Curb STDs by Getting Regular Tests

Battle the rising sexually-transmitted disease epidemic by visiting your local Any Lab Test Now and taking a quick test to determine your sexual health.

Combined cases of syphilis, gonorrhea and chlamydia reached an all-time high in the United States in 2018, according to a new report released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The number of cases was more than 2.4 million in 2018 and nearly half of these cases are among youth, the study revealed. The number of primary and secondary syphilis cases — the most infectious stages of syphilis — increased 14 percent. Gonorrhea cases rose 5 percent, and chlamydia was up 3 percent to 1.7 million cases, the most ever reported to CDC.

A decrease in condom use among vulnerable groups, including young people and gay men, as well as cuts to STD treatment programs at both a state and local level is contributing to the rising number of STD cases. Drug use, poverty, stigma and unstable housing also reduce access to STD prevention and care.

Get tested for STDS at Any Lab Test Now

Any Lab Test Now offers convenient, affordable and private screening for sexually transmitted diseases or sexually transmitted infections at more than 180 locations nationwide. The Comprehensive STD Panel tests for several sexually transmitted diseases at the same time at one low price, including HIV, syphilis, herpes I and II, gonorrhea, chlamydia and hepatitis B and C. Patients can book an appointment online or walk in to get tested. The panel requires both a blood and urine sample and results are returned within three business days. All STD test results must be picked up at the location where you took the test to ensure privacy and comply with government guidelines.

Symptoms of STDs

One of the biggest threats of STDs and STIs is that many go undiagnosed and untreated. Knowing some of the symptoms of gonorrhea, chlamydia and syphilis is important to maintaining your sexual health. Individuals with gonorrhea and chlamydia may experience discharge and burning when urinating. Men may also experience pain or swelling in one or both testicles. The symptoms of syphilis vary by stage but include sores, rashes and lesions, as well as fever, swollen lymph glands, sore throat, patchy hair loss, headaches, weight loss, muscle aches and fatigue.

Unfortunately, many STDs and STIs do not have any symptoms, which makes the importance of regular testing essential.

Long-term impact of STDs

Many of the effects of sexually transmitted diseases are not felt until later in life. It is estimated that undiagnosed STDs cause infertility in more than 20,000 women each year, the CDC reports. Untreated STDs can increase a person’s risk of contracting HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, according to the CDC.

Congenital syphilis is passed from a mother to her baby during pregnancy. It can lead to miscarriage, stillbirth and newborn death, as well as severe lifelong physical and neurological problems. Newborn deaths related to congenital syphilis are up 22 percent in 2018, resulting in 94 deaths, versus 74 the prior year. The national rise in congenital syphilis parallels increases in syphilis among women of reproductive age. Syphilis cases increased 36 percent among women of childbearing age in 2018, versus the prior year. 

“There are tools available to prevent every case of congenital syphilis,” said Gail Bolan, M.D., director of CDC’s Division of STD Prevention, in a statement. “Testing is simple, and can help women to protect their babies from syphilis — a preventable disease that can have irreversible consequences.”

How often should I get tested for STDs?

The CDC recommends that any sexually active adult get tested for STDs regularly, depending on your age and number of sexual partners. Here’s the breakdown:

  • All adults and adolescents from ages 13 to 64 should be tested at least once for HIV. Anyone who has unsafe sex or shares injection drug equipment should get tested for HIV at least once a year.
  • All sexually active women should be tested for gonorrhea and chlamydia every year until they are 25 years old. 
  • All pregnant women should be tested for syphilis, HIV, and hepatitis B.
  • All sexually active gay and bisexual men should be tested annually for syphilis, chlamydia, and gonorrhea. Those who have multiple or anonymous partners should be tested more frequently for STDs, including HIV.

If your test comes back positive, it is important to contact your doctor for treatment. Most STDs are curable, and all of them are treatable, the CDC reports.

If your test is negative, take a few steps to lower your risk of contracting an STD or STI in the future.

  1. Practice abstinence.
  2. Use condoms.
  3. Have fewer sexual partners. Keep the lines of communication open and talk to your partners about their sexual history.
  4. Get vaccinated. The HPV vaccine is readily available and safe. It protects against the human papillomavirus, one of the most common STDs.

Book an appointment online, or walk into an Any Lab Test Now location to understand your sexual health and ensure your future fertility and peace of mind.

Safety First! Any Lab Test Now Offers Lab Tests for Athletes

As an MMA fighter, boxer or other combative sports competitor or athlete, you already know that achieving peak performance means taking care of your body and health first. Vitamin deficiencies, hormone imbalances and other health problems can affect your success in the ring and even put you in danger of injury. That’s why many athletic organizations go so far as to require lab testing for their athletes — to make sure they are healthy and fit to compete and won’t be placing themselves in harm’s way.

