times. Just select the time that works for you and join your appointment when it’s time.

Before we implemented our Telemedicine practice, we made sure that it was as full service and convenient as possible for our customers. There was clearly a need for a more convenient urgent care option, and other parts of the country had seen success with online doctors, but we wanted ours to be the best choice available before launching it. We ensured that our online doctors could write prescriptions when necessary and that health insurance providers would help cover the costs. It wasn’t truly innovative, in our opinion, unless our patients could get all the benefits of a traditional in-person appointment.

So far, our online doctor services have been a great success for our patients. Not only do customers who use the service love it, but those who still come in for a traditional urgent care visit are excited about the decrease in wait time. The overwhelming and positive feedback only encourages us to continue to focus on additional innovative services.

Here is a little secret. If you are in any Statcare locations and see that it is taking longer than you had planned, you can always ask for a Telemedicine visit from within our Urgent Care and our medical staff from another urgent care location will jump on the Telemedicine call and start taking care of you. They will order tests you might need and even send out refills for your prescriptions and sick note for work to your inbox.

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Testing and Vaccinations at Urgent Care

Some patients only come to urgent care when they need a quick test done. Although it may vary by day, these appointments are generally much shorter than other types of urgent care visits. Because our staff is always prepared for routine tests, we can handle a high volume of patients without any wasted time. Be sure to highlight this when you are first greeted by our staff that is checking you in. Let them know you are here just for a flu vaccine or a PPD Reading or a specific blood test. They will make sure you get taken care of quickly.

STD Testing at Urgent Care

STD testing can be an uncomfortable scenario that patients don’t want to experience with their regular, everyday doctor. They’d prefer a discrete location with a doctor they may never see again. We totally understand, and we encourage people to make urgent care appointments with us for these kinds of screenings.

When you arrive for STD testing at Statcare Urgent Care, our staff can typically process your tests quickly and efficiently. We all make ourselves available to answer any questions you may have, particularly around STI treatment and next steps. We also know that this is likely an appointment you want to speed through, so we don’t take any more of your time than we have to.

Fortunately, if you’re in a time crunch, you don’t have to wait around to hear the results of STD testing. Our offices will contact you about your results and help you navigate the next steps, no matter what your test shows. Quality care and convenience are what Statcare is all about!

DOT Physical at Statcare

Another routine service offering that we offer at Statcare are DOT physicals. These are physical examinations that commercial truck drivers must pass in order to be eligible to do their job. It includes physical fitness, hearing, vision and urine tests. The Statcare staff has worked to make the entire process so efficient that appointments typically only take approximately 30 minutes in our urgent care centers. As long as you come with all the correct information we require, you should be able to have a seamless appointment.

Vaccines at Urgent Care

Lastly, many people visit Statcare Urgent Care because we offer flu shots at a convenient location. You don’t need an appointment to get a flu shot or any vaccine. Statcare keeps MMR, Tdap, Typhoid, Yellow Fever, Hepatitis, Varicella and many other vaccines. Just come down to any one of our locations and ask for one. Patients who only want a shot can check in online, come into the office and check in on the kiosk to skip the wait in waiting room. Because you have an appointment, you will be taken directly to the doctor administering the shots. Come get a flu shot on your lunch break or right after work. We’ll be ready for you!

Ways to Prevent Long Urgent Care Appointments

Certain elements of urgent care are simply unpredictable. You never know how many people will start to feel ill or injured at the same time. However, there are steps to take in order to make the best use of your time at an urgent care location.

The first tip is to make an appointment. With a designated appointment, you are guaranteed to meet with the doctor. You won’t have to worry about sneaking in before the doors close and hoping you’ll be seen by one of our staff members. Urgent care appointments are designed so you can walk in right before your appointment and typically head home in well under an hour.

You can also schedule an online doctor’s appointment before you come in to see a doctor in person. Patients commonly schedule an online doctor’s appointment, get their diagnosis and their treatment done first, then visit one of our urgent care locations only if they have additional tests that they needed or a follow-up visit for a problem that needed someone to check them out in person.

While we’re on the subject of questions, write yours down before you show up for your urgent care appointment. In the hustle and bustle of their appointment, many people tend to forget the specific questions they were hoping to ask their doctor. Avoid the dreadful feeling of going home with a list of unanswered questions by writing down exactly what you want to know. Your Statcare doctor will be more than happy to go through each point with you, one by one.

