STD Testing & Treatment
Essential Health Clinic provides testing, evaluation, and treatment for the following STDs:
Genital Warts (HPV)
Genital Herpes (HSV)
HIV (testing only – treatment through the AIDS Resource Center of Wisconsin [ARCW])
Multi-site testing (testing for infection at multiple anatomic sites) is available.
Essential Health Clinic also provides diagnosis and treatment of reproductive infections that are not STDs. This includes bacterial vaginosis, urinary tract infections, and yeast infections.
What is an STD?
STD stands for sexually transmitted disease. STDs are infections that spread through intimate contact.
How does someone get an STD?
STDs are known as communicable (contagious/infectious) and are passed from person to person through intimate contact.
Are there other ways STDs can be spread besides sexual contact?
Yes, it is possible to get an STD without sexual contact. STDs can be passed from a pregnant woman to the baby before, during, or after the baby’s birth. Some STDs (like syphilis) cross the placenta and infect the baby while it is in the uterus (womb). Other STDs (like gonorrhea, chlamydia, hepatitis B, and genital herpes) can be transmitted from the mother to the baby during delivery as the baby passes through the birth canal. HIV can cross the placenta during pregnancy, infect the baby during the birth process, and unlike most other STDs, can infect the baby through breastfeeding. Some STDs, such as hepatitis B or HIV infection, are also transmitted through blood-to-blood contact and through the sharing of needles or equipment to inject drugs, body piercings or tattoos.
How do I prevent STDs?
If you choose to be sexually active, limiting the number of sexual partners you have and using condoms every time can help prevent STDs. Abstaining from sexual activity is the most effective way to prevent STDs.
Should I get tested for STDs?
If you've had sex with another person and did not use a condom, female condom, dental dam, or other barrier, it's a good idea to talk to one of our healthcare providers about STD testing. Getting tested can put your mind at ease or get you (and your partner) needed treatment. If you have symptoms of an STD, it's important to be tested. Some common symptoms of STDs include unusual discharge from the penis or vagina, burning during urination, itching, sores on the genitals, or bumps on the genitals. But remember, many STDs often do not cause any symptoms and many people have STDs and never know it.
When should I get tested?
If you are worried about a specific incident of unprotected sex or other sexual contact, an STD test may not detect infection immediately. We recommend waiting two weeks after unprotected sex before getting tested. It may take longer for HIV to be detectable.
What STD tests do I need?
There is no single test for every STD — tests are specific to each infection. And some infections can be found using different kinds of tests. You and your health care provider will decide what STD tests make the most sense for you. It is important to be honest with your health care provider. Your provider will be helping you make important decisions about what test(s) you may need.
How is a STD test done?
It depends on what you are being tested for. Most tests are done through urine or blood samples. Other tests require a cervical, rectal, or pharyngeal swab. We do not use urethral or penile swabs to test men.
How long does it take to get my test results back?
It depends on the test. HIV and trichomoniasis results can be given the day of testing. Other results take 7-10 days. It is important that we have a phone number where you can be reached.