Screening Sexually Transmitted Diseases

STDs may give symptoms and express out themselves. However, they may sometimes remain absolutely silent for years. Screening is, therefore, required to catch them is phases of dormancy.

STDs and Their Spread

There are a variety of sexually transmitted disease.

As the name suggests, STDs spread mainly via unprotected sex. However, these diseases spread via non sexual routes also.

The spread requires conditions where you get in touch with infected vaginal secretions, semen or blood. This happens commonly during sex of any kind, taking recreational drugs with infected needles, using infected pools or commodes etc.

If you have a cut or abraded skin on your body and that gets in touch with infected fluid, you may catch the infection.

List of Common Sexually Transmitted Diseases

  • Chlamydia and gonorrhea
  • HIV
  • Syphilis
  • Trichomoniasis
  • Hepatitis
  • Genital herpes
  • HPV

Screening STDs

STDs are not screened routinely. If you have multiple sexual partners or you are health professional dealing with blood or other body fluids, request your doctor to screen you for STDs.

Each of the STD needs to be screened separately.

Chlamydia and Gonorrhea

Testing for the presence Chlamydia trachomatis and Neisseria gonorrhoeae (gonorrhea), the causative organisms for chlamydia and gonorrhea respectively, is done simultaneously.

A swab is taken from inside the penis in men and cervix in women. The sample is then analyzed in the laboratory for the presence of the causative agent.

Alternatively, a urine sample may be taken.

A positive result means that you are infected and need to be treated with antibiotics.

Syphilis

This disease is caused by a bacteria called Treponema pallidum.

A swab is taken from the genital sore or any other lesion and tested for the presence of the pathogen.

Alternatively, a blood sample may be taken and screened for the presence of antibodies. Antibodies may be found in the blood or the CSF.

Hepatitis B or C

The causative organisms are viruses that cannot be isolated.

Blood samples are collected to detect the presence of surface antigens of the viruses in blood.

Alternatively, antibodies produced in response to the viral antigens are detected in blood.

Trichomoniasis

Trichomonas vaginalis is a motile protozoan that causes this illness. It affects the urogenital tracts of both men and women.

Diagnosis is made by isolating the protozoan. Swab sample is taken from the urethra or prostatic samples in men. In women, they may be taken form the vaginal or cervical secretions.

Broth culture technique is the standard way employed for the protozoa.

Genital Herpes

This is tested by taking a blood sample and looking for viral particles or broken pieces of the causative virus in blood. The technique is called PCR testing.

Alternatively, if you have a lesion, a swab may be taken from there and cell culture is done to isolate the virus.

HPV

Human papilloma virus causes this problem. Diagnostic test is pap smear, which shows changes suggesting its presence.

More specific DNA testing may then be done to be sure of the diagnosis.

HIV

Both antigen testing or antibody detection is done for testing HIV.

ELISA testing for detecting antibody presence is the commonest that is being carried out. Another test for antibody detection is the western blot method.

Medical Advice (Q&As) on “How to Screen STDs?

  1. Charlie

    I have this rash/bumps on my vaginal lips and my boyfriend thinks it’s ringworm. I’ve been using cream for ringworm and it hasn’t disappeared. It itches and is a bit swollen. Not that big probably quarter size but is a circle. Any ideas on what it may be? I’m worried.

    Reply
    1. Buddy M.D. Post author

      You need to go to a doctor for a physical exam. This may not be a simple pimple, it may be an STD lesion.

      Reply
  2. Maritza

    I am sexually active and started getting small red bumps just between my vagina and anus. They aren’t in cluster but they do burn especially when I pee or something rubs against it. I recently got diagnose with a UTI and I also just found out I’m pregnant, so I’m kind scared that it might be an std.

    Reply
    1. Buddy M.D. Post author

      It is better to get yourself examined by a gynecologist to rule out the presence of any STD.

      The rashes may otherwise be due to UTI. The urine in UTI is altered in its pH and consistency. It may irritate the skin to produce rashes.

      Since you are pregnant, visiting a doctor at the earliest is recommended.

      Reply