Sexually Transmitted Disease (STD) Testing
The following Information is taken from West Virginia Office of Epidemiology - Sexually Transmitted Diseases page:
The primary goal of the Berkeley County Health Department Sexually Transmitted Disease Program is to prevent the spread and resulting effects of sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV infection.
What Are STDs?
Sexually Transmitted Diseases are serious, sometimes painful illnesses that can cause damage to the human body. Initially, STDs infect your sexual and reproductive organs and later can destroy other organs. Other STDs such as HIV, hepatitis B and syphilis can cause general body infections.
Sometimes you can have an STD with no signs or symptoms. Other times, the symptoms go away on their own. Either way, you still will have the STD until you get treated. A few STDs cannot be cured, but most STDs can be cured if you get treated.
How are STDs Spread?
STDs are spread during close, sexual activity and during vaginal, anal and oral sex. Some STDs (HIV and hepatitis B) are also spread by contact with infected blood.
Most STD germs need to live in warm, moist areas. That's why they infect the mouth, rectum and sex organs (vaginal vulva, penis and scrotum).
What To Do If You Think You Have An STD?
If you think you might have an STD, get checked out. Don't just hope the STD will go away. Chances are it won't. The Mineral County Health Department tests for and treats STDs. Private doctors also treat STDs. If you don't know where to get help, call us or a private health care provider for information. All information you give will be private and confidential.
You may feel embarrassed about having an STD, but you must get treatment. That's the only way you will get well. So, no matter how difficult it may be, see a health care professional for treatment.
Most STDs can be treated with antibiotics. Follow your doctor's instructions and be sure to take all of your medicine. You also must tell your sexual partner(s). If they aren't treated, they can spread the STD and they might even reinfect you.
Symptoms To Watch For
Unusual vaginal discharge or odor
Pain in your pelvic area - the area between your belly button and sex organs
Vaginal area burning or itching
Bleeding from your vagina that is not your regular period
Pain deep inside your vagina when you have sex
A drip or discharge from your penis.
Women and Men:
Sores, bumps or blisters near your sex organs, rectum or mouth
Burning and pain when you urinate (pee) or have a bowel movement
Need to urinate often
Itching around your sex organs
Swelling or redness in your throat
Flu-like feelings with fever, chills and aches
Swelling in your groin - the area around your sex organs
If you have any of these symptoms, go to an STD clinic or your health care provider. Don't put it off - get checked out right away.
Who To Contact For Help
The Berkeley County Health Department offers patients tests for gonorrhea, chlamydia and syphilis and provide treatment for patients diagnosed with, exposed to or suspected of having these diseases. Services received at the health departments are confidential.
We also offer free HIV counseling and testing. Patients can choose to be tested confidentially or anonymously. It is usually necessary to call us for an appointment to be tested for HIV and to receive STD services.