What If My Urgent Care Appointment Isn’t Long Enough?

To patients who leave their urgent care visit wanting a little more information or needing a little more guidance as they navigate their treatment plan, we suggest making a follow-up online doctor appointment. With this second appointment, you don’t have to travel directly to an urgent care location, you can get all the questions about your blood test results addressed as well as get answers to other issues that you may have recently identified. Many patients have found success and relief when they use a hybrid of online doctor appointments and traditional urgent care visits.

Our promise at Statcare is to always focus on reducing your time at urgent care. Our goal is to make you healthy as quickly as possible — usually, that means getting you a treatment plan and getting you home to rest. If you have any suggestions for how we can improve our system, we’d always love to hear from you! Contact us by phone or click here to learn more about our urgent care services.

STD-testing
STD Testing: What You Need to Know About Cost and Treatment 364 243 Sandeep Jain, MD

STD Testing: What You Need to Know About Cost and Treatment

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that the US is experiencing a steep and sustained rise in STD Infections for the fourth consecutive year. STD cases of gonorrhea, syphilis and chlamydia have surged to record-breaking highs with many STD’s increasing by up to 30%. With so many new cases, STDs are considered a public health crisis by many. Undergoing regular and periodic STD testing is, therefore, an important preventative measure that helps you stay healthy and free of infections especially if you are sexually active. However, there is more to STDs than just STD testing. For many STDs, it is recommended that treatment be provided at the time of STD testing in certain high-risk exposures and this is something that may not be available at all centers, especially if they are just a lab facility. You need medical providers to assess risk and give treatment and in the case of HPV, even collecting samples is a skill that requires trained medical providers.

STD testing can therefore be quite a nerve-wracking experience. For other types of health concerns, it feels less stressful to make an appointment with your doctor or go straight to urgent care. You’re typically diagnosed seamlessly and you can quickly start a treatment plan. The process is generally simple and mostly stress-free. But with STD testing, there tends to be added elements of embarrassment, fear, dread, and worry.

We want to take away some of that anxiety for you by providing as much information as possible. In our experience, the appointment, waiting period and next steps all run smoother if you know what to expect. The first thing to know is that STD testing is a normal part of life. More than that, regular screening is the responsible choice to make for your health and the health of the people you’re intimate with. Next, understanding costs and treatment options is important. To help ease some of the anxiety around the STD testing process, we’ve answered some commonly asked questions. We hope this gives you a better idea of what to expect during your next appointment.

What Does STD Testing Cost Me

As with most doctor appointments, the cost of STD testing depends largely on whether you have health insurance and the type of insurance you have. If you have insurance, you’ll likely only need to pay the copay amount decided on by your healthcare provider. For those without insurance, STD testing can get pretty expensive.

STD testing centers are usually diagnostic lab centers who will charge anywhere from $150 to $360 for a single test. With such a wide price range, it makes sense for patients to explore their options. However, there are some risks involved in picking the less expensive STD testing options. Some companies that sell STD tests don’t have the right certification or equipment to properly screen for diseases. Others use tests that give unclear results. It is possible to get unreliable, or even incorrect, test results. Given the current state of STD infections, that is a risk you shouldn’t take.

We recommend that patients rely on a medical center they trust. Whether that is their local Statcare location or their regular doctor. If however, you still decide to go to a lab or a diagnostic center, be sure the facility you choose is registered with the State of New York and can provide quality test results and follow up care. You certainly don’t want to have an abnormal test result and be left alone to deal with it. Also, know that these centers do not keep injections and antibiotics that are recommended by CDC to be given at the time of STD testing in high-risk persons. Another big issue of concern is that these labs and diagnostic facilities usually do not have trained medical professionals to get cervical canal and anal canal specimens to screen for HPV testing which is a common asymptomatic STD in both men and women. We know that it’s important to find an STD testing center that is within your budget, but keep in mind that if the price sounds too good to be true, it’s probably because it is.

STD Prevention And STD Treatment

The goal of STD testing is to screen and identify persons with STDs. The prevention and control of STDs require that:

  1. Accurately assess the risk of STDs
  2. Provide vaccines where indicated to prevent vaccine-preventable STDs
  3. Identify asymptomatic and symptomatic persons with STDs
  4. Quickly diagnose, treat and follow up persons with STDs
  5. Identify at-risk sex partners who are at risk for STDs so they can be screened and treated as well

Statcare is unique in having a comprehensive STD Prevention and STD Treatment program in place so that all these five goals can be achieved.

