Yes, a single STD test can be used to check for multiple sexually transmitted diseases. A standard panel checks for the ten most common sexually transmitted diseases. This panel includes testing for HIV-1, HIV-2, Herpes (HSV-1 and HSV-2), Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C, Chlamydia, Gonorrhea, and Syphilis. Because it is possible (and common) for a person to have more than one of these diseases at one time, testing for the entire panel at once is often best and recommended.
The best time to test for sexually transmitted disease is simple: It should be as soon as possible and on a regular basis. The majority of STDs don't reveal themselves early and sometimes they do not cause any symptoms at all. By not testing for sexually transmitted diseases, you could unknowingly transmit these diseases to others, and you could unnecessarily delay essential treatments. If you do have a sexually transmitted disease, it's best to find out about it and get healthy again as soon as you can.
It will usually take several days to get STD test results back. The doctor's office will call you to let you know the results, and in some cases, you may need to visit the doctor again so that the results can be discussed in person. If you need to begin a treatment plan, you'll be able to do so at this follow-up visit.
Yes, in most cases insurance companies do cover testing for sexually transmitted diseases, as long as a doctor is the person who is ordering the tests. Be sure to check with your insurance company to be sure about how much of the testing will be covered, though.
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