Getting tested

  • GoodPup

    Posts: 752

    Jul 20, 2008 4:18 AM GMT
    Okay, so not to sound too naive... but I am pretty new to this and have never been tested for STD's. I have been very safe, but I figured I should get that assurance for people if they ask so I can confidently answer rather than be unsure.

    Where do I even go for that? My normal doctor?
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    Jul 20, 2008 7:42 AM GMT
    You can definitely go to a general practitioner. Or, if you have one locally, you can go to a gay clinic. Usually local gay organizations - bookstores, pharmacies, etc... - will have a weekly testing. 'The Desert Aids Project' locally for me has twice weekly free testing. Just look around and you'll find something. I know it's weird to ask your doctor "Can you test me for STD's?" But if the doctor is weirded out, go somewhere else, they should be recommending people do that!
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    Jul 20, 2008 2:40 PM GMT
    It's usually fine to go to your regular doctor to be screened for STDs. However, you should also receive appropriate counselling when you're having STD testing done because there are limitations to the tests; and there is also risk to taking the tests (particularly if you do not have life/medical insurance and you are contemplating an HIV test).

    I would argue that if your doctor can't really explain this stuff to you, that you're better off going to a planned parenthood or STI clinic so that you can make an informed decision about getting tested. It's easy enough to perform the actual tests--a trained monkey can do it, but in this day and age where some of the information that is collected could be used against you in the future (we still do not have adequate assurances that nominative HIV testing cannot be accessed and used by insurance companies) you should probably hear what STI testing is all about at least once.

    That being said, I think everyone who is sexually active should get tested on a regular basis. It's just a matter of whether you choose to do it anonymously or not (and there are varying levels of anonimity, which may or may not be available to you).
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    Jul 20, 2008 4:21 PM GMT
    a great resource for information on STD testing can be found at http://www.hivtest.org/. It's run by the CDC and includes a search for STD testing centers near you. The search results will tell you which ones are free, confidential, etc.
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    Jul 20, 2008 5:07 PM GMT
    For years I figured when I got my blood drawn for physical's they were checking for HIV. I didnt realize they were mainly checking my cholesterol and sugar. I received my first offical STD check up last year. Better late than never. Now I know and will specifically ask my doctor when I go for physicals.
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    Jul 22, 2008 3:37 AM GMT
    Planned Parenthood is the place to go. They generally know more than the average GP, are very discrete about it, and have tons of information for you.
  • jasonrme

    Posts: 32

    Jul 22, 2008 3:49 AM GMT
    Your local health department is an excellant place for anything. But I agree with looknrd look for your local gay clinic usally quicker and no kids.icon_smile.gif
  • GoodPup

    Posts: 752

    Jul 22, 2008 5:09 AM GMT
    MunchingZombie saidPlanned Parenthood is the place to go. They generally know more than the average GP, are very discrete about it, and have tons of information for you.


    Oh... I didn't know they do it. There is a Planned Parenthood literally like 2 minutes from my house. Cool.
  • GoodPup

    Posts: 752

    Jul 22, 2008 5:22 AM GMT
    Is Planned Parenthood free?
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    Jul 22, 2008 4:21 PM GMT
    In Toronto there is the "Hassle Free Clinic" which is free and confidential. I would recommend phoning a gay hotline in the LA area to see if there is a similar place to go. If you have a gay doctor he/she would also know places if you can't see him/her right away.