STD testing is not necessarily kitchen table talk, or even pillow talk, but if you and your partner are sexually active, you should have “The Talk” about getting tested.
Depending upon your sexual behavior, you may want to get tested more often than you think. When you are sexually active, there is a possibility that you can contract a sexually transmitted disease (STD).
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommend that sexually active individuals have regular STD testing performed to stay knowledgeable and healthy.
You should consider getting tested before being involved with a new partner, or at least every six months to a year.
Most STDs symptoms are unnoticeable, or don’t show for months, which means you could be living with the disease long before you even realize it.
You should get tested for STDs if:
You’re sexually active – This should go without saying, even if you are using protection, have only had one partner, or if you’re in a monogamous relationship.
You’re having unprotected sex – If you had or want to have sex without protection
You’re experiencing outbreaks – if you’re noting an outbreak of sores that could indicate you have herpes
You’re high-risk – If you or your partner has chronic or long-term infection
If you’re noticing symptoms – This is a good time to get tested and discuss next steps with a healthcare provider
The best reason to get tested for an STD is to prevent the spread to future partners. Most STDs spread easily, so if you are sexually active, you could be spreading a disease to your partner.
Some ways you can reduce your exposure to being infected with an STD include:
- Use latex condoms every time you have sex
- Avoid sharing towels, washcloths, and undergarments
- Wash before and after sexual intercourse
- Get vaccinated for Hepatitis B
- Consider not having sex-it is the best prevention method
Having an STD is a serious health risk and early detection is the best way to be treated rather than hoping it will eventually disappear on its own.
At AFC Urgent Care West Orange, we provide walk-in, confidential STD testing for patients who are sexually active and want peace of mind. We perform testing for various STDs including:
- Hepatitis C