- If you have a regular physician
- Your insurance coverage
- Whether you are comfortable talking to your doctor about sex
- If your doctor is comfortable dealing with sexual issues in his or her clinical practice.
- The laboratory options your physician has available for STD testing
Some advantages to going to your regular doctor for STD testing and treatment include:
- Working with a physician who is familiar with you.
- Easy access to your medical records making it simpler to integrate STD testing and treatment with the rest of your medical care including potential medication interactions or allergies.
- Worries about being stigmatized by visiting a STD free clinic.
On the other hand, depending on how comprehensive your insurance coverage is, visiting your doctor for STD treatment and testing can be quite expensive. Not only might you have to pay a co-pay, but not all insurance covers preventative screening if you don't have symptoms. Your doctor might also not have access to some of the more convenient urine tests for certain STDs, or he might not realize they are available.
Some advantages to visiting an STD free clinic for testing and treatment include:
- Access to a wider range of STD testing options than are available in many private medical offices.
- Medical providers who specialize in STDs and are up to date on current STD treatment regimens.
- A greater probability that some form of rapid testing will be available so that you can be treated with greater speed.
- Doctors who are comfortable dealing with sexual issues, and who will not let an STD diagnosis affect your care.
Although no doctor should ever do this, it does sometimes happen. Doctors can be just as ignorant about STDs as laypeople, and have been known to make it quite difficult for people to receive proper treatment in their offices after a highly stigmatized diagnosis. It doesn't happen often, and it is usually illegal, but that doesn't get the patient any better care. This sort of discrimination is less likely to occur in an STD free clinic that specializes in sexual health care
Whether you're looking for regular, preventative STD screening, or testing and treatment because you have symptoms, both your local STD free clinic and your regular doctor can be great options. Which option is right for you will vary depending on the situation, but the important thing is that you get good care.