STDs

How Long Does It Take for an STD to Show Up?

How Long Does It Take for an STD to Show Up?

How Long Does It Take for an STD to Show Up?This question is often difficult to answer. There are more than 20 types of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs or STIs), and many do not cause noticeable symptoms. In other cases, symptoms may not develop until several months or even years after exposure.

Instead of asking how long it takes for STD symptoms to show up, the better question may be “how long does it take for antibodies to develop?” When you are exposed to germs, such as the various viruses and bacteria that cause STDs, your body’s immune system produces special antibodies to fight off the specific invader. In fact, many forms of STD testing screen for certain antibodies, not the virus or bacterium itself.

The time between exposure and when a measurable amount of antibodies or symptoms are present is known as an incubation period. The incubation periods for STDs vary significantly; here are just a few examples of STD incubation periods:

  • Gonorrhea – One to 28 days
  • Genital and oral herpes – Two to 12 days
  • Trichomoniasis – Five to 28 days
  • Chlamydia – One to three weeks
  • HIV – Two to four weeks
  • Hepatitis B – Eight to 22 weeks
  • HPV – One month to 10 years
  • Syphilis – Three weeks to 20 years

Fast & Reliable STD Testing

At Affinity Urgent Care, our experienced and friendly clinicians offer a full range of STD testing on a walk-in basis. We provide a safe place to discuss your symptoms, find answers to your questions, and receive the diagnostic services you need to achieve your best health. Visit us when you need us—we are open every day during extended hours and do not require appointments.


Can a UTI Go Away on Its Own?

Can a UTI Go Away on Its Own?

Can a UTI Go Away on Its Own?A UTI—or urinary tract infection—is a very common bacterial infection that can cause painful and burning urination, a frequent urge to urinate, and overall discomfort. If you’ve ever had a UTI, you know just how unpleasant these infections can be. So, you may be wondering—can a UTI go away on its own, or should you always seek treatment from a medical professional?

Here’s the short answer: It depends, but it’s best to play it safe. Some people may be able to remedy a very minor UTI by drinking plenty of water and urinating frequently, but antibiotics are typically necessary to clear the infection and treat symptoms. If you try to wait it out, the infection (and its symptoms) may worsen and travel to the kidneys, which is a more serious medical issue.

Overall, it’s wise to visit a medical professional if you are displaying UTI symptoms. Testing for a UTI is simple, and one round of antibiotics is usually all that’s necessary to treat an infection. Taking probiotic supplements, staying hydrated, and practicing good hygiene habits once your infection has cleared can help you avoid UTIs in the future.

UTI Treatment at Affinity Urgent Care

Affinity Urgent Care provides convenient and affordable urgent medical services for a variety of non-life-threatening health concerns, including UTIs. Our walk-in clinics in La Marque, Galveston, and Alvin, Texas, are equipped with clinical labs that allow us to quickly diagnose patients and prescribe appropriate medications.

Finding relief from UTI pain is easier than you may think! Visit Affinity Urgent Care today—we have extended hours and do not require appointments.


What Are the First Signs of an STD?

What Are the First Signs of an STD?

What Are the First Signs of an STD?The first signs of a sexually transmitted disease (STD or STI) can vary considerably based on the type of infection. In fact, many STDs never cause noticeable symptoms. Because of this, it’s difficult to say what the first signs of an STD may be. As a general rule of thumb, make sure to promptly visit a medical professional if you notice any of the following symptoms:

  • Pain or burning while urinating
  • A frequent urge to urinate
  • Bumps, blisters, sores, or rashes around the genital area
  • Abnormal bleeding or discharge
  • Pain during sex
  • Unusual rash around your stomach, hands, or feet
  • Swollen or tender lymph nodes, especially around the groin
  • Fever

Most STD symptoms develop 3 to 10 days after exposure. Herpes, one of the most common sexually transmitted infections, may not display symptoms for several weeks, months, or even years—if ever.

