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Getting tested for sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) is a vital part of your health care. A rapid STD test can help you get results in minutes rather than days.
Many STDs are treatable, and some can be cured. Infections like gonorrhea, chlamydia, and trichomoniasis can cause serious health problems if not treated.
What Infections Can Rapid Tests Detect?
Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) can cause serious health problems if left untreated. They can also affect the development of a child during pregnancy and increase a person’s risk for certain cancers.
Fortunately, most STDs can be treated with antibiotics or other medications. However, many STDs lie dormant for years, so it’s important to get tested regularly.
Rapid tests can detect some STIs, like gonorrhea and chlamydia. They can also diagnose syphilis, which is an infection of the genitals that can lead to permanent damage if left untreated.
Females aged 25 and younger should be screened for these infections yearly, and males who engage in sex with other males should be screened at least once a year. Routine testing is especially important for gay and bisexual men and women, as they are at high risk of contracting these diseases.
How Accurate Are Rapid Tests?
Rapid tests are a type of antigen test that can quickly provide results in as little as 15 minutes without the need to be analyzed in a lab. They are also low cost and easy to use, making them especially helpful in areas where there isn’t much access to specialized testing equipment.
A meta-analysis of 150 independent studies showed that rapid tests correctly detect a COVID-19 infection about 73 percent of the time when people are symptomatic. However, the accuracy drops to 55 percent for asymptomatic infections.
Researchers found that a single negative rapid test result doesn’t rule out infection, so repeat testing is recommended. They say this is particularly important for people who don’t have symptoms, as well as in schools and other non-healthcare settings.
Are Rapid Tests a Good Option?
Getting tested for sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) is important for your health. Accurate detection and early treatment can change the course of disease, protecting you and your sexual partner(s) in the long run.
A rapid test is a type of STD screening that offers immediate results without the need for an office visit. It’s a point-of-care testing method that can provide accurate results 93 percent of the time.
These tests are easy to order online, and they send you a kit to collect your sample. The kit comes with everything you need, including instructions and a prepaid return envelope.
However, it’s important to remember that even the most reliable quick tests aren’t 100% accurate. Errors can occur when collecting a sample or sending it to the lab, so be sure to follow the instructions carefully and use your best judgment.
Some companies, like STDcheck, offer home testing kits that allow you to get a range of tests in the privacy and comfort of your own home. You can also visit a nearby testing center to submit your sample and review your results.
How Long Will My Results Take?
The length of time you’ll need to wait for results will depend on the type of test. For example, a blood test may take a few days to return.
You can also get tested for STDs at urgent care centers, which are discreet and usually require a shorter appointment than a doctor’s office. However, the wait times can vary depending on where you go and the clinic’s backlog of tests.
Once you’re at the clinic, you’ll meet with a health care professional who will ask you about your symptoms. The doctor will then conduct a physical exam. Females will undergo a pelvic exam, while males will have a genital examination.
After the test, you’ll receive a phone call with your results. This call provides you with information about the STD you tested for and offers treatment options if necessary.