STD Screening Clinic Singapore | Shim Clinic

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STD Screening Clinic Singapore: Private and confidential service. Definitions, references, and latest news.

What is STD?

STD is an abbreviation for “sexually transmitted disease”. A disease is an infection, which is symptomatic. It is more important to know if a person is infected or not, rather than if a person is symptomatic or not. Thus, a more appropriate term is “sexually transmitted infection”, or STI.

What is a STI?

An STI is an infection, which is mainly transmitted via sex. The flu virus may be transmitted while having sex, but that isn't its main mode of transmission.

What is sex?

Sex is having any part of the penis inserted into the vagina, anus, or mouth of another person. Or cunnilingus.

What are the common STIs?

They are viruses, bacteria, and parasites:

  • HPV (human papillomavirus)
  • Genital herpes
  • Chlamydia
  • Gonorrhea
  • HIV (human immunodeficiency virus)
  • Syphilis

HPV (human papillomavirus) is a virus. After infection, 3 to 6 months later, at the points of sexual skin contact, like the penis, pubic area, vagina, anus and mouth, there may appear growths called genital warts. Of the many types of HPV, some may cause cancer of the areas affected. The cancer risk is highest for the female cervix, when compared to other areas.

Genital herpes is an infection caused by a virus, called herpes simplex virus or HSV. After infection, 1 day to 2 weeks later, at the points of sexual skin contact, like the penis, pubic area, vagina, anus, and mouth, there may appear blisters and ulcers.

Chlamydia is caused by a bacterium called Chlamydia trachomatis. After infection, 1 to 3 weeks later, while urinating, there may be an irritation. Also, there may be a grey to green discharge.

Gonorrhea is caused by a bacterium called Neisseria gonorrhoeae. After infection, 1 day to 2 weeks later, while urinating, it is usually painful. Also, there is usually a thick yellow discharge.

HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) is a virus. After infection, 2 to 4 weeks later, there may be symptoms of acute HIV infection. Which are usually fever, malaise (general discomfort), muscle pain (myalgia), rash, headache, night sweats, sore throat, swollen lymph nodes, joint pain, and blocked nose.

Syphilis is caused by a bacterium called Treponema pallidum. After infection, 9 to 90 days later, at the point of sexual skin contact, like the penis, vagina, anus and mouth, there may appear a chancre, which is a painless ulcer.

Do I have an STD?

Having no symptoms does not mean no STD. Get tested NOW: STD Testing

classification and terminology

  • Sexually transmitted disease
    (STD) – refers only to infections that are causing symptoms.

  • Sexually transmitted infection
    (STI) – refers to infection with any germ that can cause an STD, even if the infected person has no symptoms.

  • Venereal disease
    (VD) – term used before the 1990s.

  • Genitourinary medicine
    (GUM) is an expanding specialty which is primarily related to the treatment and prevention of sexually transmitted infections (STIs).

  • Sexual health is a state of physical, emotional, mental and social well-being in relation to sexuality; it is not merely the absence of disease, dysfunction or infirmity.
    Sexual health requires a positive and respectful approach to sexuality and sexual relationships, as well as the possibility of having pleasurable and safe sexual experiences, free of coercion, discrimination and violence.
    For sexual health to be attained and maintained, the sexual rights of all persons must be respected, protected and fulfilled.

  • Sex or “sexual activity” means — (a) sexual activity occasioned by the introduction into the vagina, anus or mouth of any person of any part of the penis of another person; or (b) cunnilingus.

Venereal |
Genitourinary |
Urogenital |
Genital |


Disease Organism Incubation Symptoms Investigation
HIV infection Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) 2-4w 50% None,
50% Flu-like:
acute seroconversion syndrome
HIV test
Asymptomatic phase
8y average
Hepatitis B Hepatitis B virus (HBV) 40-160d Flu-like:
prodromal phase
icteric phase
Genital herpes Herpes simplex virus (HSV) 1d-2w Multiple painful blisters & ulcers HSV Serology
Genital warts Human papillomavirus (HPV) 3-6m Cauliflower growths HPV test
Molluscum contagiosum Molluscum contagiosum virus (MCV) 2-7w Pearly growths Histology
Syphilis Treponema pallidum 9-90d Chancre:
1° syphilis
VDRL test
RPR test
TPHA test
FTA-Abs test
2-6m Rash:
2° syphilis
<1 year Asymptomatic:
early latent
>1 year Asymptomatic:
late latent
5-10 years Benign gumma,
Cardiovascular syphilis,
3° syphilis
Gonorrhoea (UK)
Gonorrhea (US)
Neisseria gonorrhoeae 1d-2w Urethral 90%,
Cervical 50%,
Pharyngeal &
Rectal 10%:
pain & discharge
Gram-negative intracellular diplococci smear,
Gonococcal culture,
Gonococcal PCR
Chlamydia infection Chlamydia trachomatis 1-3w Pain & discharge Chlamydia PCR
Trichomoniasis Trichomonas vaginalis Female: foul discharge & itch
Male: urethritis
BD Affirm™ VP III
(Yeast infection)
Candida albicans Female: cheesy discharge & itch
Male: rash
BD Affirm™ VP III
Pubic lice
Scabies Sarcoptes scabiei

Sexual risk (of HIV/STD/pregnancy), and what you can do before and after exposure.

Timeline HIV STD Pregnancy
Before exposure
Abstain from sex, Be faithful, or Condom use
Circumcision (males only)
(females only)
HIV PrEP (pre-exposure prophylaxis)
– Stop HIV infection before exposure
STD vaccine:
Hepatitis vaccine
HPV vaccine
STD / HIV exposure
Unsafe sex / unprotected sex:
No condom / Condom broke / Condom slip
0-72 hours HIV PEP (post-exposure prophylaxis)
– Stop HIV infection after exposure
STD testing *
Screening test
– to look for asymptomatic infections
– from previous exposures
Emergency contraception
with the
morning-after pill
(females only)
2 weeks HIV DNA Test
1 month HIV 4th Generation Test
SD Bioline HIV Ag/Ab Combo
– Fingerprick blood sampling.
20 minutes to results
3 months HIV 3rd Generation Test
OraQuick® HIV-1/2 Antibody
– Oral fluid or
– Fingerprick blood sampling.
20 minutes to results
STD testing *
– Full & comprehensive
diagnostic test
– to look for current infections
Watch for HIV Symptoms STD Symptoms
If infected HIV Treatment STD Treatment Abortion

* Males: Do not urinate for at least 4 hours before arriving.
* Females: testing is more accurate when you are not menstruating.

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