It is incredibly important to receive regular STD testing if you are sexually active. Because many STDs don’t cause noticeable symptoms, testing is the only way to know for sure if you have an active infection.

STD Testing at Affinity Urgent Care

Affinity Urgent Care’s fully equipped immediate care centers in La Marque, Alvin, and Galveston, Texas, provide comprehensive and confidential STD testing on a walk-in basis. Here, you can ask our clinicians any sexual health questions you may have, learn safer sex practices, and find the answers and peace of mind you need through reliable STD testing services. We are open during extended hours every day to serve busy people like you. And, we accept all major health insurances and offer low self-pay rates. Visit us today!


Chlamydia Testing

Do I Need a Chlamydia Test?

 

Chlamydia Test

Chlamydia is a common sexually transmitted disease (STD or STI) that can affect men and women. This bacterial STD may be spread through vaginal, anal, or oral sex, and can even be transferred to a baby during childbirth if the mother is infected. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), nearly 2 million chlamydial infections were reported in the United States in 2017.

You may believe that a chlamydia test is only necessary if you are showing signs of an infection, but did you know that chlamydia usually doesn’t cause obvious symptoms? If symptoms do appear, they are often mild or may not become noticeable for several weeks. Here is a brief overview of chlamydia symptoms in men and women:

In men:

  • Burning sensations while urinating
  • Discharge from the penis
  • Swollen or painful testicles
  • Rectal pain, discharge, or bleeding

In women:

  • Pain during sexual intercourse
  • Pain or burning sensations while urinating
  • Bleeding in between periods
  • Unusual vaginal discharge
  • Rectal pain, discharge, or bleeding

It is important to promptly receive a chlamydia test if you are displaying any of these symptoms. If you don’t have symptoms but are sexually active, you should be tested at least once every year.

Am I at Risk?

Anyone who is sexually active is at risk of acquiring chlamydia, but the CDC recommends more frequent chlamydia testing (every three to six months) for the following groups:

  • Sexually active men and women under the age of 25 with multiple partners
  • Men who have sexual intercourse with other men
  • Men or women with a partner who may be infected or have multiple other partners
  • Men or women who do not wear condoms

It is also important to receive a chlamydia test if you are pregnant.

What Does Chlamydia Treatment Involve?

Chlamydia is treated through antibiotics, with dosing dependent on the severity of the infection. Many infections only take a few weeks to resolve, however, it is important to abstain from sex until the infection has completely cleared. It is also important to seek prompt treatment if you are a woman, as chlamydia can severely damage your reproductive system if it is left unaddressed.

Chlamydia Testing at Affinity Urgent Care

Affinity Urgent Care is pleased to provide a full spectrum of walk-in STD testing, including tests for chlamydia. Our fully equipped urgent care centers in La Marque, Alvin, and Galveston, Texas, are led by experienced practitioners who can perform chlamydia tests and process the results in our onsite clinical labs. Furthermore, you can consider us a safe place to voice any concerns you may have, find answers to your sexual health questions, and learn safer sex practices that can help keep you happy and healthy.

To learn more about chlamydia testing at Affinity Urgent Care, contact us today or simply visit us when it’s convenient for your busy schedule. We accept most major health insurance plans and offer affordable self-pay rates. Our team looks forward to helping you achieve your best health!

 


What Are the Side Effects of Truvada?

What Are the Side Effects of Truvada for PrEP®?

What Are the Side Effects of Truvada? Truvada for PrEP® (pre-exposure prophylaxis) is a groundbreaking preventive treatment that, when taken every day and combined with safe sex practices, can help reduce the risk of acquiring HIV-1. However, as with most all other medications, there are a few potential side effects.

The most common side effects of Truvada include:

  • Headaches
  • Abdominal pain
  • Weight loss

Most of these side effects will go away on their own, but you should speak with your healthcare provider if they persist after a few weeks or become bothersome.