The unfortunate reality of STD testing is that some people will test positive. While that may feel discouraging or a little scary at first, remember, the diagnosis is only one step. The next, and more important step, in the process is finding a treatment option that works for you. The goal is to get healthy again and the best way to do that is to start treatment immediately. It helps to get STD testing done at a facility that also has the ability to give you treatment on site.

Not every STD can be fully cured, but the symptoms of each STD can be managed. Below, you’ll find a list of the most common STDs and the treatment options available for them.

HIV/AIDS PEP & PrEP Treatment

Human immunodeficiency virus, or HIV, is the virus that causes AIDS. Some symptoms of HIV include fever, headache, and swollen lymph nodes. The virus works to weaken a person’s ability to fight infections. Most places where you go for STD testing (especially if it is a lab or a diagnostic center) will not be able to prescribe you medicines to prevent HIV even if they identify it as a risk for you.

At Statcare however, when you come for STD testing, our providers can not only assess your risk for HIV but also give you PEP (post-exposure prophylaxis) treatment with antiretroviral medicines (ART) if you believe you may have been exposed to HIV so that you can prevent getting infected by HIV. PEP has to be started within 72 hours after a recent possible exposure to HIV, so it is critical that you discuss this with the medical provider when you come in for STD testing. And if you believe, you will be in a high-risk situation, Statcare providers can also prescribe you PrEP (Pre-exposure prophylaxis). PrEP, is a way for people to reduce their HIV risk by taking a pill every day. The pill (brand name Truvada) contains a combination of two medicines, tenofovir, and emtricitabine that work together to prevent HIV infection. PrEP, taken regularly reduces the risk of HIV infection by up to 92%

Once someone has HIV, the goal of HIV treatment is to keep a person’s levels in check as this is a condition that does not currently have a cure. The good news is, with proper treatment, a person living with HIV can lead a relatively healthy life. Antiretroviral drugs are the standard treatment, although there is some debate about when they should be taken in the course of HIV. The antiretroviral drugs do cause some unpleasant side effects and over time the body may develop a resistance. Because of this, some doctors say that the patient should wait to take the medicine, while others recommend starting immediately so that the HIV virus can be managed. If you test positive for HIV, talk to your doctor about their treatment philosophy. You can always get an additional opinion if your doctor recommends a course you’re not comfortable with.

Chlamydia Treatment

Chlamydia is one of the most common STDs in the United States. Reports from the CDC showed that in 2017 not only was Chlamydia the most common STD but, more alarmingly, 45% of cases occurred among females between 15 and 24 years old. The increase in the spread of Chlamydia is attributed, in part, to the fact that most people don’t show symptoms. Often, men, women and their partners won’t know they have the infection until it shows up during STD testing. When symptoms do appear, they’re usually irritation or painful urination, itching, and swelling.

Chlamydia can be treated with an antibiotic prescribed by your doctor. It’s imperative that you finish the entire prescription as directed so that the infection does not become resistant to the drugs. Also, make sure your partner seeks treatment whether or not they’re showing symptoms. Follow up with another STD test 3 months after you finish your antibiotic treatment to confirm that you and your partner have been cured.

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Gonorrhea Treatment

According to the CDC, in 2017 Gonorrhea cases increased by 67% over the past four years with rates nearly doubling among men. Gonorrhea is similar to Chlamydia in that it can be treated with antibiotics. The trouble is that some strains have become resistant to treatment. If you show positive for Gonorrhea during STD testing, you may need to take more than one drug to treat it. At Statcare, we have the medication on site. Be prepared to tell your partner they will need treatment, too. Failure to properly treat Gonorrhea can lead to permanent damage to both the male and female reproductive organs, so take your doctor’s orders seriously and don’t delay seeking treatment. At Statcare, medical providers are trained to identify and treat gonorrhea and stop it in its tracks even while you await results of your Gonorrhea testing.

Syphilis Treatment

Syphilis is a highly contagious disease. CDC data showed that in 2017, Syphilis cases increased by 76% with 70% of cases found among men who had sexual intercourse with other men. Syphilis is mostly spread through penetrative sex, but there are cases where it is transmitted through kissing and prolonged body contact. The infected person will develop sores, but they can go unrecognized, thus causing the spread of the disease.

