A lot of people dodge the topic of STDs in any conversation. While it is a rather private topic to discuss with just about anyone, it is important that you understand the matter thoroughly and have a firm grasp about the subject – especially if you are sexually active yourself.
Being sexually active prompts you to regularly undergo a STD screening/test to ensure you’re in the clear of any sexually transmitted disease (STDs). The kind of test you’ll be having depends on various personal risk factors, depending on your individual assessment. If the symptoms are rather noticeable and obvious (such as visible warts and sorts), your doctor might not even require the need for a testing.
It doesn’t have to be the end of the world for you if you happen to get a positive diagnosis at the STD test clinic in Singapore because the good news is: most forms of STDs are curable, and they can be treated in time with proper medication and maintenance.
STDs vs. STIs.
Sexually transmitted diseases are attached with massive stigma not only in Singapore but also in other countries across the globe. Because of this, STDs are commonly referred to as STIs – since the term ‘infection’ possesses less stigma than the word ‘disease’. Having an infection is still possible even without observable symptoms, and the infection might turn into a disease in the long run once you begin to experience its symptoms.
The only way to diagnose an infection in the absence of any symptoms is through getting a STD screen. If you’re sexually active, consider getting the test regularly to ensure you’re in the clear.
Common types of STDs
a. Gonorrhea and Chlamydia
These two are among the most common types of STDs in Singapore. Usually, gonorrhea and chlamydia are grouped together because they can be screened in a single STD screening session at the same time. The bacteria behind the diseases doesn’t always show obvious symptoms – and so the diagnosis of the infection can be sometimes missed (particularly among women). This can be spread through anal, oral, or genital contact with someone who is already infected.
b. Human Papillomavirus (HPV)
Another common sexually transmitted infection, HPV is notorious for causing genital warts. The lesions do not appear in everyone who has HPV, though. The virus is easily contagious and can be transmitted through sexual acts or via a mere skin-to-skin contact. A diagnosis with a HIV test Singapore can be made through a simple inspection of the genital warts, although a further STD testing is required in some cases (which can include a colposcopy or biopsy among women).
Herpes is commonly transmitted through direct contact with infectious sores, but it can also be transmitted even when the infected person possesses no obvious symptoms. Despite the absence of visible lesions, an infected person is still likely to be highly contagious. Taking precautions alone may not be enough to prevent the spread of the sexually transmitted disease.
The Herpes virus can be classified under two general strains: type 1 and type 2. Type 1 is generally associated with oral herpes/cold sores and type 2 is associated with genital herpes. However, recent studies show that genital infections can also be caused by the Type 1 herpes. A common symptom of Herpes is the outbreak of painful and visible sores around the mouth, genital area, or the anus.
A bacterial infection, Syphilis is transferred from an infected person to another through direct contact (either oral, anal, or genital). Although the sores are highly infectious, they are generally painless compared to other STDs. The visible sores are a common symptom of Syphilis especially around the early stages of the infection.
HIV, a viral infection, is commonly transmitted via two means. First is through blood contact, most notably among drug abusers who happen to share a needle with an infected person, and second is through sexual means, especially when having unprotected vaginal or anal sex.
There are rare cases, however, which proves HIV can still be transferred from one person to another through direct contact with bodily fluids.
f. Hepatitis C
Another common viral infection, Hepatitis C is usually transferred from an infected person to another either by a blood contact or skin exposure. This means, sharing needles with a person who has the infection or having direct contact with that person’s sore or open wound can put you at risk of getting hepatitis C. If this happens, always consult your doctor and get a STD test as soon as possible.
Although rare, Hepatitis C can also be contracted by sexual means. The risk of transmission is about 1 in every 190,000 sexual acts. The infection is notorious for causing a chronic liver disease and liver cancer.
g. Hepatitis B
Aside from Hepatitis C, Hepatitis B is another form of Hepatitis which can be transmitted sexually. It is also another common viral infection which may be contracted via blood or semen. Hepatitis B is also known for causing various liver diseases.
Just like getting an x-ray scan for broken bones or a mammogram for breast cancer screening, getting a STD screen/test is important to diagnose any sexually transmitted disease or infection immediately. Just because you lack any observable symptoms doesn’t guarantee you’re 100% safe. We don’t mean to cause you anxiety, but getting a screening test is a sure way to prove that you’re in the clear of the dangers of STDs.
No uniform tests can be recommended for everyone. These recommendations boil down on each individual assessment, depending on certain factors such as one’s risk level and lifestyle.