Sexually Transmitted Disease/Infection testing can be a nerve-wracking experience to say the least! We try to make it as easy as we can. Just a few important facts:
* Everyone who has sex runs a risk of getting an STD/I.
Some behaviors are higher risk than others.
* STD's can be passed through any sexual contact that
involves exchange of body fluids or skin-to-skin
* People often don't have symptoms of STD's; therefore
they can pass the infection to a partner without
* All STD's can be treated to reduce discomfort and
lessen the damage they can do to your body. Some
can be cured.
* The only way you can know for sure whether you have
an STD is to get tested.
If you have symptoms of an STD or if you have reason to suspect you have been exposed, here's what you do to get tested:
Call (570) 387-0236 for an appointment at any of our locations. The receptionist will do her best to schedule a convenient appointment as quickly as possible. You can be seen during the day or evening though we do not at this time have weekend hours. Men will need to give a urine specimen when they arrive, so it is important that you not go to the bathroom for several hours before your appointment
WHEN YOU ARRIVE: You will be seen only by the clinician who will do your testing. She will assess your risk of exposure, determine which diseases you need to be tested for, and help you determine a plan to reduce your risks. Then she will do the testing.
Through a contract with Pennsylvania Department of Health, we can do free testing for Chlamydia, Gonorrhea, Syphilis, and HIV. Other testing is available at a modest fee if you decide that it is needed.
Syphilis and HIV involve a blood test so blood will be drawn from your arm and sent for testing.
Chlamydia and Gonorrhea involve a urine specimen for men and a vaginal specimen for women. These are also sent to an outside lab for testing.
When the testing is completed, you will be offered condoms and given an appointment to return for test results. Your results will be back within 2 weeks; sometimes sooner. Talk to your clinician if it is not possible for you to return to the clinic for your test results so that other arrangements can be made.
WHAT IF MY TEST IS POSITIVE? Of course if this happens to you, you may feel that the world is crashing down around you. You may be relieved to know that it is quite common. You really are not the only one, and it happens to some very nice people! All STD's can be treated to relieve symptoms and reduce the risk of further damage to your body. Syphilis, Gonorrhea, and Chlamydia can actually be cured. You will be given medicine and instructions. IT IS IMPORTANT TO TAKE THE MEDICINE EXACTLY AS DIRECTED AND TO FOLLOW THESE INSTRUCTIONS!! Some patients will need to come back for more testing to be sure the infection is gone.
WHAT IF I HAVE A POSITIVE HIV TEST? This, of course, is the biggest fear for most people. It's important to try not to panic. This disease is no longer an automatic death sentence. A nurse from the Department of Health will be here to help you come to terms with what this means for you, and to get you connected with the resources you need to help control your disease.
WE WILL NOT TELL YOUR PARTNERS!! We will strongly encourage you to do that. It is important that they know they may be infected so that they can get treated and avoid spreading the disease to others. If this is difficult for you, we can arrange for you to speak with a public health nurse who can tell them confidentially - without giving your identity - that they may be infected. But this will happen only if you request it.