Sexual Health

STD Testing Information

The STD Panel is a comprehensive panel of 4 blood tests. If the specific STD risk is known, you may choose one or more individual tests based upon this knowledge.

Click here for more information about sexually transmitted infections.

HIV

The HIV test is an antibody test that measures the antibodies your body makes against HIV. It can take some time for the immune system to produce enough antibodies for the antibody test to detect, and this time period can vary from person to person. Most people will develop detectable antibodies within 2 to 8 weeks (the average is 25 days). Even so, there is a chance that some individuals will take longer to develop detectable antibodies. According to the CDC, 97% of persons will develop antibodies in the first 3 months following the time of their infection. In very rare cases, it can take up to 6 months to develop antibodies to HIV.

Syphilis (RPR)

Syphilis is a sexually transmitted disease (STD) caused by the bacterium Treponema pallidum. The initial symptom is a painless genital sore which may appear 10-90 days after exposure. This sore the disappears but can be followed by a phase where the illness progresses without apparent symptoms. The syphilis test measures antibodies produced in response to the body being infected with the Syphilis bacterium. The average incubation period for syphilis is 10-90 days. Most individuals show detectable antibody levels by 6 weeks.

Herpes (HSV-1 / HSV-2)

Genital herpes is caused by the herpes simplex viruses type 1 (HSV-1) or type 2 (HSV-2). HSV-1 can cause genital herpes, but it more commonly causes infections of the mouth and lips. HSV-1 infection of the genitals can be caused by oral-genital or genital-genital contact with a person who has HSV-1 infection. Although most individuals have no or only minimal signs of being infected with HSV-2, symptoms that occur during the first outbreak can be quite pronounced. The first outbreak usually occurs within two weeks after the virus is transmitted, but the virus may also remain dormant for many years prior to the first outbreak. Other signs and symptoms during the primary episode may include a second crop of sores, and flu-like symptoms, including fever and swollen glands. The herpes test measures antibodies produced after exposure to HSV-1 and HSV-2. Some individuals may be detectable for a past exposure as soon as 4 weeks after suspected contact. However, most people would be detectable after 12 weeks.

Hepatitis (A, B, and C)

Hepatitis A is the least severe form of hepatitis. It is commonly transferred through contact with human fecal matter and can usually be prevented with proper hand washing. Hepatitis B and C are most commonly acquired through exposure to the blood and bodily fluids of in infected person. People with newly acquired hepatitis B have no symptoms at all, or they may be very mild and flu-like – loss of appetite, nausea, fatigue, muscle or joint aches, mild fever, and possibly jaundice (yellowish tinge to the skin). Hepatitis C virus (HCV) causes inflammation of the liver and most individuals infected with Hepatitis C show no signs or symptoms. Hepatitis C is a slow-progressing disease that may take 10-40 years to cause serious liver damage in some people.


Testing for Gonorrhea and Chlamydia is done by taking a sample of cells from the cervix during a pelvic exam.


Gonorrhea

Gonorrhea is caused by Neisseria gonorrhoeae, a bacterium that can grow and multiply easily in the warm, moist areas of the reproductive tract, including the cervix, uterus, and fallopian tubes and the urethra. The bacterium can also grow in the mouth, throat, eyes, and anus. Gonorrhea is spread through contact with the penis, vagina, mouth, or anus. Ejaculation does not have to occur for gonorrhea to be transmitted or acquired. The initial symptoms and signs in women include a painful or burning sensation when urinating, increased vaginal discharge, or vaginal bleeding between periods. Symptoms of gonorrhea are often mild, but most women who are infected have no symptoms.

Chlamydia 

Chlamydia is caused by the bacterium, Chlamydia trachomatis. Symptoms of chlamydia are usually mild or absent. However, serious complications can cause irreversible damage, including infertility. Chlamydia can be transmitted during vaginal, anal, or oral sex. If symptoms do occur, they usually appear within 1 to 3 weeks after exposure.