STD testing

An STD test is a medical test for the presence of any of a number of sexually transmitted infections (STIs). Most STD tests are blood tests, and are usually performed after symptoms are detected (disease), but may detect asymptomatic or presymptomatic infections. STD tests may test for a single infection, or consist of a number of individual tests for any of a wide range of STIs, including tests for syphilis, gonorrhea, chlamydia, hepatitis and HIV tests. No STD procedure tests for all infectious agentes, so it is important to be aware what organisms a given test screens for.

STD tests may be used for a number of reasons:

Not all STIs appear right away. In some instances a disease can be carried with no outward symptoms, which leaves a greater risk of passing the disease on to others.

Dependence fallacy

A common fallacy is the view of STD testing as a kind of safe sex practice which overrides the actual practice of safe sex. Tests by definition are only informative and not preventative, and while important in keeping oneself and others informed of a partner's STD status, they do not take the place of preventative safe sex practice -- caution in selecting partners and refraining from promiscuity. They are however essential in the early treatment of STD's, and most STD's are, by current medical science, inherently treatable once discovered.

See also

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