Archive for the 'chlamydia' Category

Men & Women: Do You Know When to Get STD Testing?

We’ve declared March the time to focus on cleaning up your body and taking control of your health. This not only includes eating healthier, exercising more, and cluing yourself in to your health risk factors, but also monitoring your sexual health.

Sure, you may know why it’s important to get tested for STDs, but do you know when you should get STD testing? We’re sharing the details below.

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STDs & Pregnancy: How Your Sexual Health Affects Your Baby

When you’re pregnant, it’s important more than ever to take good care of your body. You’re providing the environment for your baby to develop, and it’s your responsibility to eat well, drink lots of water, abstain from drugs and alcohol, arm yourself against infections, and follow appropriate dietary restrictions.

One aspect of pregnant womens’ health that can sometimes get overlooked, however, is their sexual health. Pregnant women can get STDs or experience an inflammation of a previous STD, and the results can be life-threatening for both the pregnant mother and her child.

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Student Health & Safe Sex: Why College Students Need STD Testing

With Valentine’s Day around the corner, we’re focusing on healthy relationships this month, starting with college students. Although Trojan’s 2013 report card reveals that some colleges are excelling in terms of sexual health, overall STDs are still on the rise among college-aged adults.

Data from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) shows that gonorrhea and chlamydia rates are highest among 15 and 24-year olds, at 58% and 69% respectively. Overall, gonorrhea cases have risen 4.1% since 2011, and chlamydia 0.7% since 2011.

If these rates aren’t alarming enough, consider that they only include self-reported cases — meaning that thousands of STD infections could be slipping through the cracks. With serious long-term consequences at stake — including infertility, higher risk of HIV, and even death — it’s key that college-aged adults understand the importance of STD testing.

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STD Rates on the Rise Among Senior Citizens

STDs are often thought of as a problem for younger generations to deal with. After all, isn’t most unsafe sex practiced by young adults? Surely, older generations are more aware of the dangers of STDs and how to protect themselves from the spread of infectious sexual diseases.

It seems these assumptions aren’t true. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, STD rates among senior citizens are on the rise. In fact, their STD rates have increased enough to tie young adults aged 20 – 24 for the largest increase in STDs over 4 years. As senior citizens are living longer, healthier lives, their sexual activity has increased, leading to a rise in STD rates.

Are you a sexually active senior citizen? In addition to hepatitis C, there are a number of STDs your generation is spreading. Educate yourself on STD rates among your age group and learn how you can stop the spread.

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CDC Reports 2012 STD Rates on the Rise

Each year, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) releases its report revealing past STD rates, patterns, and observations. This January 2014, the full 2012 STD report came out, revealing that STD rates are on the rise nationally.

By viewing and understanding these STD rates, health care providers can predict trends for the upcoming year, helping them better adjust treatment plans and educational outreach.

How did STD rates change from 2011 to 2012? And what are some steps to prevent the spread of STDs, according to the CDC? Here are the facts.

2012 STD Rates

Because data on other STDs such as herpes, trichomoniasis, and human papillomavirus (HPV) often go unreported, the CDC’s 2012 report focuses on chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis. Despite their higher report rates, many cases of these STDs also go undiagnosed and thus unreported — which means that the CDC’s report reveals only a hint of the reality of STDs in America.

STD Rates on the Rise

Compared to 2011, the 2012 STD rates all increased except for congenital syphilis:

  • ARCpoint Labs | CDC Reports 2012 STD Rates on the RiseChlamydia: 1,422,976 cases reported in 2012 compared to 1,412,791 in 2011, with the STD rates per 100,000 people increased by 0.7%
  • Gonorrhea: 334,826 cases reported in 2012 compared to 321,849 in 2011, with the STD rates per 100,000 people increased by 4.1% in the third consecutive year of rising rates
  • Syphilis (primary & secondary): 15,667 cases reported in 2012 compared to 13,970 in 2011 with the STD rates per 100,000 people increased 11.1%
  • Syphilis (congenital): 322 cases reported in 2012 compared to 360 in 2011, with the STD rates per 100,000 people decreased by 10%

Groups With the Highest STD rates

STDs can infect anyone, but according to the 2012 data, the following STD rates are highest among certain groups.

Syphilis

Men who have sex with men (MSM) have higher STD rates when it comes to syphilis, making up 75% of all people with the most infectious forms of syphilis (primary and secondary). When the disease in primary or secondary form goes untreated, it can lead to stroke and visual impairment, plus place the infected person at more risk for contracting HIV.

The CDC notes that risk behaviors such as unprotected sex do contribute to these higher levels of syphilis, but also that social factors like lower economic status and the prevalence of homophobia may prevent gay, bisexual, and MSM from seeking treatment for the disease. To stop these rising STD rates, we should focus on eliminating the social stigma linked with syphilis, and also encourage all sexually active gay, bisexual, and MSM to be screened for syphilis, gonorrhea, and HIV at least yearly.

Gonorrhea & Chlamydia

Like in previous years, the 2012 CDC data on STD rates reveals that gonorrhea and chlamydia are most prevalent among Americans ages 15 – 24. Though both young adult men and women are affected by these soaring STD rates, the long-term repercussions are felt more heavily among women who run the risk of infertility due to undiagnosed STDs.