Another potential and more serious side effect of Truvada is worsening of hepatitis B (HBV) infection. Before receiving a prescription for Truvada, you will be tested for HBV and receive appropriate health monitoring. Because suddenly stopping Truvada while having HBV can be dangerous, it’s important to speak with your healthcare provider if you wish to stop taking the pill.

There are potentially life-threatening complications associated with Truvada, although these are rare. Serious side effects include:

  • Lactic acidosis, or too much lactic acid in the blood. This uncommon condition requires emergency care. Seek immediate medical attention if you notice unusual weakness, muscle pain, shortness of breath, stomach pain, nausea, lightheadedness, rapid heartbeat, or bluish hands or feet.
  • Kidney problems, including kidney failure. Use caution if you have a kidney condition. Your healthcare provider should perform blood and urine tests to monitor kidney health before and during treatment.
  • Liver problems that may become severe. Quickly contact your healthcare provider if you become nauseous, lose your appetite for several days, notice yellowing of your skin or eyes, or have dark urine or light-colored stools.
  • Bone problems, including pain and an increased risk of fractures. Your healthcare provider may evaluate your bone health before starting treatment.

What About the Benefits?

Truvada grants peace of mind to patients by reducing the chances of acquiring HIV-1 through sex when taken correctly. HIV-1 (human immunodeficiency virus) is the most transferrable type of HIV, a viral infection that weakens the immune system and may eventually lead to AIDS (acquired immunodeficiency syndrome).

Taking Truvada is simple. Just take one pill each day and implement safe sex practices like wearing a latex condom every time you have sex. It’s also important to be tested for HIV-1 at least once every three months while you are taking the pill.

Truvada is Available at Affinity Urgent Care

If you would like to learn more information about the benefits of Truvada and whether or not it is right for you, simply visit Affinity Urgent Care. Our fully equipped locations in La Marque, Galveston, and Alvin, Texas, are open during extended hours every day and led by experienced medical practitioners. Our team can answer any questions you may have, provide you with a prescription for Truvada, and perform all necessary HIV testing and routine lab work. Contact us today! We offer affordable self-pay rates and accept most health insurance plans, including Medicare, Medicaid, and TRICARE.


The Top 3 Most Common STDs in the U.S.

What Are the Top 3 Most Common STDs in the U.S.?

The Top 3 Most Common STDs in the U.S. A sexually transmitted disease (STD), also referred to as a sexually transmitted infection (STI), is an infection that can spread from one person to another during vaginal, anal, or oral sex. STDs are on the rise in the United States—the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that approximately 20 million new cases are diagnosed each year. The most common STD in the U.S. is human papilloma virus (HPV), followed by chlamydia and gonorrhea. Let’s take a closer look at each condition.

Human Papilloma Virus (HPV)

Affecting nearly 80 million Americans, HPV is a viral infection with more than 100 different varieties. It can be transmitted through sexual or skin-to-skin contact. In many cases, HPV is cleared by the body’s immune system before it can cause obvious symptoms. If symptoms do develop, they may include:

  • Warts or unusual growths around the genital area that may itch or cause pain
  • Warts or unusual growths on the hands, fingers, face, legs, or feet

HPV also has strong ties to cervical cancer. While not every female with this STD develops cervical cancer, most cervical cancer cases are associated with HPV infection. HPV may also increase the risk of anal, penile, vulvar, and oropharyngeal cancers.

There are now vaccines available that can help prevent HPV infection and reduce vulnerability to certain cancers. To learn more, speak with your medical provider.

Chlamydia

Chlamydia (chlamydia trachomatis) is a bacterial infection that largely impacts young women, although it can affect anyone. This STD is easily treatable but can cause permanent damage to a woman’s reproductive system and fertility if it is left unaddressed. It is also possible for a pregnant woman with chlamydia to pass the infection on to her baby during childbirth.

