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STI Testing

Project STAY provides testing for Chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis, HIV, and other STIs. If you think you may have been exposed to an STI, getting tested is a great way to protect your sexual health and the health of your sex partners.

Answers to some common questions about STI testing:

Should I get tested for STIs?

If you have symptoms of an STI, it's important to be tested. Some common symptoms of STIs include sores on the genitals, discharge from the penis or vagina, itching, and burning during urination.

But many infections often do not cause any symptoms. Many people have sexually transmitted infections and never know it.

If you've had sex play with another person and did not use a condom, female condom, dental dam, or other barrier, it's a good idea to talk to a health care provider about STI testing. Getting tested can put your mind at ease or get you (and your partner) needed treatment. It's also important to learn about ways you and your partner can protect yourselves in the future through safer sex.

How are STI tests done?

At Project STAY, the test for Chlamydia and gonorrhea is a urine sample, which will show if the germs are hiding in certain parts of your body. To provide a urine sample, you will be asked to urinate into a special cup. The urine sample is easy to do, and will not cause any pain or discomfort.

Some infections may be tested for in other ways, including:

  • Physical exam - Your health care provider may look at your genitals and/or your anus for any signs of an infection, such as a rash, discharge, sores, or warts. For women, this exam can be similar to a pelvic exam.
  • Blood sample - Your provider may take a blood sample, either with a needle or by pricking the skin to draw drops of blood.
  • Discharge, tissue, cell, or saliva sample - Your provider will use a swab to collect samples that will be looked at under a microscope.
  • Sometimes a diagnosis can be made based on your symptoms and/or a physical exam. Treatment could be prescribed right away. Other times, your health care provider may need to send a sample to a lab to be tested. In that case, the results may not be available for several days or weeks.

    What if my test for Chlamydia or gonorrhea is positive?

    If your urine is positive for Chlamydia or gonorrhea, it means you have been exposed to a serious health problem which can be cured if you get treatment.

    A nurse practitioner from Project STAY will call to tell you the results. Arrangements for treatment can be made with the nurse practitioner, who can see you at the Project STAY Clinic. You do not need insurance to be seen and treated, and the visit is confidential.

    Chlamydia and gonorrhea are spread through sexual contact. If you have Chlamydia or gonorrhea, most likely your partner needs to be treated also. We can see your partner(s) in clinic or arrange for them to be treated. It is often difficult to tell who gave what to whom. Rather than playing the "blame" game, we want to get everyone treated and cured. Then we need to work with you on preventing this from happening again.

    Should I tell my partner(s) if I have a positive test? How?

    It is recommended that you tell your partner(s) if you have an STI. If your partner(s) are not treated, there is a high chance that you will get re-infected when you have sex again.

    You can bring your partner to the clinic when you come for testing. If positive, your partner will be treated at the same time.

    If you are not sure how to tell your partner or partners, one of our social workers can talk with you about ways to tell your partner.

    What if your urine test for Chlamydia and gonorrhea is negative?

    That's good news! But these tests only check for infection in one part of the body. If you have had oral or anal sex, you should come to our clinic so we can check to see if the infections could be hiding in those parts of the body also.

    We would also recommend that you consider having a blood test for syphilis and talk with our staff about getting vaccinations to prevent other infections, like HPV or hepatitis. Also, we are happy to talk with you about birth control and to check out any other health issues you may have, like acne or headaches or anything else.

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