To combat these climbing STD rates, the CDC suggests yearly chlamydia screenings for sexually active women age 25 and under, plus gonorrhea screenings for at-risk women who are sexually active — for example, women with multiple sexual partners, or women who live in areas with high STD rates.

Fight Rising STD Rates With ARCpoint Labs

Worried you may be at risk for STD infection? Combat the inflating STD rates by getting confidential, reliable walk-in STD testing from your local ARCpoint Labs. We offer individual STD testing as well as comprehensive STD panels to detect a variety of diseases.

To lower your risk of STD rates, find the nearest ARCpoint Labs that offers STD testing!

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Why STD Testing is Important for Women

ARCpoint Labs | Why STD Testing is Important for WomenIf you’re a woman who has never contracted an STD, you might wonder why STD testing is important for you. Even if you’ve only slept with a few trusted partners or one person, you can catch an STD without knowing it — even from something so innocent as receiving a kiss on the cheek. Many people are unaware how easy it is to contract an STD, especially from someone who hasn’t completed STD testing and isn’t aware that they have the STD in the first place.

When you consider that more than 110 million Americans have an STD and an estimated 19 million more are infected per year, STD testing doesn’t seem like an unnecessary step. The likelihood that you know someone who currently has an STD constantly rises.

Still, many women think that STDs can’t or won’t happen to them. Wondering why you should consider STD testing? Here’s why.

STD Testing: Why It’s Necessary for Women

Unknowing Carriers

You might think that STD testing isn’t needed because your sexual partner(s) will let you know if they have or have had an STD. But just because someone has an STD doesn’t mean that they know it — only STD testing will reveal the truth. Many STDs have few symptoms or symptoms that are easily confused with other infections, including:

  • GonorrheaGonorrhea symptoms include pain and burning in urination, yellow or bloody discharge, abdominal pain, or heavy menstrual flow. Without STD testing, symptoms of this STD are often confused with bladder infection.
  • Chlamydia: 3/4 of women who have chlamydia exhibit and experience no symptoms, which is why STD testing is vital. Those who do have symptoms may also confuse them with symptoms of a bladder infection — including abnormal discharge from the vaginal, a burning sensation during urination, and spotting between menstruation.
  • Herpes: Symptoms of this STD, including  sores or rashes on your vagina or back, vaginal discharge, headaches, fever, muscle aches, and pain while urinating, may come and go as the years pass. Still, even when you do not exhibit signs of herpes, the virus remains in your nerve cells and can ultimately increase your risk of contracting HIV — which shows why STD testing is so important.
  • HIV: Research has shown that 21% of people in the US who are infected with HIV haven’t undergone STD testing and are thus undiagnosed. HIV symptoms, such as extreme exhaustion, rapid weight loss, fevers, night swears, diarrhea, coughing, and yeast infections, may not appear for years. This means that HIV-positive people could be unknowingly spreading the disease to others.

With STD testing, you will know if you or your sexual partner(s) have contracted any diseases in the past, which will prevent you from further spreading the infection.

Affects of STDs

STD testing does more than prevent the spread of diseases — it can also help you get treatment more quickly, which can prevent your STD from resulting in a very serious health problem. From infertility to cervical cancer to death, there are many long-term medical affects of STDs that can be avoided with simple STD testing. These affects include:

  • Chlamydia: If chlamydia spreads to your uterus or fallopian tubes, it may cause pelvic inflammatory disease, or PID. This disease is not easily cured and can permanently damage your fallopian tubes and uterus, leading to infertility, chronic pelvic pain, or even fatal ectopic pregnancy. After a positive diagnosis through STD testing, you can treat your chlamydia and prevent these outcomes.
  • Herpes: If you give birth vaginally when you have unknowingly carried the herpes virus, your baby could suffer blindness. STD testing is key when it comes to identifying and treating herpes.
  • Genital HPV: Some strains of HPV are linked to an increased risk of cervical cancer, vulvar cancer, vaginal cancer, and anal cancer, all of which have the potential to be fatal. When you and your partner receive STD testing, you can seek treatment for HPV if necessary.
  • HIV: When you contract HIV, your immune system weakens and makes you prone to contracting infections. HIV can lead to AIDS, a severe and often fatal autoimmune disorder. STD testing will help diagnose your HIV — and though there is currently no known cure for the disease, you can seek treatment to slow its progression.

These are just a few of the conditions that can result from STDs — there are countless other affects that could be treated or avoided by STD testing.

Get STD Testing Today

Ready to take charge of your health? ARCpoint Labs offers comprehensive STD testing at many of its facilities nationwide. Click here to see if STD testing is available at the ARCpoint location near you.

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STDs in Hiding: Chlamydia

Some STDs are more common than you think. Some STDs have few noticeable symptoms, leaving individuals unaware of any infection. Chlamydia is one such STD that rests “in hiding.”

