A guide to services for Prince George's County residents
Many STIs do not have symptoms, so the only way to know for sure if you have an STI is to get tested.
YOU SHOULD KNOW
Open communication about STIs is crucial in any relationship, so talk to your partner(s) about getting tested.
You are at risk for an STI if:
THERE ARE NEW TECHNOLOGIES IN STI TESTING
The type of test—or tests—you need can vary depending on your age, sex, sexual history, and which STI you’re getting tested for. Remember, there is no single test that can screen for all STIs.
YOUR TEST MAY INCLUDE:
Physical exam – Your health care provider may examine you for any signs of an infection, such as a rash, discharge, sores, or warts. For women, this exam can be similar to a pelvic exam.
Urine sample – You may be asked to pee into a cup at your clinic/doctor’s office. Urine samples can be used to test for chlamydia and gonorrhea.
Discharge, tissue, cell or oral fluid sample – Your medical provider will use a swab to collect samples that will be looked at under a microscope. These samples can test for certain STIs, like chlamydia, gonorrhea, herpes, or HIV.
Blood sample – Your medical provider may take a blood sample, either with a needle or by pricking the skin to draw drops of blood. These can be used, for example, to test for syphilis, herpes, or HIV.
Make sure you know what you’re being tested for.
Sometimes a diagnosis can be made based on symptoms or a physical exam. Treatment may be prescribed right away. Other times, your medical provider may need to send a sample away to a lab. Waiting for results can be stressful. Always follow up! If you don’t get your results, it’s as good as not having been tested. Don’t assume your results are negative if you don’t hear back—find out for sure.
FOR MORE TESTING INFORMATION, PLEASE VISIT:
STIS/HIV Clinical Services