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"Is drawn blood always checked for STDs?"
I'm a woman in my mid 20s, and I am sexually active. I've had multiple partners, so I know I should get an STD test, but I'm really afraid of having blood drawn. Do all STD tests require blood, or is there another way I can get screened?
It is important for you to get tested for sexually transmitted infections particularly because you are a young woman and have had multiple sexual partners. There are a variety of sexually transmitted infections, some of which are: Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV), Herpes Simplex Virus, Chlamydia Trachomatis, Neisseria Gonorrhea, Syphilis, Hepatitis B & C, Trichomoniasis, Human Papillomavirus (HPV). Some of these are done with blood tests only, while others can be tested with a cheek swab, cervical swab or urine test.
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For example, screening for gonorrhea and chlamydia can be done with a urine test or cervical swab (with the pap smear). HPV is also tested for with the pap smear. Other infections are mainly screened for with blood tests are HIV and syphilis. Also, some infections are only tested for if you have bumps, such as herpes. The recommendation is that you visit your doctor to talk to them about your sexual history and discuss the best tests to screen for sexually transmitted infections. It is particularly important to see them as soon as possible if you have any symptoms, such as bumps or redness in your genital area or new vaginal discharge, or if your partner has a sexually transmitted infection.
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