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Why Your Teen Needs the HPV Vaccine

Human Papillomavirus-related cancers affect 17,500 young women and 9,300 young men each year in the United States. HPV causes many cancers in which there are no tests for, that is why prevention is essential. Continue reading “Why Your Teen Needs the HPV Vaccine” »

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A Sexually Transmitted Infection That Isn’t Technically an STD

The MRSA STD Connection

Scientists identified this community-associated strain of staph bacteria around the year 2000. Unfortunately, it is virulent and heavily resistant to most antibiotics. It wasn’t until 2007 that researchers at Columbia University Medical Center discovered that MRSA could be spread by sexual contact. Both homosexual and heterosexual populations are vulnerable to these infections.

Continue reading “A Sexually Transmitted Infection That Isn’t Technically an STD” »

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4 Things You Need to Discuss When Starting a Relationship

Starting a new relationship can be both exciting and scary. As you go through the whirlwind of dates and getting to know each other in the part of the relationship often referred to as the “honeymoon” phase, it is easy to forget about some of the more serious topics that come up in relationships. However, in order to protect your health, we recommended having these four discussions with your new partner.

1. Do You or Your Partner Have an STD?

When starting a sexual relationship with a new partner, it may seem awkward to bring up the topic of STDs. However, if you’re going to get intimate with someone, you have the right to know if getting an STD is a possibility, and vice versa. If you know or suspect that you have an STD, talk to your partner about it and seek medical treatment as soon as possible. Your partner should also be honest and open with you about his or her sexual health.

2. The Safe Sex Talk

The best way to prevent the spread of STDs, besides abstaining from sex, is the use of condoms. Latex condoms reduce the spread of STDs like gonorrhea, chlamydia, and trichomoniasis. Tell your partner that it is important to you to be safe and use comdoms.

3. Getting Tested

Ask your partner about getting STD testing. If you and your partner have not been tested recently, suggest that you both get tested. It is important that you and your partner can be open with each other about sexual health, and getting tested is a good first step.

4. The Monogamy Question

When you enter into a new relationship, often the monogamy question is difficult to approach. It is scary to admit your feelings for another person without knowing whether that other person wants the same things as you. However, you and your partner should have a conversation about whether or not you are monogamous in order to be sure that you both are on the same page about the relationship. The question of monogamy is also important when it comes to sexual health, as having more than one partner increases the risk of contracting an STD.

Get STD Testing Today

TEST SMARTLY LABS nationwide offer STD testing. Find your nearest TEST SMARTLY LABS location today to get tested so that you can be informed about your sexual health.

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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.

Continue reading “STDs & Birth Defects: What Every Expectant (or Hopeful) Mother Should Know” »

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Do Cases of STDs Rise During the Holidays?

Ah the holiday season–filled with fun parties, quality time spent with friends and family, and…hookups? While the holiday season is great for couples, it can bring on extra feelings of stress and loneliness to singles. Unfortunately, the possibility of contracting an STD is all too real, especially when it comes to casual hookups.

Filling the Void

For those who are single, the holidays tend to be a time when casual hookups are used to push aside feelings of loneliness. This could mean reconnecting with an old flame while home for the holidays or hooking up with an acquaintance met at a holiday party after a few drinks. One poll reported that about 60% of people say they are more likely to hook up during the holidays than any other time of year. Today’s hookup culture makes these behaviors the norm, but that doesn’t mean that they are safe to do.

Casual Hookups and STDs

The problem with casual hookups is that many people see them as having no consequences. However, by hooking up with someone without protection, you are putting yourself at risk for contracting any number of STDs. Especially for young adults, cases of STDs are growing quickly. From 2013 to 2014, instances of syphilis grew by 79%, HIV by 33%, and gonorrhea by 30%. Some people attribute this to the hookup culture promoted by casual dating apps like Tinder. Tinder allows complete strangers to easily find and hook up with each other at any time of the day or night.

What Can You Do?

Protecting yourself from contracting an STD doesn’t have to be difficult. The first step is getting tested. TEST SMARTLY LABS provides STD testing across the U.S. Find your nearest TEST SMARTLY LABS today to get started.

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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.


Some TEST SMARTLY 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 TEST SMARTLY LABS location for STD testing.


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What STDs Are Spread Through Blood?

You probably already know that STDs are transmitted through sexual contact. But did you know that some STDs can be transmitted through contact with blood?

Join TEST SMARTLY LABS today as we share important information about bloodborne viruses (BBVs). We’ll also look at ways that you can protect yourself.

Continue reading “What STDs Are Spread Through Blood?” »

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STDs and Cancer Risk: How Does Sexual Health Affect Overall Health?

In 2012, President Barack Obama declared April as Cancer Control Month, a time to spotlight and celebrate the many advancements in cancer treatment, including important prevention efforts such as cancer screenings.

Although most people are very aware of cancer and its affects on people, many are not aware of how their actions and other aspects of their health can increase their cancer risk. When it comes to your sexual health and cancer risk, you should be aware that contracting an STD can increase your risk for many types of cancer.

Here’s the low-down on STDs and cancer risk.

Continue reading “STDs and Cancer Risk: How Does Sexual Health Affect Overall Health?” »

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How to Prevent Your Kids From Getting STDs

As a parent, you probably worry the most about your kids getting STDs in their teenage years and early adulthood. So much weight is put on having the safe sex talk and monitoring your teens’ activities to ensure that they’re not engaging in risky behaviors.

Yet recent research has shown that a focus on the early years of childhood can have a key impact on an individual’s risk of getting STDs. Various environmental factors can have an effect on a teenager’s early entrance into sexual activity, leading to an increased risk of STDs.

What did the study reveal about the connection between STDs and young adulthood? Parents, read on to learn about helping your children lower their risk of contracting STDs.

Continue reading “How to Prevent Your Kids From Getting STDs” »

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