What STDs Can be Detected by Blood Tests?

Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is for informational and educational purposes only. Please consult with your doctor for any medical advice or concerns.


Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) are a significant public health concern worldwide. These infections, also known as sexually transmitted infections (STIs), can cause serious health issues if left untreated. Early detection and prompt treatment are crucial for managing these infections effectively.

One of the essential methods for diagnosing STDs is through testing, and blood tests play a vital role in this regard. Let’s explore what STDs are and their common symptoms. We will also discuss which STDs blood tests can detect, and whether you should undergo testing.

Understanding STDs and Their Common Symptoms

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STDs are infections that are primarily spread through sexual contact, including vaginal, anal, and oral intercourse. Bacteria, viruses or parasites are usually responsible for these infections. Common STDs include chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis, herpes, human papillomavirus (HPV), hepatitis B and C, and HIV (human immunodeficiency virus).

Each STD can manifest with different symptoms, but some common signs of STDs include:

  1. Genital discomfort: Pain, itching, burning, or soreness in the genital area can be indicative of an STD.
  2. Pain during urination: Discomfort or pain while urinating may suggest an STD.
  3. Sores or ulcers: Open sores, warts, or blisters can be symptoms of various STDs. This is especially true for those found in the genital, anal, or oral regions.
  4. Flu-like symptoms: Some STDs, such as HIV, may cause flu-like symptoms shortly after infection. These symptoms include high fever, fatigue, and swollen lymph nodes.
  5. Unusual discharge: Abnormal vaginal or penile discharge can be a sign of infection.

What STDs Can Blood Tests Detect?

Blood tests are valuable tools for detecting certain STDs and monitoring their progression. Blood samples are taken from the patient and sent to a lab for testing. The STDs that can be detected through blood tests include:

  1. HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus): Blood tests can detect HIV. These blood tests look for antibodies produced by the immune system in response to the virus. Early detection is crucial for effective management and treatment.
  2. Syphilis: Blood tests are effective in diagnosing syphilis. The tests can detect antibodies against the bacteria responsible for syphilis (Treponema pallidum). Syphilis can lead to severe health complications if left untreated.
  3. Hepatitis B and C: Blood tests can identify the surface antigen of hepatitis B. They can also detect the antibodies of hepatitis C virus. Hepatitis B and C can cause liver damage if untreated.
  4. Herpes: Herpes can also be diagnosed through physical examination or swab tests of the affected area. However, blood tests can also detect antibodies to the herpes simplex virus (HSV). These tests can determine if a person has been exposed to the virus, even if they are not experiencing active outbreaks.

Who Should Undergo Testing?

Regular STD testing is essential for anyone who is sexually active, as many STDs can be asymptomatic or have mild symptoms. Consider the following guidelines for STD testing:

  1. Sexually Active Individuals: If you are sexually active, particularly with multiple partners or new partners, regular STD testing is crucial. It helps ensure your sexual health and that of your partners.
  2. Pregnant Women: Pregnant women should undergo STD testing as part of their prenatal care. This is because some infections can be transmitted to the baby during childbirth.
  3. High-Risk Groups: People in high-risk groups should undergo testing more frequently. High-risk groups include men who have sex with men (MSM), those with a history of intravenous drug use and STDs.
  4. Individuals with Symptoms: If you experience any symptoms of an STD, seek medical attention and get tested promptly.
  5. Partner Notification: If you receive an STD diagnosis, you should inform your sexual partners. They can then undergo testing and receive appropriate treatment.


STDs can have serious health consequences, but early detection through testing is key to preventing complications and ensuring optimal health. There are plenty of STD clinics in Singapore that provide affordable and anonymous testing.

Treatment Options for Herpes


While there is no cure for herpes, various treatments are available to manage its symptoms and reduce the frequency of outbreaks:

  1. Antiviral Medications: Antiviral drugs like acyclovir, valacyclovir, and famciclovir can be taken orally or applied topically to the site of the infection to help alleviate symptoms, shorten the duration of outbreaks, and reduce viral shedding.

  2. Pain Relief: Over-the-counter pain relievers, such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen, can help alleviate discomfort and pain caused by the sores.


Understanding herpes and taking preventive measures is crucial to managing the infection and reducing its impact on your life. If you suspect you have herpes or experience symptoms, get tested for herpes simplex virus in Singapore by consulting a healthcare professional for proper diagnosis and guidance on managing the condition effectively. 

Disclaimer: We have attempted to provide full, accurate and up to date information in this blog, based on current medical evidence and opinion. However, information and advice may vary from different sources, and over time. If you have any further questions, see your doctor for a more accurate diagnosis of your concerns.

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Frequently Asked Questions


When should I go for STD screening?

You should consider screening if you have symptoms of a possible STD, if you have had a recent risky exposure (unprotected sex with a casual partner), or both.

Can I get STDs from oral sex?

Yes, you can. The common misconception is that oral sex is not considered ‘real’ sex and therfore has no risk but the opposite is true. Often oral sex is performed without protection and this is why infections such as chlamydia and gonorrhoea can pass on through oral sex.

Can STDs be cured?

Thankfully the majority can be cured but there are some such as Herpes and HIV that can be treated but not cured. This is why prevention is better than cure and ensuring safe sex goes a long way to reduce your risks.

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