Test methods

What are sexually transmitted diseases?

Sexually transmitted disease (STDs), commonly known as venereal diseases, are infections that are spread primarily through person-to-person sexual contact including vaginal, anal and oral sex. The organisms causing STDs can also be spread through non-sexual means such as blood transfer. Common STDs such as chlamydia, gonorrhoeae, hepatitis B, HIV, HPV, HSV2 and syphilis—can also be transmitted from mother to child during pregnancy and childbirth. Around one million people worldwide develop sexually transmitted diseases every day, and most of them do not have any symptoms at an early stage.

More than half of those tested for STDs were infected with a single and multiple disease sources. During the incubation period, the source of STDs will be easily transmitted to sexual partners, thus causing multiple infections.

What causes the sexually transmitted diseases?

Chlamydia can survive for about 30 hours and invade the body through mucous membranes. Not only will it affect the sexual organs and reproductive system which causes pain, but it may also spread to other organs, resulting in complications, infertility and even death.

Ninety percent of women with chlamythetic infection and fifty percent of men with chlamythetic infection do not appear with significant symptoms in the early stages. STD pathogens such as Trichomonas vaginalis, Mycoplasma Genitalium, Urealyticum, Ureaplasma and Herpesgenitalis usually lurk for a long time before the disease develops. People infected with such STDs will unconsciously transmit the pathogens to their sexual partners during this incubation period.

What happens if sexually transmitted diseases are not treated?

People tend to overlook the asymptomatic pathogens when they’re co-infected with symptomatic ones. While the ones with symptoms are treated, the asymptomatic ones are usually left unnoticed, leading to serious consequences, e.g., premature labour, still-births, pelvic inflammatory disease, prostate cancer, eye infection in new-born baby, infertility etc. If not treated properly, some STIs can lead to serious health problems and increase your chances of getting HIV by 300 times#.

What is the test for?

This test detects a wide range of STD pathogens (including Trichomonas vaginalis, Chlamydia trachomatis, Neisseria gonorrhoeae, Mycoplasma genitalium, Mycoplasma hominis, Urealyticum, Ureaplasma parvum, HSV1/2, HPV 6/11) with the use of PCR and “Flow through” hybridization.

Who should consider the test?

Sexually active individual
People who have unprotected sex
People who have multi sex partner
People who have persistent STD infection
People who start sexual activities at an early age
People who use alcohol or drugs

Test Specifications

Test Code Methodology Specimen Requirements Turnaround Time
ST8 DNA Flow-through hybridization Genital specimen in 20 mL ThinPrep or 10 mL SurePath; or swabs; or urine 3 working days
ISP DNA Flow-through hybridization Self-sampling device 3 working days

Sample requirements and handling instruction

Sample Type Pre-sampling Preparation Sample Collection
Urine Patient is advised not to urinate for at least two hours prior to specimen collection Collect 10 - 30 ml of first void urine in a clean container and close tightly
Swab No particular requirement Dacron-, rayon- or calcium alginate-tipped plastic or non-aluminum swabs can be used
Liquid-based cytology specimen No particular requirement Samples should be collected using a cervical broom and placed in liquid-based cytology preservative

Storage and Transportation Conditions

Sample should be stored at 2 - 8oC (for urine and swab) and room temperature (for Liquid-based cytology specimen)
Sample may be stored at room temperature for up to 8 hours during transportation

Rejection Criteria

Sample without proper labeling
Sample not in requested format or insufficient quantity
Sample in expired container
Container leakage
Sampling date is more than: 14 days for liquid-based cytology specimen; or 7 days for urine / swab specimen
Test request form without / with mismatched patient identification information

Factor(s) known to affect results

Improper collection, handling and storage of specimen
Inadequate specimen
Infection status
Presence of inhibitor


  1. # FHI : https://www.fhi360.org/sites/default/files/webpages/Modules/STD/s1pg12.htm