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“Invisible” STDs

When you think about having an STD, what do you think of? Bumpy skin? Red spots? Itchiness? It’s true, these types of symptoms do exist. However, not all STDs are visible to the naked eye. You may be infected with a sexually transmitted disease and not even realize you have it. Here are some of the most common “invisible” diseases that are transmitted through sexual contact. worried about invisible STDs - ARCpoint Labs

Chlamydia

This is the most common sexually transmitted disease in the United States, and it can be treated with antibiotics. Symptoms of chlamydia may not show up until weeks after exposure— or not at all. WebMD says that 75% of women and 50% of men do not show symptoms, which means it can easily be passed from partner to partner without either person realizing it. Chlamydia can cause health problems if left untreated, so get checked regularly.

Trichomoniasis

This sexually transmitted infection is spread during intercourse and usually affects the urinary tract in men, who often don’t show any symptoms. Women may also contract trichomoniasis may experience irritations and inflammation.

Herpes Simplex Virus (HSV)

Most people infected with HSV go through life never knowing they have it, since there are often no symptoms. It’s contracted through small breaks in the skin. If symptoms do occur, there is often only one episode.

Human Papillomavirus (HPV)

While HPV will cause genital warts on some people, others may never know they have it. A vaccination is available to fight some strains in women, but there is no vaccine for men. HPV can only be treated, not cured.

Many other sexually transmitted diseases don’t always show symptoms, and they don’t always affect people in the same ways. That’s why it’s so important to get tested regularly if you’re sexually active. Find an ARCpoint Labs location near you to get tested so you may receive the proper treatment if necessary.

 

 

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Top College STDs

Moving away to college is an exciting experience for many people with new freedoms and meeting different people. Going to clubs and parties can be a new and fun experience when acting responsibly. However, alcohol and other factors can hinder judgment. Sexually transmitted diseases are unfortunately a common problem among college campuses. Understand what the most common STDs are for college students and how to prevent them. Condoms

Most Common College STDs

Human Papillomavirus (HPV)

HPV is spread through skin-to-skin contact and can lead to genital warts and cervical cancer. Many people are unaware they are infected since symptoms often go unnoticed. Although it is not curable, preventative measures can be taken. Girls are recommended to get a vaccine at age 11 or 12, but please note that it does not protect against all strains of HPV.

Chlamydia

This bacterial STD is transmitted through vaginal, oral and anal sex. Chlamydia is treatable and curable with antibiotics, but immediate attention is required to prevent damage to both men and women’s reproductive organs.

Gonorrhea

Like Chlamydia, there are often no visible symptoms of gonorrhea, so it is important to get tested regularly. Fortunately it is treatable and curable with antibiotics, but the disease must be caught early to prevent pelvic inflammatory disease (PID).

Genital Herpes

Genital Herpes, or HSV-2, is spread in the same ways as chlamydia, but it is not curable. This disease can cause blisters, redness and sores.

Prevention

Condom Use

Condoms are 97% effective at preventing STDs, but they must be used properly. If you are sexually active, use them consistently and correctly to reduce your risk of transmitting or receiving an infection or disease. Remember, birth control pills do not protect against sexually transmitted diseases.

Abstinence

The only way to be 100% sure you will not get an STD is to be abstinent. Sexually transmitted infections and diseases may be passed through oral sex, anal sex or intercourse. If this is not a probable option, take preventative measures and understand the risks with being sexually active.

If you are sexually active and/or have multiple partners, be sure to get tested regularly for STDs. The sooner you are aware of a problem, the more quickly you’ll be able to treat it. ARCpoint labs offers STD testing for both men and women. You don’t even need insurance or an appointment, so contact us today to take control of your sexual health.

 

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Nothing’s Super about Super Gonorrhea…

Anyone else catch this article by NY Daily News? Super Gonorrhea? Ut oh…

super-man-gonorrhea

Nothing super about "super gonorrhea"

It appears that there’s a new strain of “the clap” going around… which leaves no room for applause. This strain of gonorrhea isn’t like the others. Typically gonorrhea is identified by painful urination, abdominal discomfort and some discharge. While not everyone with “the clap” knows they have it – if your symptoms do appear it’s pretty obvious. However with this new strain, many of the symptoms lie dormant – especially the obvious one – painful urination.

Read the full article on “super gonorrhea”

What’s The Big Deal about Gonorrhea?

This new strain of gonorrhea hasn’t yet been found in the U.S. according to the article, but the problem is that it’s been resistant to antibiotics so far. Gonorrhea and chlamydia are two STDs that are generally treatable with medication unlike herpes or HIV, which have no cure. So having a new strain not only causes problems now (it keeps spreading without a way to cure it) – but in the future too (like “normal” gonorrhea, if it goes undetected, fertility and high-risk pregnancies are on the line.)

How to I Prevent Gonorrhea?

As with any STD, the best way to prevent getting one is abstinence. Also, limiting sexual partners will reduce your risk of contracting an STD, especially one like super gonorrhea. If you are engaged in sexual activity, practice safe sex by use of a latex condom. Dental dams for oral intercourse may also eliminate your risk. Conventional birth control will NOT protect against STD contraction. With an STD named “super,” you want to do everything you can to keep this bad boy away.

Do you have gonorrhea?

Find an STD testing center near you.

 

 

 

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