The good news is, if you need required lab testing before your competition, you can get your results quickly and easily at Any Lab Test Now. Your local Any Lab Test Now location can provide your lab results before your next big fight or other athletic event, with no appointment or insurance necessary. You’ll have your results in 72 hours or less. We are proud to be the Lab Testing Provider for MMA and other combative sports fighters, getting fighters the results they need without the wait or the hassle.

MMA, Boxing and Other Combative Sports

The Fighter Panel at Any Lab Test Now is specially designed to meet the lab test needs of MMA fighters, boxers and other combative sports athletes. To be eligible to compete, many combative sports fighters are required to present their test results to their state athletic commission. The Fighter Panel includes tests for HIV, hepatitis B and hepatitis C. These tests will ensure your immune system is not compromised and that you are ready to fight.

While certain tests are required for competition, others are simply recommended for peak health, safety and performance in the ring, including:

Make sure you’re taking care of your health first to become the athlete you were always meant to be.

Other Athletes

If you aren’t a combative sports athlete, you may not need the same required lab testing that competitive fighting requires. However, many competitive athletes will still benefit from establishing a baseline for their health and fitness goals. Your baseline will help you improve your performance and let you know what might be going on when something doesn’t feel quite right. Common lab tests for athletes looking to monitor their overall health include:

As an athlete, your health is crucial to staying safe, fit and high-performing on the field, court or fighting ring. Stay at the top of your game by taking care of your health first. Schedule a lab test appointment online or call the experts at Any Lab Test Now to learn what testing options are right for you.


Tests to Consider for the New Year

This time of year, many people are making resolutions to change their lives for the better. Resolutions give people a sense of new beginnings for themselves, and a chance to look forward to the progress they will make toward becoming a healthier, happier individual. Most people who make a New Year’s resolution are thinking of their health – they want to make positive changes in their appearance and overall livelihood.

But what many people don’t realize when they’re staring in the mirror is that good health starts on the inside. To appear healthier on the outside, you must first make healthy, internal changes. If you’re looking to make a change, but don’t know where to start, Any Lab Test Now has several tests that can help you accomplish your resolutions for 2017:

Sensitivity and Intolerance Tests

One great way to make a healthy change is to finally find out what’s been causing your unexplained ailments or discomfort. Often, people with a food sensitivity or intolerance don’t realize what is causing their health issues. That’s because it’s hard to isolate just one food as the cause of your pain. This is where Sensitivity and Intolerance Tests can help! These tests can help you determine any food sensitivities or intolerances you may have, letting you get to the bottom of what is causing your health problems.

Sexual Health Lab Tests

If you are sexually active, it is important to make sure you are healthy and disease-free. Most people know they should get tested for STDs, but continually put it off. The thing is, by putting off getting tested, you’ll continue to feel that nagging worry in the back of your mind – “Do I have a disease?” Give yourself peace of mind by finding out for sure in 2017, and taking care of your health from head to toe. Any Lab Test Now’s Sexual Health Lab Tests will help you check off that big “to-do” item lingering in your thoughts.

Diabetes Lab Tests and Cholesterol Lab Tests

Before you can look healthy on the outside, you must address the issues going on inside your body. If you are concerned you might have high cholesterol, diabetes or pre-diabetes, it’s time to get tested and find out for sure. Dangerous complications can arise from having these conditions, including a higher risk of heart disease, heart attack and stroke. Make 2017 the year you take control of your heart health, starting with a Diabetes Lab Test and Cholesterol Lab Test.

Get started on your 2017 New Year’s resolution to be healthier by getting some much needed answers to your nagging health questions. Once you better understand your health today, you can start taking steps towards achieving better health this year. Talk to the experts at Any Lab Test Now to learn what testing options are right for you, and take the first step towards a healthier, happier you.

What You Need to Know About HIV Among Women

Did you know that March 10th is Women’s HIV/AIDS Awareness Day? It’s an important day to recognize the impact HIV and AIDS have on women across the nation because nearly one in four people living with HIV in the U.S. are women, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

This year, on the 11th observance of this awareness day, get the facts you need about HIV for women. First, women face unique risks. They are more likely to contract the disease during vaginal sex than men, because of an increased surface area for contact with the disease. Furthermore, women who are affected often face greater challenges finding proper care and dealing with social stigma. Lastly, women with HIV carry the risk of passing it to their child during childbirth and need to be extra vigilant about care and treatment.