Without treatment, Syphilis can cause some major health concerns. Untreated Syphilis can cause arthritis, brain damage and blindness in those who are infected. Fast diagnosis and treatment are crucial for those with Syphilis. Even without treatment, the sores tend to heal without scarring making the disease harder to recognize, so regular STD testing is necessary for those who are sexually active.

At Statcare, medical providers are trained to give post-exposure treatment for Syphilis as is recommended by the CDC even while you await test results for Syphilis.

Luckily, once diagnosed, the treatment for Syphilis is relatively easy. Your doctor will often prescribe you penicillin based on the stage of Syphilis and you’ll generally be back to normal after proper treatment. In the US, almost two generations of doctors have not seen or treated enough cases of Syphilis. As a result, many doctors make mistakes in identifying the stage of Syphilis. The treatment of Syphilis varies by the stages of the infection. As a result, Syphilis is being under-treated and this may be contributing to its spread as well. At Statcare, medical providers are trained to correctly identify and treat Syphilis even at the time of STD testing. Also, follow-up testing after treatment is the only way to make sure that you have been completely cured of the infection.

Herpes Simplex 2 Treatment

Once you are infected with Herpes (Herpes simplex Type 2 or HSV 2), the virus stays in your body forever. While you can’t fully cure the infection, there are ways to manage the symptoms of herpes so it doesn’t interfere with your daily life. Antiviral medication is typically prescribed in order to reduce the length and severity of the initial outbreak of genital herpes as well as any subsequent herpes outbreaks. After the first outbreak with HSV 2, patients should expect several other flare-ups per year, but they will lessen over time — especially with the right treatment and follow-up.

Herpes 2 treatment options may include suppressive therapy. Patients who suffer frequent, painful herpetic outbreaks are prescribed medicine to take every day in order to keep genital herpes symptoms at bay and prevent frequent outbreaks. Some patients want to avoid taking a daily pill, so this might not be the right option for your lifestyle. Talk to your doctor about your concerns and they will be able to give you a recommendation for management of Herpes simplex 2 based on your needs.

HPV Prevention and HPV Treatment

HPV, or human papillomavirus, is a very common infection that rarely shows any symptoms. In fact, sometimes HPV goes away on its own. STD testing is required to diagnose HPV as some types can lead to cervical cancer or penile cancer.

On Friday, the FDA approved the HPV Vaccine (Gardasil) for men up to 45 years of age. Now, both men and women 27-45 years of age can get the vaccine to prevent HPV.

About 60 of the 100 types of HPV cause warts on areas like hands, feet, and genitals. The warts can show up weeks or months after sexual contact with an infected partner, making regular STD testing that much more important to maintaining your health.

An HPV test for women can be done with the Pap test. Similarly, in high-risk men, HPV test is performed using an anal Pap test. While Statcare does these tests routinely, many practices and especially labs and diagnostic centers may not have the trained personnel or the ability to perform this test or skip it entirely even in high-risk persons.

As we mentioned, the body often treats HPV on its own. If you experience warts that won’t go away, you may choose to laser or freeze them off. You can do this without requiring any prescription from your doctor, but it will likely cost you. Explore your options and ask your doctor for their recommendation.

Understanding STD Testing and Treatment Options

The cost of each individual STD treatment plan will vary. When planning for the costs associated with STD treatment, consider your insurance plan. Ask your healthcare provider what options are available to you and what medicines are covered. Depending on your diagnosis, you may be required to pay for ongoing treatment. If your budget is a concern, don’t be afraid to ask your doctor for different options. They will work with you to find a treatment plan that makes you healthy and fits into your budget. At Statcare, all injectable medicines can be made available and treatment initiated without delay.

No matter how often you come in for STD testing, there will always be a certain amount of worry. But maintaining your health is so much more important than any worry you may have. The doctors at Statcare Urgent Care are here to answer any questions you have and talk you through each of your different treatment options, should you need them.

With time, you may even start to feel empowered. There is a sense of pride that comes to patients who take control of their own health and the health of their sexual partners. Over time, patients realize that there is no shame in regular STD testing. We encourage everyone to know their STD status and take the right steps to keep their body healthy.

