Last week, we shared one dangerous misconception about STD testing: the fact that regularly-scheduled check-ups with your physician don’t often include screening for sexually transmitted diseases.
There’s another aspect of doctor-provided STD testing that can prove bad for your health — the misconception that if you get STD testing by your MD and come away with a clean bill of health, you have nothing to worry about.
While STD testing is one of the most effective ways to lower STD acquisition risk, it’s still not 100% infallible. Here’s what you should know about the accuracy of STD testing.
How STD Testing Can Fail You
You Weren’t Tested for the Right STDs
Even if you’ve pursued STD testing at your doctor’s, you may be in for a rude awakening and could actually have an STD. This is because unless provided with a list of exactly what STDs to test you for, your doctor may only test for the most common STDs or for STDs you present symptoms for. Since some STDs are asymptomatic, you may never be tested for them despite having them. If you aren’t forthcoming or honest about your sexual practices, either, your doctor may underestimate your risks for STDs and thus not test you for all the applicable infections.
Depending on when you acquired the STD, testing may not be effective at detecting your infection. For example, syphilis testing often does not effectively catch early cases of infection. Since HIV testing works by detecting the body’s antibody response to infection and it can take up to two weeks for these antibodies to develop, it is also possible you can get tested for HIV and be infected without it registering. That’s why it’s crucial to get regular STD testing and to also get STD testing whenever you show symptoms rather than waiting for the next doctor’s visit.
You Think Regular Testing Makes up for Risky Behaviors
In some cases, STD testing can give individuals a false security in their sexual health. These people may continue to put their sexual health at risk by engaging in behaviors that increase their likelihood of acquiring an STD, such as having unprotected sex or engaging in sexual acts with an individual who hasn’t proved to be STD-free. People should keep in mind that a clean bill of health can easily change to an STD infection if safe sex practices aren’t followed.
Accurate STD Testing
ARCpoint Labs nationwide provide STD testing to individuals. We stand by the accuracy of our results and are proud to help people better monitor their sexual health. Visit your nearest location today for walk-in STD testing, no appointment, insurance, or doctor’s orders needed!