A Breakdown of STD Screening Procedures

How do you know if you need to get tested for a sexually transmitted disease? In most cases, people infected with STDs do not show any symptoms, that is why if you think you are at risk, you should schedule an STD screening at the nearest clinic or hospital in Singapore.

Although STD testing is not mandatory, you should include it in your annual checkup if you are aged between 13 to 64 years as recommended by most doctors, but if you feel uncomfortable about getting tested in a public hospital, you can buy a home testing kit and send the sample to a laboratory. However, not all STDs are screened using the same STD test.

Here are the common test procedures used for most STDs.

Testing for Gonorrhea

This sexually transmitted disease is caused by Neisseria gonorrhoeae—a sexually transmitted bacteria—and is one of the most common STDs in the world. The infection can be passed on through oral, vaginal, and anal contact with an infected partner, mostly because the person is not aware that he/she infected. Gonorrhea is asymptomatic although if there are symptoms, the person’s urethra, cervix, rectum, and eyes are affected.

There are seven Singapore HIV test methods to test for gonorrhea; these are urine sampling, nucleic acid amplification, gram stain, swab cultures, blood sampling, gonorrhea culture, and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. For the urine sample, the patient is advised not to pee one hour before catching the sample for STD testing. Nucleic acid amplification is sometimes done with the urine sample to look for the bacteria. The doctor can also take swab samples from the urethra, vagina, rectum, pharynx, and cervix for cultures and the eyes for gram stain. Blood sampling is also another option, so that the laboratory technician can look for antibodies.

Testing for Chlamydia

This is caused by the bacteria Chlamydia trachomatis which can affect the throat, rectum, cervix, and urethra. It means that you can get infected if you have oral, vaginal and anal contact with an infected partner. Like most STDs on this list, chlamydia does not exhibit symptoms, that is why STD screening is required if you think you’re at risk.

There are two types of STD testing for chlamydia such as the chlamydia culture and the nucleic acid amplification tests. The patient has to submit urine or body fluid samples to the laboratory to confirm the presence of the bacteria. Chlamydia culture will need samples from the eyes, throat, cervix, urethra, or rectum before they are allowed to grow in a culture. The NAAT on the other hand, will look specifically for the genetic material of the bacteria, usually in a urine sample.

Testing for Syphilis

This sexually transmitted disease is caused by the bacteria Treponema pallidum, which spreads through oral, vaginal and anal contact with an infected partner. It can also be passed by an infected mother to the child. Although syphilis is curable during its earliest stage, it can cause a lot of complications later.

There is a specific STD test for syphilis because it often imitates the symptoms of other STDs. The patient has to provide one of the following samples: fluid from a sore, blood, and sore tissue. The fluid or the tissue from the syphilis sores can be taken in the late stages of the infection, but it is effective in detecting the presence of the bacteria. The blood testing that you can understand from http://www.kensingtonfamilyclinic.com/std-hiv/hiv-testing in Singapore is done to look for antibodies, or the sample is used for a rapid plasma regain test. However, the result can also point to other infections because the antibodies is not exclusive to syphilis infection, that is why the doctor will recommend a second test to confirm the results of the first.

Testing for Herpes

There are two types of the Herpes simplex virus which can cause oral and genital herpes. The infection is usually asymptomatic, but most patients will see sores or blisters at some point on the affected areas of the body. It’s not only spread through sexual contact, but it can also be passed through contact with herpes sores. That is why it is possible to get infected through kissing (saliva), skin contact (only on the parts that are infected), and genital secretions.

For those who do not show any symptom, blood tests are recommended in clinics in Singapore, while for those who already have sores, DNA tests and viral culture are the best options. The blood test will look for antibodies, although the test is not reliable during the initial infection or a few days after the infection. If there are symptoms, the doctor will need a swab sample from the affected area to determine which type of herpes virus is present. NAAT is more reliable than cultures, however, because the STD test will look specifically for the DNA of the virus, not just the antibodies.

Testing for Human Papillomavirus

Some types of HPV can cause non-cancerous warts, while others can lead to cancers. Of the more than 150 identified HPV types, there are two major classifications of the virus based on the areas they affect. The mucosal HPV affects the cells of moist surfaces, while the cutaneous HPV affect the skin. HPV is spread through oral, vaginal, and anal contact, but not through body fluids or blood, which means that it is transmitted through skin-to-skin contact.

There are two types of STD screening for HPV. The HPV test looks for the presence of the virus in swab samples from the affected areas, while the Pap test is recommended for women to check for any abnormal cells in the cervix. Women are recommended to undergo both tests if there is a risk of infection, and even if there is no risk of HPV infection, a Pap test is recommended for women every three years starting at the age of 21 or once every five years starting at the age of 30.