Walk-in STD Testing | Buncombe & Henderson County NC

At AFC Urgent Care Arden, we get it – talking about your sexual health can be awkward. But it’s important to get tested for STDs. If you’ve been exposed to or suspect you have an STD, stop by AFC Urgent Care for safe and confidential STD testing – no appointment needed.

STD testing at AFC Urgent Care

Does AFC Urgent Care offer STD Testing?

Yes. AFC Urgent Care offers confidential STD testing and treatment. If you’re sexually active, particularly with multiple partners, it’s important to consistently get tested for STDs. Knowing your status can help maintain your health and the health of your partners.

We get how important sexual health is and how uncomfortable it can be to bring it up. That’s why our medical team always makes sure to provide complete privacy and respect when it comes to STD testing. According to Dr. Todd Rudolph, Medical Director at AFC Urgent Care & Family Care, “At AFC Urgent Care, privacy and respect are the cornerstones of our care. Together, we can determine what types of tests are appropriate for you.”

No need to make an appointment for STD testing – just visit AFC Urgent Care Arden just off New Airport Rd or call us at (828) 641-0960 for more information.

What are Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs)?

STDs, or sexually transmitted diseases, are infections caused by bacteria, viruses and parasites. STDs are passed from one person to another through oral, vaginal or anal sex and can have serious health consequences if left untreated.

How do you get an STD?

Regardless of your relationship status, sexual orientation or number of sexual partners, it’s critical to get tested for STDs if you’re currently sexually active or have been sexually active in the past. Sexually Transmitted Diseases can be transmitted through vaginal, oral and anal sex. It’s important to protect your long-term health by preventing and managing STDs.

STDs in Buncombe County and North Carolina

As a citizen of Buncombe County, you should be aware of the current status of STDs in both your local community and state. While some STDs have decreased in transmission, it’s still necessary to be cautious against contracting STDs that are still prevalent in your area.
Here are some key local data points about active STDs as of 12/31/21:

What are the most common STDs?

While there are more than 20 existing STDs, these are the most common STDs in the U.S.:

Chlamydia
Gonorrhea
Syphilis
Trichomoniasis
Pubic Lice
Hepatitis
Herpes
HPV
HIV

What are common STD symptoms?

Common symptoms of STDs can include:

  • bumps or lesions on the genital area
  • unusual discharge from the penis or vagina
  • burning or itching when urinating
  • bleeding between periods
  • pain and/or itching to your penis, vagina, vulva, and/or anus

Some STDs don’t exhibit symptoms for an extended period of time, making it difficult to detect a potential infection unless you get tested.

If there’s any chance that you have been exposed to an STD, it’s crucial to get tested. The only way to know for certain if you’ve contracted an STD is to get tested immediately as symptoms are often dormant for a significant amount of time. If you want to avoid contracting or spreading an STD, practice safe sex, use protection and get checked regularly. This will protect you and your partners from the risks of infection.

Should I get tested for STDs?

If you engage in sexual activity, it is critical to get tested for STDs. Putting off treatment, even if you have no visible symptoms, could cause long-term damage to your health or infect others. If you’re expecting a child or plan to have one, you must be tested for STDs. Some STDs can be passed on and cause severe health issues for the baby at birth.

At AFC Urgent Care, we provide comprehensive STD testing services to help you manage your sexual health. Our knowledgeable and compassionate team is here to answer any questions you may have and provide you with any necessary testing and treatment.

STD Treatment and Prevention

Knowing how to prevent and treat STDs could be the difference between good and poor health for you and your partner. If you’re sexually active, it’s important to know how to protect yourself and others from STDs before it’s too late.

If you believe you may have a sexually transmitted disease, it is important to get tested as soon as possible, as some STDs can pose a serious threat to your health if left untreated. Although not all STDs can be cured, almost all of them can be treated and managed to allow you to live a healthy life. These infections are usually treated with antibiotics or antiviral drugs. But it is always better to prevent an infection rather than treat one. Here are some prevention methods to consider:

  • Use condoms during sex
  • Limit your sexual partners and always get screened for STDs before having sex
  • Get vaccinated for hepatitis A, hepatitis B, and HPV

Following these steps can help lower your risk of catching an STD and maintain your overall health.

What is Chlamydia?