Chlamydia usually doesn’t cause noticeable symptoms in its early stages. As the infection progresses, symptoms tend to be mild and may involve:

  • Pain while urinating or during sexual intercourse
  • Unusual discharge or bleeding from the genital area
  • Testicular pain or swelling in men

Gonorrhea

Also referred to as “the clap,” gonorrhea is a bacterial infection that is especially common among individuals under age 25. Just as chlamydia can be passed to newborn babies during childbirth if the mother is infected, so can gonorrhea. This STD is curable with prompt detection and the right treatment.

Gonorrhea may not trigger obvious symptoms at any stage of the infection. When symptoms occur, they are often subtle and may include:

  • Bleeding between periods
  • Pain or burning sensations while urinating
  • Unusual discharge from the genital area
  • Itching around the genital area
  • Painful bowel movements

Symptoms can also affect other areas of the body and cause a wide array of problems, ranging from joint pain and swelling to light sensitivity and eye discharge.

STD Testing at Affinity Urgent Care

The best way to prevent STDs and their complications is to implement safe sex practices and receive routine STD testing if you are sexually active—even if you don’t have any noticeable symptoms. Affinity Urgent Care provides comprehensive and easily accessible STD testing services at our fully equipped locations in La Marque, Alvin, and Galveston, Texas. To receive an STD test, reserve an appointment time online or simply walk in when it’s convenient for your schedule.


STD Symptoms in Men

What Are the Most Common STD Symptoms in Men?

STD Symptoms in Men

Affinity Urgent Care offers testing for sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) to men and women on a walk-in basis at our fully equipped centers in La Marque, Galveston, and Alvin, Texas. Men who are sexually active or who are experiencing any of the following symptoms are encouraged to visit us for confidential and convenient STD testing.

Gonorrhea

The majority of men with gonorrhea—also referred to as “clap”—do not display symptoms. In the event that noticeable changes occur, they may involve:

  • Swollen and painful testicles
  • Penile discharge that may be green, white, or yellow
  • Pain or burning sensations while urinating

Hepatitis B

Hepatitis B is an infection of the liver that typically does not cause symptoms in the genital area. In fact, most men don’t report any noticeable symptoms. If symptoms develop, they may include:

  • Jaundice, or yellowing of the skin and eyes
  • Unusually dark urine
  • Feeling weak and fatigued
  • Fever
  • Loss of appetite
  • Aches and pains
  • Nausea and vomiting

Genital Herpes

Genital herpes, or the herpes simplex virus, usually doesn’t cause obvious symptoms. When it does, they tend to be mild and develop a few days to a few weeks after contact. Symptoms may include:

  • Blisters, scabs, or ulcers around the genital area or thighs
  • Itching, burning, or tingling sensations around the blisters
  • Enlarged or tender lymph nodes around the groin
  • Muscle aches in the lower body
  • Fever
  • Loss of appetite

Chlamydia

Chlamydia symptoms may take a few weeks to appear and aren’t always obvious. When symptoms are noticeable, they may include:

  • Cloudy or clear penile discharge
  • Swollen and tender testicles
  • Burning and itching around the genital area
  • Painful urination

Syphilis

Syphilis is a particularly serious and contagious STD that warrants timely medical attention. The symptoms of this infection often resolve on their own, only to be followed by a new set of symptoms. Promptly speak with a medical profession if any of the following occur:

  • A small, painless, and firm sore that may appear around the mouth, penis, or anus
  • Swollen lymph nodes near the sore
  • A skin rash on the bottom of the feet or palms of the hands
  • Fatigue and sore throat

Human Papilloma Virus (HPV)

HPV is among the most common STDs in the United States. Depending on the strain of HPV present, a man may experience:

  • Genital warts that may be flesh-colored or have a “cauliflower” appearance
  • Warts in the mouth or throat

Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV)

HIV is a progressive disease that may develop into AIDS if it is left untreated. Most men experience flu-like symptoms within two to four weeks after contact. This initial stage of HIV may cause:

  • Fever
  • Sore throat
  • Rashes
  • Swollen lymph nodes in the neck
  • Aches and pains
  • Painful mouth sores
  • Ulcers on the penis
  • Night sweats

STD Testing at Affinity Urgent Care

Affinity Urgent Care’s centers are equipped with clinical labs to swiftly provide STD testing on site. Our experienced medical practitioners also treat many STDS and can refer to specialists in more complex cases. To learn more, contact our friendly team today or just stop by when it’s convenient for your schedule.


