STD testing can be performed in a variety of ways. Blood tests, urinalysis, and pap smears are the most common forms. Sexually transmitted diseases can be spread through sexual contact, kissing, and the exchange of bodily fluids. Symptoms include itching, red irritated rashes, lesions, warts (HPV), and a foul smelling discharge. When one or more of the symptoms begin to appear, a visit should be made to the doctor. The doctor will perform a blood test and collect urine for testing. With women, a pap smear will also be performed. If the tests come back positive, the doctor will determine what type of treatment plan will be most effective and take the steps to get it underway.
If a person tests positive for a sexually transmitted disease, the patient and their partner must be treated to prevent the condition from returning. STDs that are caused by a bacteria can be safely treated with antibiotics. If the STD is caused by a virus, such as herpes or AIDS/HIV, there is no known cure. In this case, the doctor will treat the symptoms and then work to create a maintenance plan to either prevent future outbreaks or keep the condition from progressing. With STDs like HIV/AIDS, great care must be taken not to continue to spread the infection. The doctor and his staff will normally offer counseling to the patient to ensure they understand how to prevent another STD in the future.
STDs can be prevented if a person practices safe sex. The only true way to prevent the spread of STDs is through abstinence. To reduce the possibility of being diagnosed with a sexually transmitted disease, a person should limit their number of sexual partners and use condoms during sexual intercourse. Individuals who are in a committed relationship may not have to worry about multiple partners, but it is still a good idea to be tested each year during their annual wellness check. There are certain situations in which STDs can be passed from person to person without sexual contact. It is important to be mindful of the environment and take precautions if the potential risk is present.
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