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When you suspect that you may have a sexually transmitted disease/infection (STD/STI), you should get tested as soon as possible. There are different types of tests that are available, and the proper way to choose a test is based on the symptoms that you are experiencing. A doctor will be able to assess your symptoms, review your sexual history, and then determine the test(s) to perform.  Here are some common ways that you may be tested.

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Blood Sample
Perhaps the most accurate way that you can get tested is through a blood test. This is done by drawing blood from your arm or by getting a small prick on your finger.

Urine Sample
This is an easy test that you can do, by simply peeing into a cup. Once the sample is received, the urine can be checked for all types of STDs.

Fluid Samples
There are some STDs for which you would have a breakout of blisters or sores that could appear on different parts of the body. One way to test them for a specific STD is for the doctor to take a sample of the fluid that is within the sore. This is typically done with a swab.
This method can also be used when you are having discharge. Then, the doctor will also take a swab and collect some samples from your genital area, and in some cases your mouth and throat.

Cheek Swabs
One of the most dangerous STDs that you can get is HIV, and there are many ways that you can get tested for this infection. One of the better testing methods involves having a soft swab put against the inside of your check. The swab is rubbed to dislodge some of your cells so that you can be tested in a painless way.

At-Home Testing
If you are too embarrassed to go see your doctor and have one of these tests carried out in person, you can explore the option of getting an FDA-approved STD testing kit that you can use at home. These testing kits can be purchased online and include a swab kit or the tools that you would need for a urine or blood sample. With these kits, you take your own sample, and then send it to an STD clinic for the testing to be completed. Once the results are available, you can receive them via email, or you may be given a secure online account that you can sign in to. Typically, the results are ready within one to three days.

Speak with a doctor or a nurse practitioner before you get tested. They are medically trained to advise you on the best testing options for your situation.