Chlamydia is the most common sexually transmitted infection in the United States. It is caused by a bacteria called Chlamydia trachomatis and if left untreated, can cause serious and long-term health issues such as infertility, pelvic inflammatory disease and ectopic pregnancy.

Common Chlamydia symptoms include:

● pain or burning while urinating
● pain during sex
● lower abdominal pain
● abnormal discharge from the penis or vagina
● vaginal bleeding between periods

The infection is most common among 15-24-year-olds, but anyone who is sexually active may be at risk of contracting it. Chlamydia is easily treated with antibiotics, so it’s important to get tested if you suspect you may have been infected.

What is Gonorrhea?

Gonorrhea, also known as “the clap”, is an STD caused by the bacteria Neisseria gonorrhoeae. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), an estimated 820,000 new infections occur each year in the United States. If you contract Gonorrhea, you may experience the following symptoms:

● painful urination
● abnormal discharge
● excessive bleeding during periods or
● between periods
● swollen testicles
● itching around the genitals

If left untreated, gonorrhea can lead to serious health issues including pelvic inflammatory disease, infertility, or even an ectopic pregnancy. While antibiotics can cure the infection, it is important to use protection during sexual activities to prevent its spread.

What is HPV?

Human papillomavirus (HPV) is another common STI that can affect both men and women. HPV is the most common sexually transmitted infection in the United States and can cause genital warts or cervical cancer. It is estimated that nearly 20 million Americans are currently infected with HPV, with 1 million new infections occurring yearly. If you notice genital warts, you may also experience additional symptoms, including:

● Warts on the genital area, mouth, or throat
● Itching in your genital area
● Small bumps on and around your genital area
● Bleeding during intercourse

Strains HPV 16 and HPV 18 are the ones primarily responsible for HPV-related cancer cases. Unfortunately, there is no cure for HPV, but the good news is that most strains don’t require treatment and will go away on their own. Vaccination is the best precaution against HPV. If you believe you have been exposed to HPV or are showing any of the above-mentioned symptoms, seek medical attention ASAP.

What is Syphilis?

Syphilis is another highly contagious STI that can be passed through sexual contact. It is caused by the bacteria Treponema pallidum, and can lead to serious medical issues if left untreated. Syphilis can range from mild symptoms to severe, and the infection can even be fatal if not treated properly. There are four stages of the disease, each with their own unique symptoms.

In the early stage of syphilis, small sores may appear on your genitals. These sores are easily mistaken for ingrown hairs or minor bumps, as they are usually painless. During the second stage of syphilis, a rash and other sores may appear on the genitals, anus or inside the oral cavity. Additional symptoms may appear during the second stage of syphilis:

● fever
● fatigue
● headaches
● weight loss
● hair loss
● aches

In the third stage of syphilis, most people do not experience any symptoms. Nearly 15% of untreated individuals progress to the fourth stage of syphilis, in which severe organ and brain damage can occur. If you are at risk or demonstrate any of the symptoms, it is necessary to be tested and to receive treatment as soon as possible. Early treatment of syphilis can be beneficial. Signs of the fourth stage of syphilis include:

● vision and/or hearing loss
● dementia
● paralysis
● blindness
● heart disease
● death

What is HIV? Is HIV the same as AIDS?

It’s important to note that while the two infections use similar testing methods, HIV is not the same as AIDS. HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) is a virus that can lead to AIDS (Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome) if left undiagnosed and untreated. HIV attacks a person’s immune system, making it difficult for them to fight off infections and diseases. People with HIV may not have any symptoms for years, but they can still pass the virus on to someone else through sexual contact or shared needles.

If you are worried about contracting HIV, it is essential to do your research and find a medical center, hospital or doctor’s office with the right safety protocols in place. For instance, when getting a body piercing, make sure that the facility is using sterile needles and other safety measures.

HIV can go unnoticed for a long time, but in the initial stages you may get flu-like symptoms such as:

● fever
● chills
● sore throat
● aches
● headache
● rash
● nausea

People living with HIV may endure long-term symptoms such as:

● headaches
● unusual fatigue
● fever
● diarrhea

If you are living with HIV, it is important to talk to your doctor to determine the best way to manage it. With the correct treatment, you can greatly reduce the risk of passing it to a sexual partner or a baby during pregnancy. By taking the appropriate steps, you can still have a long and healthy life.

What is Trich or Trichomoniasis?