The facts you need to know about HIV:

  • Human Immunodeficiency Virus, or HIV, is a sexually transmitted disease that attacks the immune system and lowers your body’s ability to fight off infections.
  • While there is no cure at the moment, treatments exist that can suppress the virus and give those who are living with the disease a long and healthy life.
  • The four most common ways HIV is transmitted are sexual contact, intravenous drug use, mother-to-child (perinatal) and blood transfusions.
  • Symptoms of HIV tend to mirror that of the flu. The possible symptoms of HIV are: fever, chills, rash, night sweats, muscle aches, sore throat and fatigue.

Finally, the most important fact that you need to know about HIV is that the only way to know for sure that you or a loved one is infected is to get tested. If you have had unprotected sex, have an existing sexually transmitted disease or share needles, you should be tested for HIV. At Any Lab Test Now, we can help you get the confidential testing you need to stay informed.

This March, encourage all the women in your life to get tested and help stop the spread of HIV/AIDS!

What is the difference between HIV and AIDS?

There are many misconceptions about HIV and AIDS out there. Many of them stem from the sensitive nature of these diseases. In truth, many still consider it taboo to talk about them. But one in eight people who have HIV aren’t aware that they have it, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. That represents approximately 12.8 percent of the population who have not been diagnosed.

What is HIV?

Human Immunodeficiency Virus, or HIV, is a sexually transmitted disease that attacks the immune system and lowers your body’s ability to fight off infections. Over time, HIV progresses and destroys more and more of the body’s immune system. While there is no cure at the moment, treatment exists that can suppress the virus and give those who are living with the disease a long and healthy life.

While HIV is a sexually transmitted disease, it can be spread many ways. The four most common ways HIV is transmitted are sexual contact, intravenous drug use, mother-to-child (perinatal) and blood transfusions. However, some people are at higher risk than others. African-Americans are diagnosed with HIV more than any other race. But male-to-male sexual contact remains the highest risk factor for contracting HIV.

Symptoms of HIV tend to mirror that of the flu. The possible symptoms of HIV are:

  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Rash
  • Night sweats
  • Muscle aches
  • Sore throat
  • Fatigue

It’s important to note that many who contract HIV do not show symptoms for a long time. In fact, it’s possible to have the disease for 10 years without any symptoms. Therefore, regular testing is the only way to make sure you don’t have HIV.

What is AIDS?

Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome, or AIDS, is the final stage of HIV infection. AIDS is the stage of HIV where the immune systems has become badly damaged, and you are vulnerable to opportunistic infections. Essentially, AIDS is an advanced form of HIV. Not everyone who has HIV advances to this stage, and you cannot contract AIDS without getting HIV first.

The possible symptoms and complications from AIDS are much more severe and include the following:

  • Rapid weight loss
  • Recurring fever or night sweats
  • Extreme tiredness
  • Prolonged swelling of the lymph glands
  • Diarrhea that lasts for more than a week
  • Sores of the mouth, anus or genitals
  • Pneumonia
  • Memory loss, depression and other neurologic disorders

An HIV diagnosis does not guarantee you will progress to AIDS. Certain medications can lower the level of HIV in your body and keep you strong. That will reduce the likelihood that your condition will progress to AIDS, and it can help lower the risk of you transmitting HIV to others. That’s why it’s so important to know if you have this disease.

The only way to know if you have HIV for sure is to get tested!
If you have had unprotected sex, have an existing sexually transmitted disease or share needles, you should be tested for HIV. At Any Lab Test Now, we can help you get the confidential testing you need to make sure you and your loved ones are safe.

What is Trichomoniasis and Why Haven’t I Heard Of It?

Since middle school, we have been warned about sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) and their dangers. We all know about HIV and herpes. We know to be tested for these diseases and to protect ourselves from them.

Yet, there is another STD that few people have ever heard about. Trichomoniasis is a parasite that can be transferred to both both men and women, although it is more commonly found in women who are older. It isn’t a long-term health concern for people, but it can cause itching, discomfort and odor, so it’s unpleasant and an STD that you want to avoid!

Trichomoniasis is typically passed along through sex, but it can also live outside of the body for more than 45 minutes. This means that it can be contracted through other means, such as sharing swimsuits or towels, too.

Trichomoniasis Symptoms

One reason why trichomoniasis is not more commonly known is that only 30 percent of people who carry the parasite experience symptoms.

