Vital Health International

5 STDs That Require Yearly Testing

Unlike many common infections that can be diagnosed by a doctor, most sexually transmitted diseases require thorough tests to be done to identify the problem and take measures. Whenever you have any symptoms, associates with STDs, such as abnormal discharge from vagina or penis, rash or sores in genital area, painful urination or itching, it is essential to have yourself tested and specify the virus so that your doctor could give you appropriate medication.

However, the tricky thing about sexually transmitted diseases is that some of them have extended incubation periods and do not show any symptoms until causing significant damage to your body when it is difficult or even too late to treat them. Besides, you might be spreading an infection without even being aware of that. So it would be wise to have your blood tested after having unprotected sex with somebody who is not your permanent partner.

Your doctor might want you to perform different types of tests depending on the symptoms and the information he has. The basic one is a general visual exam when a doctor is looking for infection signs, such as abnormal discharge, rash, warts or sores. Urine and swab tests, including the study of discharge, saliva or tissue samples, are the efficient methods in identifying many sexually transmitted diseases. However, the blood test is probably the most comprehensive test that provides substantial information on your health condition. So what are the STDs that need to be tested?

5. Chlamydia


Being the most common sexually transmitted disease in many countries, including the United States, Chlamydia may not show any symptoms and it takes a urine or body fluid test to diagnose the infection.

The tests may address chlamydia bacteria DNA, chlamydia antigens or chlamydia culture. Routine tests are recommended for all sexually active people, pregnant women and ones having pelvic infections.

4. Gonorrhea


Gonorrhea is a popular STD, especially among young people. It generally has few, if any, symptoms on early stages which makes it difficult to identify the infection visually so a test is required.

Normally, a urine test is sufficient to confirm the virus. Throat and rectum swab probes can also be taken if you have had oral or anal sex. A doctor might want to collect a urethra or cervix swab sample. The sample is then placed on a dish in a lab and given some time. The gonorrhea bacteria will grow if the virus is present.

3. Hepatitis


There is a large group of people prone to contracting hepatitis, including

  • sexually active persons practicing unprotected sex;
  • men having sex with men;
  • drug users, sharing needles;
  • HIV-diagnosed people;
  • family members of Hepatitis-infected people;
  • people born in Hepatitis-endemic regions;
  • recipients of transplant organs or dialysis patients;
  • children of infected mothers.

Such people are strongly recommended to have themselves monitored for Hepatitis. Also, a doctor might ask you to pass the test should you show any disease-related symptoms or have abnormal liver condition revealed during routine examinations. The symptoms of hepatitis can include fever, fatigue, nausea, dark urine, loss of appetite, joint or abdominal pains. The blood test applies with antibodies and abnormal proteins being looked for.

2. Syphilis


Syphilis is one of the most dangerous sexually transmitted diseases and requires thorough testing. It is easy to confuse with other infections but it is extremely important to locate the virus on early stages, before it hides and falls into the latent period, damaging your body when you do not know it. An antibody blood test is required and it can consist of nontreponemal and treponemal tests. The first one is a basic antibody test that can show the presence of a virus in your body. If it comes positive, a more complex treponemal test is ordered. Being syphilis-positive increases your chances of obtaining HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases through small sores so make sure are tested if you are in a risk group.



The most dangerous virus causing acquired human immunodeficiency syndrome is best diagnosed with a blood test, though saliva swab tests are also available.

It is recommended to pass a comprehensive test every once in a while even if you don’t have any symptoms associated with sexually transmitted diseases. The virus can have an extensive incubation period and stay in your body for years before showing up.

Meanwhile it can be developing to the point of no return and you could pass the virus to someone else. This is why it is essential to visit a doctor on regular basis and have yourself tested. Nevertheless, some people are more susceptible to contracting the infection and need to pay additional attention to their health. If you have had sex, particularly unprotected, with someone who is not your safe and permanent partner, you are under risk. If you have contracted a dangerous STD like syphilis before or such diseases as hepatitis or tuberculosis, the chances of obtaining HIV are higher.

Sharing needles while injecting any drugs is an extremely dangerous practice that can easily lead to contracting the virus. So if anything of the abovementioned is common for you, or happened at least once, visiting a doctor and passing a test might be a good idea. Pregnant women or women intending to get pregnant should also pass the test to avoid infecting the baby. What the doctors are looking for during HIV tests is antibodies, generated by your body in response to the virus.

Dr Joe Takon

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