Blood test for STI

Dear Alice,

I recently went and got a blood test done for STI's. Which diseases exactly did this test for? I did have a red spot when I went, and he said it was nothing to be worried about. That spot has went away, but other ones have formed, not on my scrotom or penis, but in the above area with the hair. What should I do? Are there other tests he should have given me? Thank you.

Dear Reader,

A blood test can identify the following STIs (sexually transmitted infections): HIV, hepatitis B, syphilis, and herpes.  Sexually active people may also want to get tested for chlamydia and gonorrhea.  Testing for chlamydia and gonorrhea often involves a urine analysis, and can also be done by swabbing areas likely to be infected, including the cervix, urethra, anus, and throat.

The red spots you mentioned are not a symptom of chlamydia or gonorrhea, nor do they sound like syphilis chancres or herpes lesions (which are more like ulcers or open sores rather than spots).  While a description alone cannot be used to diagnose your symptoms, since you noticed a change in the location and number of spots, it is a good idea to see your health care provider for another check-up. 

It is fabulous that you pay such close attention to your body. Remember — spots or not — employing safer sex techniques whenever you're sexually active can protect your body and give you peace of mind.  For information about contraception and safer sex, you can browse the Sexual & Reproductive Health archives.

Last updated Jul 24, 2015
Originally published Mar 31, 2006

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