By Lead writer: Louise Sloan
February 29, 2016

STD testing centers and doctors' offices in the U.S. are lately making the switch to testing men for gonorrhea and chlamydia through urine samples instead of the painful swabbing of the past—and it may be among the most significant developments in the way that STDs are screened nationwide.

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What's different is not just that the new tests are easier than the old ones—"Men didn't like it and docs didn't like to do it," says H. Hunter Handsfield, MD, a clinical professor of medicine at the University of Washington in Seattle and a nationally recognized STD expert—but also that there is an increased focus on testing men.

"Historically, screening was targeted at women," explains Dr. Handsfield. That's because women tend to suffer more serious health consequences from STDs, in addition to the discomfort of the men's tests.