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Sexually transmitted diseases/infections (STDs, STIs) have subtle symptoms or no symptoms at all and may go undetected without performing the proper screening tests. With so much information, it can be confusing as to knowing where to start.
Many organizations throughout Mecklenburg County offer free or low-cost testing options.
Mecklenburg County Public Health offers free, confidential testing at community-based sites and within our two clinics. For more information, visit: Community-Testing-Sites
All adults and adolescents (ages 13 – 64) should be tested for HIV at least once in their life. How often someone should be tested for sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) depends on risk factors including the number of partners, type of sexual activity or drug use. To determine if you are at risk for HIV/STDs, a counselor may ask questions regarding sex, lifestyle and drug use during your visit.
Generally, most people benefit from an STD screening at least once a year. It is important to know that not all doctors provide regular testing for HIV/STDs, so check with your doctor or medical provider after each visit.
If you or a partner have tested positive for an STD, every partner should be tested and treated to avoid re-infection.
Testing for HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases is simple and confidential. A variety of methods are used by healthcare providers to diagnose sexually transmitted infections. The most common include:
It is important that you ask and understand which tests are being performed and how they work during any visit. Not all tests are the same, and not all providers will screen for the same STDs.During your visit, a trained professional will ask a series of questions about your sexual history, drug use or other aspects about your health. While these questions may be intimidating or even slightly uncomfortable, it is important to answer truthfully and honestly. This conversation helps determine your specific risk factors and guides which tests to perform and how best to connect you to any other resources if needed.Remember, all information shared is confidential and never shared outside of the healthcare team.At the conclusion of your visit, you should know:
Every 3-6 months:
The Center for Disease Control does not recommend regular testing for genital herpes (HSV-1 or HSV-2) for people without symptoms.
Genital herpes is a common STD caused by herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) or herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV-2). Symptoms of HSV-1 and HSV-2 include blisters on or around the genitals, rectum or mouth, known as "having an outbreak". The blisters break and leave painful sores and it may take weeks to heal.
Most people who have HSV-1 or HSV-2 don't have symptoms. An infection does not usually result in serious outcomes in healthy, non-pregnant adults. More often, the stigma and shame from a genital herpes infection can be more troubling to someone who is infected than the disease itself.
If you are pregnant, it is important to talk to your doctor about testing as herpes infections in babies can be life-threatening. Medication is available to manage symptoms and lower your risk of spreading the infection.
If you are experiencing continuous symptoms related to genital herpes and in need of medication, please call 704-336-6500 to schedule an appointment.
Results are available five business days after the day you were tested.
There are four options to access your results
Please note: If you attempt to access your results before seven days from being tested, you may hear "I'm sorry that was an invalid unique identifier." Please allow 7 days or 5 business days to access your results. If after 5 business days from testing, you still receive an error please call 704-432-8378.
Some options on how to tell your partner may include:
Not all STDs are reportable, however. If you have been recently diagnosed with an STD, it is important you notify all sexual partner(s) or person(s) who may have come in contact by sharing injectable drugs/needles.
For more information about Communicable Disease Control, visit: HIV/STD Control