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Archive for the 'STD screening' Category

Doctors are Overprescribing Antibiotics for Possible STDs. Here’s Why It’s a Problem.

There are a number of factors that prevent doctors from correctly diagnosing sexually transmitted diseases.

First, there’s the fact that many people may have STDs without presenting symptoms, meaning STD tests aren’t ordered and performed.

Second, there are individuals who may suspect an STD, but might be too embarrassed to ask their primary healthcare provider about their symptoms.

Third, there are cases when other infections, like urinary tract infections, can be mistaken for an STD — and when treatment is provided, it actually affects a patient’s ability to fight off any future STDs.

Today we’re taking a closer look at the third phenomenon.

Continue reading “Doctors are Overprescribing Antibiotics for Possible STDs. Here’s Why It’s a Problem.” »

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How to Keep Your Cold Sores from Spreading

Has an unsightly cold sore kept you from leaving the house? Do you want to learn ways to prevent the virus from spreading? If you do, there are some easy options for you to try.

The herpes simplex virus — also known as cold sores and fever blisters — often appear on the face, normally around the lips, nose, cheeks, chin, and even the inside of a person’s mouth. The virus is easily spread to other parts of the body as well as other people because there is no known treatment.

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Spring Break & STDs: The Hidden Dangers

Spring break and sex are synonymous. Students wanting to let loose and experience new things often take to the streets and beaches in the hottest destinations for a week of endless fun, adventure, and casual sexual encounters.

They pack their bathing suits, swim trunks, and sunscreen but many forget to bring condoms which is why the risk of getting STDs on spring break is higher.

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STDs & Birth Defects: What Every Expectant (or Hopeful) Mother Should Know

 

January is Birth Defects Prevention month — a good time for expecting parents to be reminded of the risks that sexually transmitted diseases pose to infants.

Read on to see what STDs pose risk of birth defects, and how you can prevent them.

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9 Diseases on the Rise

In a Harvard University study conducted in 2013, data showed that Americans are living longer and healthier before. The study concluded that declining tobacco use and medical advancements. However, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Health Organization, 14 diseases have been cropping up recently and becoming more and more prevalent.

Chlamydia

The sexually transmitted disease (STD), chlamydia is a bacteria, and it’s increased by 58.8 percent in the last 10 years. Chlamydia particularly affects the female reproductive system.

Gonorrhea

Gonorrhea, another STD is also on the rise. Reports of it have increased 17.8 percent in the last five years.

Syphilis

Cases of the STD syphilis have increased by over 150 percent in the past five years. It’s dangerous because it can be asymptomatic for a long time, but can end up damaging organs in the long run.

Plague

The bubonic plague wreaked havoc on Medieval Europe, and it was thought to be all but gone. However, 15 cases surfaced in 2015.

Autism

Autism is a developmental disorder that has increased by 63.3 percent in the last five years.

Infant Botulism

The bacteria are contracted through contamination and causes constipation and droopy eyelids. At its worst it can cause paralysis.

E.coli

E.coli is a gut bacteria that has several harmless strains, but it can turn dangerous. The past 10 years have shown a 472 percent increase.

Whooping Cough

There is a vaccine available for whooping cough, but despite the medical community’s best efforts, reports of the disease have increased by over 145 percent over the last 10 years.

Melanoma

The most common type of skin cancer experienced an 18.3 percent rise in the last 10 years.

Be Informed

ARCpoint Labs nationwide can provide accurate, confidential STD testing services, including testing for syphilis, chlamydia, and gonorrhea.

We also offer a variety of vaccines including for whooping cough.

To learn more about our services, contact your nearest ARCpoint Labs today!

 

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Does a Pap Smear Test for STDs?

Not a Simple Yes or No Answer

Many women think that their doctors are testing them for STDs as part of their annual physical exams. However, that is not the case. Just because you’re getting a Pap smear and a pelvic exam, it does not mean that you’re getting tested for STDs.A female doctor set in her office

Certain types of Pap smear include HPV testing on the sample taken from your cervix, and sometimes damage or swelling from other STDs could show up on your Pap smear.

Comprehensive STD Screening is the Only Way

The only way to test for STDs common in sexually active adults is for a comprehensive test. Diseases such as chlamydia, HIV, gonorrhea, syphilis or herpes can only be screened for by specific tests that target those diseases.

Sometimes people confuse wet mounts with Pap smears. A wet mount is a slide made from a swab of your vagina. The slide shows vaginal infections and other conditions like bacterial vaginosis and trichomoniasis — the most common STD in young women.

A Pap smear, in contrast, is a swab of your cervix that a doctor in a pathology lab examines to find signs of cervical cancer. Neither wet mounts nor Pap smears alone can identify most common STDs.

Should I get a Pap smear or an STD test?

If you’re concerned about STDs, you should have a comprehensive STD test because a Pap smear cannot scan for them. Pap smears are still very important for detecting cervical cancer early. Regular physical exams including Pap smears or STD testing — especially for women with multiple partners — is paramount to maintaining sound reproductive and sexual health.

