Many people are uncertain or unaware of their current sexual health status for a variety of reasons, ranging from fear of receiving unpleasant news to a lack of access to proper medical care. Regardless of their reasons, it is clear that more people should get regular STD screenings.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that approximately 20 million Americans are infected with an STD every year, and that half of those affected were between the ages of 15 and 24. Is it possible that you fall somewhere within this demographic? In order to better determine your STD status, it might be helpful to ask yourself the following questions:
1. If you’re sexually active.
Are you sexually active, and if so did you use proper protection during intercourse? The CDC recommends that all sexually active individuals receive annual STD screening or tests for infections such as chlamydia, gonorrhea and syphilis in order to maintain ideal sexual health. This is doubly true if you have had a recent sexual encounter where a condom, dental dam or other barrier protection was not used. Failing to use protection exponentially increases your risk of contracting an STD, and because many STD victims exhibit no symptoms, you may be living with one without realizing it. For this reason, early detection and regular check-ups are key.
2. If you have STD symptoms.
Are you experiencing unusual symptoms such as itching, burning and swelling? In instances where STD symptoms are present, you should note the following signs: genital warts and sores, discharge from the penis or vagina, and a burning sensation during urination. Should you exhibit any or all of these symptoms, then it is possible you have an STD. Once again, it should be noted that many STDs do not exhibit such effects, so you would be well advised to get an STD screening or consult with a trained medical professional in order to determine whether you may be carrying an STD.
3. If you think you have an STD.
If you believe you have an STD, the first step is to get yourself tested. Once you have determined which test or tests you will need, you can then visit one of the test centers near you. The best thing about same-day test centers is that the visits are a few minutes in length, so you won’t have to be subject to long hospital wait times. The results are usually available within 24-48 hours after your visit and can be emailed to you with the utmost privacy and discretion in mind.
Having an STD doesn’t have to be anything to be ashamed of, so long as you take the proper steps to ensure the well-being of both yourself and your partner. The first step to doing that is to get an STD screening today.