What is Truvada?

What is Truvada?

Truvada for PrEP® (pre-exposure prophylaxis) is an exciting breakthrough in HIV-1 prevention. This first-of-its-kind, FDA-approved prescription medication can help reduce your risk of HIV-1 infection from sexual contact when taken daily and combined with safe sex practices. With Truvada, you’ll be able to worry less and enjoy more peace of mind.

Truvada is a once-daily pill that can be taken with or without food. For maximum protection against infection, do not miss any doses.

What Are the Side Effects of Truvada?

As with most other medications, Truvada is associated with some mild side effects. These may include:

  • Abdominal pain
  • Headache
  • Weight loss

Rarely, serious side effects such as lactic acidosis, liver and kidney problems, an increased risk of bone fractures, and worsening of hepatitis B may occur. Before taking Truvada, be sure to tell your healthcare provider about any kidney or liver conditions you have. Your provider may suggest performing routine lab work while you are taking Truvada.

Is Truvada Right for Me?

The decision to take Truvada is a personal one, but there are some limitations that will impact whether or not it’s right for you. For example, Truvada patients should:

  • Weigh at least 77 pounds
  • Be HIV-negative
  • Receive HIV-1 testing at least every three months and be aware of their partners’ HIV status

Patients who are HIV-positive or are unsure of their HIV status should not take Truvada. If you become HIV positive, you will require additional medications to treat your infection. Truvada alone cannot treat HIV, nor can it prevent other STDs or pregnancy. To reduce your risk of acquiring HIV, use latex or polyurethane condoms and avoid sexual contact with individuals who have an untreated STD.

Visit Affinity Urgent Care for Truvada

Affinity Urgent Care is pleased to offer Truvada to patients at our fully equipped immediate care centers in La Marque, Alvin, and Galveston, Texas. Our team includes highly experienced physicians and other medical practitioners who can evaluate your risks, outline the benefits of Truvada, and determine whether or not it is right for you. We also provide discreet and confidential STD testing onsite to help make patients aware of their sexual health. Our urgent care centers are safe and convenient places to discuss STD symptoms, individual risks, and safer sex practices with experienced medical professionals who can provide the answers you need.

Why Choose Us?

In addition to our comprehensive STD testing and prevention services, Affinity Urgent Care offers several other advantages to patients. Consider that our centers:

  • Have extended hours every day and do not require appointments
  • Keep wait times brief and offer a simple online check-in system to streamline your visit
  • Are in-network with all major health insurance providers, including Medicare and Medicaid, and offer reduced rates to self-pay patients.

Contact Affinity Urgent Care today to learn more about Truvada and our approach to treatment. Or, just stop by when it works for your busy schedule. We look forward to helping you achieve your best health.


What Are the Most Common STD Symptoms?

What Are the Most Common STD Symptoms?

One of the most common sexually transmitted disease (STD) symptoms is no symptoms at all. It’s true! Some STDs—also referred to as sexually transmitted infections (STIs)—do not cause obvious symptoms in their initial stages or ever. That’s why it’s so important to receive STD testing on a routine basis if you are sexually active.

