STIs How to get tested Health Mission

STI : How to get tested ?

With an increase in STIs among sexually active young people (15-24 years old) in recent years, health professionals are trying to raise awareness of screening: 1 million people contract an STI every day (mainly syphilis, gonorrhea and chlamydia) and 1 million people died of HIV (AIDS) in 2016. Understand the danger of an STI, find out how to get tested and what treatments to consider in case of a positive result.

Qu’is it’an STI ?

STI stands for Sexually Transmitted Infection (also known as STD: Sexually Transmitted Disease). An STI is an infection caused by infectious agents (viruses, bacteria or parasites), generally transmitted during sexual intercourse sexual intercourse by vaginal, anal or oral route. Note that STIs can also be transmitted by the blood (during transfusions, for example) or from mother to child in case of pregnancy. Among the 30 identified, the following 8 STIs are most commonly found:

  • syphilis;
  • gonorrhea;
  • chlamydia (first cause of sterility in France);
  • trichomoniasis (these last 4 infections are bacterial or parasitic);
  • hepatitis B ;
  • genital herpes ;
  • Human papillomavirus (HPV);
  • HIV (AIDS) : human immunodeficiency virus (these last 4 infections being viral, they are the diseases with the least chance of cure).

Although they are often asymptomatic, STIs present recurrent symptoms such as

  • fever;
  • pain in the lower abdomen;
  • urinary pain (burning sensation);
  • redness, itching and/or discharge from the genitals.

With a resurgence of STIs In recent years, the WHO (World Health Organization) has sounded the alarm: more than one million people around the world contract an STI every day.

What is an STI?

How to get tested ?

But, how to get tracked after a unprotected sex, with a recent partner ? It takes an average of 6 weeks after sexual intercourse to test for HIV. For other STIs, you can be tested from 2 days to 3 weeks after unprotected sex. The medical examinations carried out in the laboratory differ according to the infection sought (virus, bacteria or parasites):

  • blood test ;
  • bacteriological sampling (vaginal, urethral, anal, oral);
  • urine analysis ;
  • clinical examination of the genitals.

Specific examinations are required in the case of HIV screening (more than 20,000 French people are asymptomatic, carriers of the virus without knowing it). Three types of examination are performed:

  • the Elisa test : blood test done at least 6 weeks after the unprotected sexual intercourse ;
  • TROD (rapid diagnostic test): a drop of blood is taken from the fingertip 12 weeks after unprotected intercourse, with a result in 30 minutes. In case of a positive result, it must be confirmed by a blood test;
  • the self-test: a lancing device allows to analyze in 15 minutes a drop of blood taken from the fingertip, 12 weeks after the minimum unprotected sex.

What treatments are available ?

The number of STIs in France has increased threefold from 2012 to 2016 ! Often asymptomatic, it is important to be screened in case of doubt: the earlier an STI is diagnosed, the more likely it is to be detected treatment The first type of examination can be performed quickly, thus increasing the chances of success chances of remission of the patient :

  • syphilis, gonorrhea, chlamydia and crabs : antibiotics ;
  • hepatitis B and papillomavirus : vaccine ;
  • genital herpes and HIV: incurable. Treatments are put in place to alleviate certain symptoms or relieve pain, such as triple therapy for AIDS.

Whether it’s a medical treatment or a vaccine, a medical prescription (prescription) is mandatory to treat an STI. HIV-positive people (people who have contracted AIDS) who are treated in time have the same life expectancy as HIV-negative people and live “normally” (with a lifetime treatment however). From regular screenings are recommended by doctors, as are the :

  • Pap smear every 3 years for women aged 25 to 65, then every year ;
  • Chlamydia screening in sexually active women aged 15 to 25.

STIs can have serious consequences (general health, sterility, pregnancy) for men and women and are not to be taken lightly. Getting tested after an unprotected sexual intercourse allows you to be reassured, to receive an early treatment in case of positive result while limiting the risks of propagation of the STI, to your sexual partner(s). Protecting yourself during sexual intercourse remains the best solution.