In women, these symptoms include:

  • Vaginal itching
  • Vaginal discharge
  • Burning sensation during urination
  • Pain during sex

Men may experience the following symptoms:

  • Irritation in the penis or discomfort
  • Urethral discharge
  • Painful or swollen testicles

Trichomoniasis and STD Screenings

Sexual health lab tests do not regularly screen for trichomoniasis because there aren’t as many serious health issues that result from it. What this means is that we need to be even more careful to protect ourselves from trichomoniasis since even those who have received STD screenings in the past may carry the parasite and be unaware of it.

Fortunately, if you start to feel any of the trichomoniasis symptoms, there are urine tests for both men and women. The tests don’t require any preparation and will let you know if you caught the STD so that you can quickly cure it.

Dangers of Trichomoniasis

While easy to treat, there are dangers associated with the infection if it goes undetected. Pregnant women should be tested because trichomoniasis can lead to low birth weight, premature birth and passage of the parasite along to one’s baby. Additionally, because the vaginal area can become inflamed and irritated, it may become easier to contract HIV when you have trichomoniasis.

Trichomoniasis Treatment and Ongoing Protection

While the transfer of trichomoniasis is easy, the treatment is too. Your doctor may recommend a course of Metronidazole, which can help with the symptoms and has a cure rate of 84-98 percent. Make sure you don’t drink any alcohol while taking the medicine and avoid sex. Also, ask your partner to get tested too, so that you aren’t passing the bug back and forth.

There are also some general tips that will help you avoid the STD altogether, like:

  • Reducing the number of sexual partners you have to reduce your exposure to the parasite
  • Using a condom
  • Showering after using public pools
  • Showering before and after sex
  • Avoiding sharing towels or swimsuits

It can often take up to 28 days after exposure for you to begin experiencing symptoms of trichomoniasis, so you may not know that you caught it right away. If you begin to feel itchy or uncomfortable, the Trichomonas Vaginalis Urine Test for women or the Trichomonas Vaginalis Urine Test for men for men and a regimen of medicine may be all you need to experience relief and avoid passing the parasite along to your partner.

World Hepatitis Day is July 28

More than 400 million people worldwide are living with hepatitis, and of those 400 million people, 1.4 million die from the disease every year. Sadly, all of those deaths could be prevented with the right medical treatment and better awareness of how to avoid contracting the virus in the first place. Hepatitis is a completely preventable and treatable disease, and every year on July 28 we celebrate World Hepatitis Day to help bring awareness to people around the world about what they can do to save lives and eliminate hepatitis for good.

Hepatitis is a viral disease that causes infection of the liver. There are five types of hepatitis, the most common of which are hepatitis B and C. Hepatitis B, C and D are spread mainly through contact with an infected person’s bodily fluids while hepatitis A and E are typically contracted by consuming food or water contaminated with the feces of an infected person. It is possible to spread hepatitis B through sexual contact, sharing needles and other drug paraphernalia, improperly sterilized tattoo needles, blood transfusions, working in a health care profession, or even from sharing certain hygiene items, like razors and toothbrushes.

Hepatitis C is blood-borne and is most common among those who have injected drugs through shared equipment, though it is possible to contract it in any situation in which you are exposed to infected blood. It is even possible for mothers who have certain strains of the disease to pass it to their children during childbirth. Hepatitis is not just a disease for drug addicts and third world countries, though; if you have used intravenous drugs or shared needles, you should definitely get tested. Anyone can get the virus, and it’s important to know how to prevent it as well as what to do if you are exposed.

Hepatitis does not typically exhibit any symptoms and can even lie dormant in your system for years before making an appearance. When they are present, symptoms of certain hepatitis strains can include fatigue, pain around the area of the liver, fever, nausea and loss of appetite. If left untreated, certain strains of hepatitis can lead to organ failure, liver cancer and even death. This is why getting vaccinated and tested is so important. With the proper knowledge, preventing hepatitis is easy. There are vaccinations for both hepatitis A and B, as well as effective treatments for the most common types of hepatitis, should you contract the disease.

If you think you might have hepatitis or might have been exposed to it, talk to your doctor about getting tested. If you have not had the vaccination, talk to your doctor about getting that as well. Make sure to know the risks and use safe practices when engaging in any activity that may expose you to the disease. With just these simple precautions, you can help bring the world one step closer to being hepatitis-free.

Hepatitis: Understanding the Risks and Prevention Steps

First established in 2001 by the Center of Disease Control and Prevention, Hepatitis Awareness Month continues to serve as a month-long campaign in May centered to raising awareness of Hepatitis. Defined as inflammation of the liver, Hepatitis can occur due to heavy alcohol use, intake of certain drugs or toxins, a bacterial infection and/or viral infection. There are three major forms of Hepatitis: Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B, and Hepatitis C.  In the United States today, up to 5.3 million Americans have chronic Hepatitis B or Hepatitis C infection and about 75% of the infected population are unaware that they are infected.

