STD Testing is Vital for Overall Health
For anyone who is sexually active, taking precautions to protect against sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) and sexually transmitted infections (STIs) is extremely important. Even if you are in a committed relationship, an underlying disease could be lurking without ever showing any symptoms before causing irreparable damage. STD testing is the only way to know for sure if you have or have not been infected.
The bacteria and viruses causing the infections are easily transmitted through any sexual contact with skin, genitals, mouth, rectum or bodily fluids. Risks of infection increases if you have more than one sexual partner; a partner has multiple sexual partners; you engage in sexual activities with a person who has an STI; you have a history of STIs; you use intravenous drugs or engage in sexual activities with an individual who does.
The most common STIs encountered are chlamydia, gonorrhea, genital herpes, HIV, HPV, syphilis, trichomoniasis, and hepatitis B. Those that are caused by bacteria can be treated and cured with antibiotics, although certain strains of gonorrhea have become more resistant, making treatment difficult. The infections that are caused by a virus are not able to be cured, but the symptoms can be treated.
Understanding your risks is simply one piece of the prevention puzzle. Getting tested is essential as it allows you to receive treatment right away. If an STI or STD is left untreated, it could lead to serious health problems, like cervical cancer, infertility, organ failure, heart disease, death, and more. Testing is quick and discreet and as simple as a mouth swab or urine sample. Plus, the sooner you know your status, the sooner treatment can begin. These tests are not typically performed at a regular doctor appointment, so be sure to ask for one directly. Even if you do not have any symptoms, or your partner is not exhibiting any signs, it does not mean you are in the clear. Keeping yourself in the dark could be endangering not only your health, but that of current and future sexual partners.
Your sexual health is just as important as any other aspect of your wellbeing. Take control and get tested today. Be confident in knowing your status and receive any treatments you may require to protect your future health.