Trichomoniasis, also known as “Trich”, is an STD caused by a parasite. It is one of the most common STDs in the United States, and it is estimated that over 3.7 million Americans have Trich. It is transmitted through unprotected sexual contact with someone who is infected with the parasite, and it can spread even if there are no symptoms present. If left untreated, it can lead to complications such as pelvic inflammatory disease and infertility.
If you have symptoms, you may experience:

● unusual discharge
● vaginal itching and irritation
● unpleasant smell
● pain while urinating
● pain during sex

Trich is treatable with medication, so it’s important to get tested as soon as possible. We offer convenient STD services so you can get tested and treated quickly and easily.

What is Herpes?

Herpes is an infection caused by a virus that can be spread through contact with an infected person. The most common types of herpes are HSV-1 and HSV-2. HSV-1 is usually associated with oral herpes, or cold sores, and HSV-2 is usually associated with genital herpes. Herpes is extremely contagious and can be transmitted through direct contact with the skin, including sexual activity or the use of items like towels or razors. It can even be passed on from a mother who is infected to her baby during labor.

The virus can stay in the body for a long time without any symptoms, but when it does show up it can be very painful. Some common herpes symptoms include:

● painful sores or blisters on the skin
● fever
● body aches
● swollen lymph nodes
● painful urination

Some people may not have any symptoms at all, or symptoms may be so mild that they go unnoticed.

No cure exists for herpes, but antiviral medications are available to decrease the severity and prevalence of outbreaks. These medications can help lessen the duration of outbreaks and reduce the chances of transmitting the virus to others. Additionally, those with herpes can take preventative measures, such as avoiding triggers that might cause an outbreak (e.g. stress or too much sun exposure) and practicing safe sexual intercourse.

Preventing the spread of herpes is important because the virus can be transmitted even if symptoms are not present. Utilizing condoms during sexual encounters and refraining from sharing personal items can reduce the risk of transmission. Informing sexual partners if you have herpes is also vital, as they may be at risk of contracting the virus.

What are Pubic Lice?

Another common STD is pubic lice, also known as crabs. These lice are small, insect-like creatures that attach themselves to the pubic hairs and lay eggs. Pubic lice are contracted through sexual contact and can cause intense itching and redness in the affected area. Treatment for pubic lice typically involves special shampoos or creams that kill the lice. Other symptoms of pubic lice include:

● itching in the genital area
● visible lice or nits (eggs) on the hair
● small red bumps or
● sores on the skin

In extreme circumstances, the lice can bring about a secondary infection because of scratching.

If you use creams or shampoos to treat pubic lice, it is important to read and follow the instructions and to treat all areas where lice may be found, such as the pubic area, thighs and underarms. Plus, any clothing, bedding and towels that have been exposed should be washed in hot water and dried on high heat to rid the infected areas of any living lice or eggs.

Is Hepatitis considered an STD?

There are five types of hepatitis, but the most common ones in the United States are A, B and C. This viral infection causes inflammation of the liver and can be contracted through a variety of means, such as viral infection, alcohol abuse and certain medications.

Hepatitis A is spread predominantly by coming into contact with contaminated food or water. Hepatitis B is most commonly recognized as an STD as it’s contracted through sexual contact and contact with any bodily fluids. Hepatitis C is generally passed on by contact with infected blood (mainly through using unclean needles). However, all hepatitis strains can spread through sexual activity.

People infected with hepatitis may experience these symptoms:

● fatigue
● nausea
● abdominal pain
● jaundice (yellowing of the skin and whites of the eyes)

Some people may experience no symptoms at all.

Hepatitis A and B are two of the most threatening strains, and the best form of protection is vaccination. Strains A and B are currently incurable, but there are antiviral medications accessible to treat the symptoms and reduce the spread to others. Unfortunately, there is no vaccine for hepatitis C, but it is treatable.

Learn more about AFC’s Hepatitis Testing Panels.

Less common STDs

With so many different STDs out there, it can be a challenge to keep up with them all. Here are some lesser-known yet extremely dangerous STDs:

● Scabies
● Chancroid
● Molluscum contagiosum
● Lymphogranuloma venereum

Lesser-known STDs are still prevalent and cause health issues every year. If you’re sexually active, it’s important to understand the associated risks of these four and other STDs. These diseases and infections can cause long-term health issues, such as infertility and more if they go untreated.