Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) or sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) are infections passed between two people by sexual activity, such as oral sex or vaginal intercourse. STIs often don’t have any symptoms in the first few weeks of infections, which can result in them being spread to others more easily. Bacterial STIs include chlamydia, gonorrhoea and syphilis. Viral STIs include HIV/AIDS, genital herpes and genital warts. The Test2Go Standard Blood Profile test can test for HIV-1, HIV-2, P24 Antigen and Syphilis through a finger prick blood sample.
What are the most common types of sexually transmitted infections?
The most common types of sexually transmitted infections include:
- Chlamydia – is caused by the bacteria chlamydia trachomatis. Symptoms in women can include abnormal discharge from the vagina, bleeding between periods, and burning during urination. Symptoms in men can include abnormal discharge from the penis and pain when urinating. If left untreated, chlamydia may lead to pelvic inflammatory disease (PID). Antibiotics can usually cure chlamydia.
- Gonorrhoea – (also known as the clap) is caused by bacteria that live on moist mucous membranes in the vagina, rectum, mouth, throat and eyes. This infection is spread through contact with the anus, mouth, penis or vagina. Symptoms in women may include burning or itching when urinating, painful sexual intercourse, or vaginal discharge. Symptoms in men may involve burning and pain when weeing, discharge from the penis or tender testicles. Most cases of Gonorrhea can be cured with antibiotics.
- HIV – also known as Human Immunodeficiency virus- damages the body’s immune system and makes it harder for people to fight off other infections. When HIV reaches its most advanced stage, it develops into AIDS (Acquired Immunodeficiency Virus), which is life-threatening.
- Syphilis – is an STI caused by bacteria which can lead to severe health complications if left untreated.
How are STIs spread?
STIs are most commonly spread through the mucous membranes of the penis, rectum, urinary tract and vulva. They can also be spread through the eyes, mouth, respiratory tract and throat, but this is less common. The membrane that covers the head of the penis is classed as a mucous membrane even though it produces no mucus. Mucus membranes differ from the skin as they allow diseases to pass into the body, which skin doesn’t. Some STIs, such as HIV, can be passed on from mother to child through pregnancy or breastfeeding. Healthcare professionals recommend using condoms every time you have sex as this is believed to be a reliable way to decrease the risk of contracting a sexually transmitted infection.
How can I tell if I have an STI?
If you believe you have been exposed to HIV or Syphilis, have multiple sexual partners or want to undertake a routine screening, then you can use the Test2Go blood profile test. This home test kit requires you to take a finger-prick blood sample. Sample collection and return instructions are included in the test pack. Once we have received your sample back at our accredited labs, you will receive your results within three working days. It can take some time for the levels of these viruses to rise to a detectable amount after you come into contact with them. Therefore, we do advise an incubation period of 90 days. The blood profile test should therefore be performed after the 90-day incubation period has ended, or if you take the test and receive a negative result before the end of the incubation period, you should take another test after the end of the advised incubation period just to make sure. NB. It is important to note that our tests are not a substitute for seeing a doctor, particularly if you have symptoms. You should not make a diagnosis or start any treatment without a consultation with a doctor or a suitably trained health professional
STI Testing at Home
Use our at home standard blood profile test kit to test for HIV-1, HIV-2, p24 Antigens & Syphilis. Shop now