The Sexually Trasmitted Infenctions (STI) test detects the genetic material (DNA) of multiple causes of infection of the genital tract and that are potentially associated with sexual transmission. The panel targets the organisms that cause all the sexually transmitted infection syndromes, including genital discharge, genital ulceration, urethritis and pelvic inflammatory syndrome. It also covers causes of vaginitis, cervicitis and syphilis.
The organisms included in the test are:
Once the test is positive there is a likelihood of exposure and in the presence of genital symptoms; discharge, itchiness, pain, frequent urination targeted treatment is indicated. In the absence of symptoms there is a chance that the infection has cleared and that the dead organism DNA is still detected. This will also happen if follow-up testing is performed to look for clearance within a period of 3 months.
In addition to the STI screening, it is also important to test for the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) which is also a common co-infection.
The STI test is often ordered in the following scenarios: