If you are sexually active it is your responsibility to look out for your own health and safety. We are bombarded with information on a daily basis in regards to STD;s through TV, internet, and radio. It is important to know what options are out there and available to you for prevention and treatment.

In this article we will shed understanding on what rapid STD testing is and how it can benefit your health and safety.

Rapid STD testing is when an individual can have a test administered and await the results instead of having to return to the clinic on a later date. This type of testing can provide an individual with two benefits. First, being able to await results saves the person the time, expense and anxiety of returning. Having to schedule and coordinate dates and times with a persons schedule could possibly cause them receiving valuable results in a delayed timeframe, or not receiving them at all due to failure to return. Secondly, if something is found/diagnosed during a rapid STD test, the individual can consult there doctor on beginning treatment immediately. As with many diseases early diagnosis can make a world of difference in the effects of a disease on the body.

There are rapid HIV test available, which can be done anywhere. Now one must be mindful that rapid STD test may have some drawbacks to consider. Any test that is not performed under the most careful circumstances will have an ability to have tainted results. As with the Rapid HIV, it may not be as sensitive or specific as a test that is performed under controlled environments by professionals, which may lead to a false positive or false negative results. Now in some areas where the prevalence of the disease is extremely high it appears to be more beneficial to use the Rapid test anyway since the predictive value of the area is higher. The positive predictive value will tell you the likelihood of you actually having a disease if you test positive for it. It is calculated by looking at the number of people who are positive with the disease, divided by the total number who test positive. Variables to this formula are based on test sensitivity, test specificity and prevalence of the disease.

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If you take an STD test that uses bacterial cultures, you will never receive rapid results, but these type of test are often used to confirm the result of a rapid test. As you can see when using a rapid test the results may not be 100% accurate, but they can bring one the awareness of they may have an issue that needs immediate attention.

Resources: Mayoclinic/STDs