ARCpoint Labs STD Testing

Some ARCpoint Labs locations offer comprehensive STD screening. To learn more about what services we offer, contact your nearest location today.

 

 

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These STD Testing Myths Might be Affecting Your Health

Myths About STD Testing

We’ve written about STD myths before, but we haven’t covered those misconceptions that surround STD testing.

Since STD tests are one of the best ways to protect your sexual health, it’s crucial that you pursue them regularly and don’t let these myths dissuade you. The STD testing myths include:Sexual Health Red Blue Green Squares

One Test Can Screen for All STDS.

No. Absolutely not. No solitary STD test can give you an accurate and full picture of  your sexual health. All STD tests are not created equal. It’s not only that some tests are better than others, it’s that some tests are very likely to correctly identify people who carry the disease, and some tests will never misidentify an uninfected person as infected.

VDRL Tests Can Provide Results for HIV

No they don’t. It’s a misconception that VDRLs can test for HIV. VDRLs do not test for all viral STDs, but they can test for syphilis.

An HIV Test Is All You Need

Some people believe that if a doctor tells you that you have chlamydia or gonorrhea, that you’ll be fine after a course of antibiotics. Those people are wrong.  Some doctors and clinics that screen young people test for chlamydia and gonorrhea, but only those two common STDs. While they can be treated, it is assumed that the patients don’t have any other STDs. Additional tests are needed for herpes or syphilis, which can be spread to other partners unknowingly.

How can I be sure I’m not positive?

The only way to know for sure if you don’t have STDs is to get tested for everything you might be concerned about. You’ll have to ask. It’s not fair to expect the uninformed to be in the know about these things, but it is the case.

If you’re concerned you’ve contracted an STD, find the nearest wellness-certified ARCpoint Labs location for STD testing.

 

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The Implications of a Massive Over-Diagnosis of UTIs

A new study in the Journal of Clinical Microbiology poses troubling implications over the over-diagnosis of urinary tract infections (UTI). Both UTIs and sexually transmitted infections (STI) frequently are diagnosed in emergency room settings. Unfortunately, distinguishing between UTIs and STIs is often difficult because of the number of overlapping symptoms. The recent study sought to discover how often STIs are mistakenly diagnosed as UTIs, and, as a result, are treated with the wrong medication.

How UTIs are Detected and TreatedAntibiotics

When bad bacteria, such as E. coli, enters the urethra, sometimes this causes an infection in the normally sterile urinary tract. On average about one out of every three women gets a UTI at least one time, causing almost seven million visits to the doctor per year.

As common as UTIs are, ERs often misdiagnose sexually transmitted infections as urinary tract infections due to the similarity of certain symptoms, such as pelvic pain, painful urination, and a constant need to pee. Unfortunately, these cases of misdiagnosis have led to millions of women being prescribed unnecessary antibiotics for UTIs that they don’t have. Women misdiagnosed with UTIs also have remained unaware of their STIs, meaning that they have potentially spread their STIs to their partners.

The recent study, under lead author Michelle Hecker, monitored 264 women who had gone to the emergency room in Ohio. Of those women, 175 were diagnosed with a urinary tract infection. Researchers evaluated the women’s urine samples using molecular tests to determine what infection, if any, that each woman had. Alarmingly, Hecker and her team found that less than 50% of the women who were diagnosed with a UTI actually had a UTI.

A common method of diagnosing a UTI is by running a urinalysis, which detects bacteria in the urinary tract. While urinalysis has the advantage of being instant, it is not the most accurate testing method. Urinalysis is often contaminated or comes back with abnormal results. The more thorough, but time-consuming, urine culture test is a much more accurate testing method.

Alarming Possibilities

The idea of many people walking around ignorant of their STIs because of a misdiagnosis of a UTI is not pleasant for several reasons. First of all, this increases the risk of unwittingly spreading STIs to countless other people. However, the other alarming aspect is the threat of antibiotic resistance. In recent years, researchers have become worried about the overuse of commonly prescribed antibiotics. The more people use antibiotics, the more resistant bacteria becomes to those drugs.

The solution for this problem is for ERs and doctors to reconsider how they test for UTIs and STIs. Using urine culture testing, rather than urinalysis, is a great way to start.

Don’t Wait, Get Tested

If a sexually transmitted infection is a possibility, don’t wait. Get tested today. Contact your nearest ARCpoint labs for accurate, fast, and confidential results.

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3 Reasons to Get STD Testing Today

Ask any doctor, sexual health expert, or health organization like the CDC, and they’ll tell you the same: regular STD testing is a sensible choice for almost anyone who is sexually active.

Despite this sound advice, though, may be tempting to forego STD testing. You feel healthy, and who has time to go in for all those tests? The reality is that STD testing still makes sense for many. Here’s a look at a few reasons why.

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Do You Know When to Get STD Testing?

STD testing is an important part of a healthy lifestyle. Because so many STDs have few symptoms, it isn’t always easy to know when an infection occurs.

In observance of STD Awareness Month, celebrated each April, here are some guidelines for when STD testing is recommended.

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