Testing & Vaccination
What's Inside ?
Screening helps in avoiding complications due to infections, protect your sex partners and prevent further transmission. The type of tests you need to undergo vary depending on your age, sexual activity and exposure to risk.
Untreated STIs are the leading cause of preventable infertility.Some strains of HPV increase your risk for cervical cancers. Syphilis may cause heart, brain or kidney damage. STIs affect pregnancy differently ranging from abortions to stillbirth.
Pap tests also known as Pap smears look for cell changes in the cervix which lead to cervical cancer caused by HPV. It doesn’t diagnose HPV. Hence, it is important to explicitly ask for an STI test.
Who should get tested?
- Anyone who is sexually active especially if you have never been tested before or if entering a new relationship.
- All sexually active women younger than 25 years should be tested for gonorrhoea and chlamydia every year.
- Women 25 years and older with risk factors should also be tested for gonorrhoea and chlamydia every year.
- All adults and adolescents from ages 13 to 64 should be tested at least once for HIV.
- All pregnant women should be tested for STIs
- Injection drug users using shared needles
Where can I get myself tested?
- Suraksha clinics are government-run centres for diagnosis and treatment of STIs free of cost.
- You can also walk into a diagnostic centre and ask for the tests prescribed by your doctor.
- You can use the home test kit by Proactive and get yourself tested at the convenience of your home.
- It is a three-dose series and is recommended for pre-teens and young women who are sexually active.
- Any sexually active women can decide to get vaccinated after consulting the doctor based on their risk and exposure to HPV infections
- The vaccination is less effective in older age people since they might have already been exposed to the virus.
- The vaccines available in India are Gardasil by Merck and Cervarix by Glaxo Smith Kline.
- Gardasil by Merck – The vaccine dose is 0.5 ml and is given to the muscle in the hand or thigh. A total of three doses at 0, 2 and 6 months are recommended.
- Cervarix by Glaxo Smith Kline – The vaccine dose is 0.5 ml and is given to the muscle in the hand or thigh.The recommended timeline is minimum interval of 4 weeks between the first and the second dose, 12 weeks between the second and third dose and 24 weeks between the first and third dose
- The vaccination is usually given in the arm.
- It is a three-dose series with the first one given within 24 hours of birth. The additional 2 doses are given at 1 month and 6 months of age. It’s an injection that’s given into your muscle.
- It is recommended for all infants, children and adolescents under 19 years of age who have not been vaccinated.
- A booster is a dose that increases the effectiveness of the vaccination. It’s highly recommended to any one in healthcare or with a high risk. You can take the booster doses at any point in your life.