Part of defining and managing your overall picture of health involves a commitment to reproductive health. The health consequences of ignoring your sexual health are severe, whether you have one partner or many sexual partners over your lifetime. Sex is a healthy part of adult life and screening for sexually transmitted diseases can keep you safe.
Great City Medical is dedicated to normalizing sexual health, helping to destigmatize reproductive and sexual health care through a variety of birth control, family planning, and other health services. One of those areas is testing for sexually transmitted diseases.
Who should get STD testing?
Anyone who is sexually active, monogamous or not, should receive regular STD testing and screening to ensure that a wide range of issues are diagnosed early and treatments provided. This isn’t just an issue of public health. It’s a vital part of your overall health picture and could have a profound impact on your life if you allow stigma to prevent you from seeking and receiving care.
A clinic setting can be intimidating, but doctors and healthcare providers are here to help you make the best decisions for your health. Those decisions are always better when you have all the information you need.
Why should I get an STD test?
STD prevention begins with a clear and open plan to keep you safe and healthy. We must normalize STD testing for the reproductive health of young people as well as older populations. Together, our prevention efforts can help everyone participate in healthy sexual activity while staying safe.
Many STDs are not only preventable but easily treatable the earlier you catch them. Sexually transmitted infections like gonorrhea or chlamydia grow progressively worse and more aggressive the longer a patient waits before treatment, so regular STI testing is a vital part of catching issues early on.
What about HIV testing?
HIV is another issue that’s more manageable the earlier you’re able to diagnose it. Regular HIV testing is a vital part of community health care, and the health consequences of waiting for that diagnosis can be severe both for you and your community.
The stigma surrounding more serious sexually transmitted diseases like HIV may have prevented people from getting tested in the past. Still, healthcare organizations, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), are working to remove the barriers to testing. Regular STD testing allows everyone to take control of their sexual health.
How often should I get tested?
It’s essential to get yourself tested at least once a year, even if you’re in a monogamous relationship. The practice of including testing in your yearly checkups provides you with a greater picture of your overall health.
If you change sexual partners or begin a relationship with someone new, getting tested can also help keep open communication channels and allow you to make decisions about your relationship and activities with the best information possible.
Young adults in the dating world are particularly susceptible to sexually transmitted diseases, but anyone who is sexually active can be at risk. The sex-positivity movement has done a lot to reduce the embarrassment surrounding regular STD testing, and people should take advantage of low-cost or free testing that many health centers provide.
The STDs that we test for at Great City Medical include
- Herpes I
- Herpes II
- Hepatitis A/B/C
Taking control of your sexual health
Don’t fear those test results. The more knowledge you have, the more power you gain over your overall journey for health and wellbeing. It’s so important to take advantage of your local health department and health centers for all your healthcare needs, including sexual health.
The more you normalize STD testing, the better able you are to be open with your partners. Begin to demand your partners receive regular testing as a prerequisite for your activity together to show them and the world that you value your overall health.
If you are looking for a primary care doctor to talk about this, you’ve come to the right place!