STD Testing & Treatments: Emergency Room Near You
There are many shocking statistics as for as our health is concerned but none is more shocking as the one involving sexually transmitted diseases, STDs. These shocking statistics show that an estimated one in two sexually active people will contract an STD by the age of 25. On top of that, the facts and figures also indicate that every year, there are 20 million new cases of STDs that are reported in the US alone. Such statistics are definitely shocking. These numbers have been attributed to the lack of testing and a lack of knowledge about one’s sexual health, which means that one may have an STD which they don’t know about and may continue to have unprotected sex, hence spreading it even more, leading to the shocking numbers above. What is more disturbing is that more than half of the new cases are attributed to young people, between the ages of 15 and 25. On one hand, it is understandable as these demographic is usually the most sexually active of them all, but on the other hand, you would expect them, being young and informed, to know the importance of STD testing and treatment. This article will look to help with that by highlighting some of the key information we need to know about STDs as well as testing and treatment as far as they are concerned.
It is important to know some of the common STDs out there and that is what we are going to start by highlighting. They include chlamydia, syphilis, oral and genital herpes, gonorrhea, syphilis, genital warts, human papillomavirus or HPV, hepatitis A, B and C, bacterial vaginosis, trichomoniasis also known as trich as well as HIV. Of all these, HPV is the most common STD with estimated numbers showing that there are over 14 million new cases reported each year. The reason why most people don’t get tested so that they can be treated for an STD is because they don’t know how to recognize the signs and symptoms of an STD. Some of the symptoms to look out for include a strange rash, throat and mouth infections, pink eye and red eyes which are swollen, mouth sores and blisters, discharge from penis or vagina, rash on genitals, itching on genitals especially on the head of your penis for males, bumps, lesions, sores or warts on genitals, joints that are swollen, flu-like symptoms among others.
The good news is that the emergency room doctors and physicians at the emergency room near you have got the experience and expertise to not only test and accurately diagnose you for an STD but to also treat you for the same. The testing of an STD in an emergency room is just like in any other medical facility and will begin with the physician taking a look at you physical symptoms as well as asking you about any other symptoms you are presenting with. They will also ask about your recent sexual history and if you have had unprotected sex in the recent past. It is the results of your history and the physical exam that will govern which tests they conduct. Emergency rooms have ultra-modern laboratories that allow them to carry out all the requisite tests as far as STDs are concerned. These tests include blood tests where the physician may take a blood sample to test for HIV or the later stages of syphilis based on your symptoms, fluid samples which involve taking fluid samples from open genital sores if you have them to help diagnose your STD as well as urine samples which can also be used to test for and diagnose certain STDs.
After testing, if the result is positive for an STD then treatment can begin in the emergency room as well. If you have an STD that is due to bacteria, then treatment is usually pretty straightforward as it involves the administering and prescription of antibiotics, which are usually given in a single dose. Some of the STDs that are treated with antibiotics include syphilis, gonorrhea, and chlamydia among others. Once you begin treatment with antibiotics, you should take care to follow through and complete treatment by taking the full dose as prescribed. If you are unable to take the medication as prescribed, you should tell the emergency room physician so that you can be prescribed a simpler and shorter course of treatment which is also usually available. You should also ensure that you abstain from sex when taking antibiotics for an STD and you should continue abstaining until 7 days after you have completed the antibiotic treatment and any sores, if there, have healed fully. This information will be relayed to you by the physician as part of your after-care education. Since women have a higher chance of reinfection, you may be required to go back for retesting three months after you were tested and treated. For herpes and HIV, you will be prescribed antiviral drugs. If you have herpes, you will be encouraged to take daily suppressive therapy with a prescription antiviral drug so as to ensure you have fewer recurrences although you may still be able to transmit it to your partner. Antiviral drugs also keep HIV infection in check, keeping your viral load down, but they won’t cure it and you will carry the virus and as such may still be able to transmit it. If you start treatment soon and you take it as directed, you may be able to reduce your viral load so low it can hardly be detected. The emergency room physician will also advice you that you notify any recent partners you may have had, if you test positive for an STD, so that they too can get tested and treated.
Hopefully, with the above discussion, you will see the importance of testing and treatment as far as STDs are concerned and the role played by emergency rooms nowadays in all this.