What is Hepatitis A?

Hepatitis A is a liver disease caused by the Hepatitis A virus (HAV). In these cases, the liver swells and is unable to work properly. The HAV virus is most commonly spread in situations where a person has not washed their hands before preparing or eating food, has not washed their hands after using the restroom, or has eaten raw or undercooked shellfish that came from waters polluted by sewage.

Out of the three types of Hepatitis, Hepatitis A is the least serious and can be prevented through vaccination. Other ways to prevent spreading include washing of the hands before preparing and eating food, and after use of the restroom.

What is Hepatitis B?

Similar to Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B is a liver disease caused by the Hepatitis B virus which also causes the liver to swell and not work properly. Those at risk include anyone who has come in direct contact with HBV-infected bodily fluids (through blood, semen and/or vaginal secretions).

Hepatitis B is, in general, more serious than Hepatitis A and if left untreated, can lead to cirrhosis of the liver, liver cancer and liver failure. Again, vaccination is the best way to prevent this infection. Other ways to stop the spread of HBV include practicing safe sex, not sharing needles, razors, toothbrushes or other personal items, and talking with your doctor, dentist and other healthcare providers.

What is Hepatitis C?

Hepatitis C is caused by the Hepatitis C virus which infects the liver. This disease is spread primarily through contact with the blood of an infected person. Compared to Hepatitis A and B, Hepatitis C is the most life-threatening disease among the three forms and is the only form yet to have a vaccine available for prevention.

Those most at risk include people who have shared needles to inject drugs, had unsterile equipment used on them when receiving a tattoo, were born to a mother with HCV, or  have had unprotected sex with multiple partners.

If you think you may be at risk of Hepatitis, we at Any Lab Test Now® are here to help. Our Hepatitis Panel tests for the three common variations of Hepatitis discussed above: Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B, and Hepatitis C.  Upon receiving your lab test results, you and your doctor will have the information you’ll need to have a clear understanding of your current health and how to move forward. Contact us today to schedule your appointment and let us help you begin to Take Control of Your Health®.

December 1 is World AIDS Day: Know your facts!

With more than 1.1 million people in the United States living with HIV today and almost 1 in 6 people currently unaware of their diagnosis, it is imperative that people take time to educate themselves on the virus and determine if they are at risk. This is why, today, Any Lab Test Now ® stands together to recognize December 1 as World AIDS Day. First held in 1988, this day marks an opportunity where people across the globe can unite in the fight against HIV, support friends and family who are living with this disease, and/or honor loved ones who have passed from AIDS.

HIV stands for human immunodeficiency virus. It is passed via infected bodily fluids and attacks the body’s immune system, making it extremely difficult for those infected to fight off viruses and other illnesses. Ultimately, this virus can progress into AIDS (acquired immunodeficiency syndrome), the final stage of the HIV infection.

The symptoms of HIV vary depending on the individual and what stage of the disease the patient is in. Often times, those infected notice flu-like symptoms 2-4 weeks after HIV exposure. Symptoms can include:

  • Fever (the most common symptom)

  • Swollen glands

  • Sore throat

  • Rash

  • Fatigue

  • Muscle and joint aches, pains

  • Headache

Although these symptoms are helpful detectors, the only way to truly determine if you are infected is to get tested. Any Lab Test Now® is proud to take part in the fight against HIV and AIDS by providing quick, easy and affordable testing. If you think you may be at risk, call us to schedule an appointment where one of our trained professionals can provide you with quality testing in a confidential and friendly environment.

Spring Breakers, Read This Before You Celebrate

Class is done for a week, it’s time for spring break! The “beer-soaked blur” as it is commonly referred to, is an exciting time for young adults to get away and have a good time with friends. It’s become the greatest week in college student’s lives.

But, did you know that ½ of sexual encounters are unplanned and unprotected on spring break trips? Young adults are one of the highest-risk age groups when it comes to getting an STD. When the drinks start flowing, your ability to make rational decisions declines. The risks and diseases that can result from unprotected sex should scare you. Be prepared and use protection to decrease your chance of bringing home an unexpected souvenir that affects your long-term health.

It’s better to know exactly what’s going on in your body rather than taking a chance and potentially spreading a STD. Getting a lab test is the only way to know. ANY LAB TEST NOW® offers affordable STD testing that is discreet and confidential with quick, reliable results.

Have you checked out Hula? It’s a mobile app that makes it easy and convenient to find an STD test center, get your results online and share your verified STD status if you choose to. Download the app here and be prepared this spring break!