With that said, several STDs do cause noticeable symptoms. The following is a list of symptoms that are associated with some of the most common STDs:

Gonorrhea

Men are more likely to experience gonorrhea (“clap”) symptoms than women. These symptoms may include:

  • Burning or painful urination
  • Swollen or painful testicles
  • Unusual penile discharge

If a woman does experience gonorrhea symptoms, they are often mild and may involve:

  • Unusual bleeding or vaginal discharge
  • Pain during sex
  • Abdominal pain

Genital Herpes

Genital herpes (herpes simplex virus) often does not have noticeable symptoms. When it does, they are usually mild and may include:

  • Pain or itching around the genital area and thighs
  • Ulcers and scabs
  • Small white blisters or red bumps
  • Flu-like symptoms

Syphilis

Syphilis is a particularly complex, contagious, and serious STD that warrants prompt medical attention. With syphilis, one symptom may heal on its own only to be followed by the development of a new symptom. Be sure to quickly speak with a medical professional if you notice any of the following:

  • Small, painless sores around the genital area or mouth
  • A rose-colored rash on the palms of the hands or bottom of the feet
  • Wart-like growths around the genital area
  • White patches on the inside of the mouth
  • Fever and swollen lymph nodes

Human Papilloma Virus (HPV)

HPV is the most common STD in the United States. There are often no noticeable symptoms, but warts may sometimes develop around the genital area. These warts may appear as small flesh-colored, red, or pink growths. Itchiness and bleeding may sometimes occur.

Chlamydia

Chlamydia does not cause noticeable symptoms in most cases. When it does, here’s what it may involve.

In men:

  • Painful urination
  • Clear or cloudy penile discharge
  • Itching and burning
  • Swollen or painful testicles

In women:

  • Abnormal bleeding or vaginal discharge
  • Unusually painful periods
  • Pain during sex
  • Painful urination
  • Fever with abdominal pain
  • Itching and burning

Hepatitis B

Hepatitis B is a serious infection of the liver that requires timely medical treatment. Its symptoms include:

  • Jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes)
  • Brown or orange urine or light-colored bowel movements
  • Fatigue that lasts for several weeks
  • Fever
  • Abdominal pain
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Loss of appetite

HIV & AIDS

An infection caused by the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) can progress to acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) over the course of about 10 years if the initial infection is left untreated. The symptoms of HIV/AIDS can vary significantly depending on the phase of the disease. During the initial HIV infection, the following symptoms may persist for a few weeks:

  • Muscle and joint pain
  • Swollen neck lymph nodes
  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Rashes
  • Painful mouth sores
  • Sore throat

As HIV progresses and attacks more immune cells, symptoms may include:

  • Fatigue
  • Diarrhea
  • Weight loss
  • Shingles
  • Oral yeast infection

Finally, if AIDS develops, the following symptoms may occur:

  • Frequent fevers
  • Heavy night sweats
  • Lingering fatigue
  • Chronic diarrhea
  • Skin rashes and bumps
  • Abnormal white spots in your mouth

It’s important to note that men who have sexual intercourse with other men are more likely to be diagnosed with an STD and should be particularly mindful to receive regular STD testing. In these cases, symptoms may also develop around the rectum.

STD Testing and Treatment at Affinity Urgent Care

Affinity Urgent Care is a safe place to receive confidential STD testing, learn about safer sex practices, and find answers to all of your questions. We can also provide treatment for some STDs and will direct you to a specialist if we can’t. Our fully equipped immediate care centers in La Marque, Alvin, and Galveston, Texas, are led by experienced medical practitioners who provide compassionate and personalized care. And, with extended hours every day and no appointments required, you can stop by when it works best for your busy schedule.

Other Resources

Guide From STDtesting.org

Truvada for HIV Prevention

Affinity Urgent Care is pleased to offer Truvada for PrEP® (pre-exposure prophylaxis). This first-of-its-kind pill is designed to help reduce the risk of acquiring HIV-1 through sexual contact when combined with safe sex practices.

If you would like to learn more information about Truvada or our STD testing services, contact our friendly team at Affinity Urgent Care today. Or, just stop by when it’s convenient for you. We accept all major health insurance plans and offer reduced rates to self-pay patients.