If you want to learn more about our services, visit our STD Testing & Screening page or give us a call at (855) 9 FOR DOC. We’re happy to help you through the entire testing process.

 

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What to Expect During Your First STD Test 1000 666 Sandeep Jain

What to Expect During Your First STD Test

STD testing, especially the first STD test, is overwhelming for everyone. Awkward questions are asked, intimate details are discussed and perhaps even worse, vials of blood are sometimes drawn. Most would much rather avoid it. But with STIs at a record high, testing is important and could save your life.

STD testing doesn’t have to be a terrible experience. With the right doctor and the right facility, you can get the treatment you need without some of the dread. Remember, your doctor has heard and seen it all. You can be assured that all of your questions and concerns are routine for them. Simply knowing what to expect during your first STD test will prove it to be quick, as painless as possible and hopefully informative.

If you’re feeling nervous about an upcoming STD test, there are ways to prepare. Most importantly, always do your research. Here are the basics to know about your first STD testing appointment.

Notify Your Doctor That You Need STD Testing

If you’re following the doctor’s orders, you should be making an appointment at least once a year for a routine check-up. These appointments are important preventative care that can reveal any irregularities in your body and keep you as healthy as possible. Unfortunately, these general health check-ups do not always include STD testing. Many STIs need a urine sample as well as specialized tubes for collecting and freezing blood samples.  Even if your doctor draws blood during your appointment, unless you specifically ask for STD testing, they won’t be able to diagnose STIs.  Additionally, regular medical practices don’t usually have treatments on-hand whereas urgent care centers usually have the antibiotic injections needed for treatment.

To get the most comprehensive answers about your sexual health, it’s smart to make a separate appointment specifically dedicated to STD testing. Having a partner in the room may not be that good an idea as it prevents an open discussion and the doctor may need answers to questions that you may want to be handled privately in the room. Beyond a look into your sexual health, you can use the one-on-one time to ask your doctor any questions that you might have. Patients discuss everything from pregnancy prevention, STIs on the rise in their area, symptoms and how often they should test themselves for STIs. Take the days before your first STD testing appointment to write down all the questions you have so that you don’t forget anything and you can leave your appointment feeling great about your health.

Once you arrive for STD testing you’ll tell your doctor which STIs you’d like to be tested for. If you notice symptoms of a specific STD or have been notified by a previous partner that they were diagnosed with one, you can simply ask to be tested for that one. If your appointment is more general, you can ask your doctor to advise you which STIs to be screened for. Usually, they will ask you about your number of partners, the type of sex you engage in, how often you use protection and any other information that might be relevant. It might feel uncomfortable at first, but always answer your doctor’s questions honestly. Their only goal is to keep you healthy and they need accurate information to do that.

Statcare offers comprehensive STD testing that includes screening for HIV type 1 and 2, herpes 1, herpes 2, hepatitis A, hepatitis b, hepatitis C, HPV, gonorrhea, chlamydia, and syphilis. Unlike home kits, these are high-quality tests that are sent to national certified labs so false alarms are kept to a minimum.  Our doctors make sure that you leave your STD testing with peace of mind that you took a reliable, comprehensive test administered by knowledgeable professionals.

Take The STD Test

STD testing sounds intimidating. Generally, no one enjoys tests and certainly not STD tests. But if you’re going to the right place, your STD testing should be quick, relatively easy and as painless as possible. Be warned, not all STIs can be checked the same way. Also, there are dozens of tests for the same STI; some may not be as good as others. Depending on which STIs you hope to be tested for, you may have to complete a few different exams to get specimens such as urine tests, blood tests, throat, vaginal or anal swabs.

During your STD test, your doctor might ask you for a blood sample, where they will draw blood into a vial to be sent to a lab for testing. At Statcare, the blood samples are drawn, spun in a centrifuge and refrigerated on site if needed.  Other facilities may require you to visit a second location such as a laboratory or a blood collection facility. That’s important to know if you’re looking to complete STD testing on your lunch break or under some other kind of time crunch.

A physical exam may be required, during which your doctor will take a look at your genitals and anus for any sores, rashes, discharge or other irritations. Other tests include a urine sample, a saliva sample or a discharge sample. In a discharge test, your doctor will swab from your genitals, anus or throat to test for STIs. If you’re starting to get nervous just reading about it, don’t worry. Your doctor will take care of you and talk you through each step to make sure you know exactly what’s happening and why.

The actual STD testing generally doesn’t take long. As soon as your doctor collects the sample they need, they will send it off to the lab for testing. Results typically take a day or more, and you’ll likely receive them in your patient portal with Statcare. Typically, these results will not be shared by your doctor over the phone without proper identification of the caller. All results are confidential and many states have confidentiality rules around HIV Test results so you may have to go and pick up the results n person.  Most doctors will encourage you to share the information with your partner when you’re ready and in some states, the laboratory is mandated to inform the state about certain positive test results so they can keep track of infections and their treatments. Whether the tests come back positive or negative, open communication with your sexual partners ensures that everyone stays healthy.

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Treatment After STD Testing

A positive result from STD testing is not the end of the world. As we mentioned, STIs are on the rise nationwide, so a positive STD test is neither uncommon nor a reason to be ashamed. Knowing the status of your sexual health is a great first step to regaining your wellness and improving the health of your partners.

We understand that hearing a positive diagnosis can be shocking and disappointing. Take some time to process the news, but remember you can begin a treatment plan right away, especially if you are at Statcare where they keep antibiotic injections on site.  No matter which STD you are diagnosed with, there are treatment options to discuss with your doctor.

After giving you the results, your doctor will immediately present treatment options to you. In some cases, your doctor may prescribe a medication that will treat your infection and you could be cured in a matter of a couple weeks. In the event that you have a more serious STD, like Herpes or HIV, there are still ways to treat the painful or irritating symptoms. Your doctor might also suggest counseling or other resources to help you navigate the news, should you find the results difficult to cope with.

It’s important to remember that there is no shame in a positive STD test. STIs are simply infections that happen to people who engage in sexual activity. They could happen to any sexually active adult. If you notice yourself thinking negative thoughts after a positive diagnosis, talk to your doctor. Or lean on your family and friends. Better yet, ask your partner for support, if possible. Do whatever it takes to get the support you need until you feel comfortable with your diagnosis.

In the event that your STD test comes back negative for any infections, it’s still important to talk to your partner. Tell them your status and ask them about theirs. Information is key when it comes to a healthy body. Most importantly, remember that one negative STD test does not guarantee that you will always be STD free. Regular STD testing is necessary for anyone who is sexually active, particularly if you are sleeping with new partners or your partner has an STD that you don’t currently have. Plan on taking regular STD tests just to be safe.

Paying for STD Testing

We know what you’re thinking. Regular STD testing sounds great, but how much will that cost you every year? The short answer is: it depends. But remember, we’re talking about your wellbeing, so no matter what the cost, staying up-to-date with your sexual health is extremely important. Statcare takes most major insurance and you can click here to make sure your insurance will be accepted at one of our locations before you make your appointment.

The plan you’ve chosen for your insurance will determine the copay you are responsible for on the day of your STD testing. Most insurance plans cover STI screening tests. If you are paying for the STD tests yourself, it is good to remember that prices for STD tests vary significantly depending on what is being tested.  Blood tests tend to be expensive, especially if you need more than one or two a year. Statcare only sends your tests to the laboratory that your health plan is in-network with. This avoids unnecessary bills and confusion.  Always check with your insurance company what lab is in-network before you come to other practices for your test so there are no surprises.

If you determine that regular STD testing is out of your price range, there are a few options available to you. You can go to the public health clinics run by the Department of Health as in NY City.  You can do a sliding scale payment plan with the laboratory. Obviously, preventive care is the most cost-effective option. Using condoms every time you have sex may help protect you from being infected with an STD. Talking to your partners before you have sex about their health history will also ensure that you know exactly what your risk is.

How frequently you schedule an appointment for STD testing is up to you. Just don’t skip them altogether. After your first STD test, future testing gets easier. You start to feel comfortable around your doctor, you get familiar with the waiting time between testing and results so you don’t feel as stressed. And the part that matters most: you’ll be an active participant in your sexual health. If you’re thinking about scheduling your first STD testing appointment, stop thinking and just do it! You will be glad you did.

If you are vision-impaired or have some other impairment covered by the Americans with Disabilities Act or a similar law, and you wish to discuss potential accommodations related to using this website, please contact Sharad Suri at service@statcarewalkin.com or by phone at 855-936-7362 Extension 288.

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