According to the World Health Organization, over 1 million sexually transmitted infections are acquired each day across the globe. Those numbers are staggering, which is why STD and STI testing is vital.
Sexually transmitted diseases are quite common, and it’s essential to keep yourself protected—especially when you’re sexually active. With STIs and STDs running rampant, you can’t have the “it’ll never happen to me” mentality.
With that in mind, take a look at the information below to learn the importance of STD and STI testing.
The Difference Between an STD and an STI
You may have heard both STD and STI used interchangeably. Although the two are similar, they also have their differences. The acronym STD stands for Sexually Transmitted Disease.
On the other hand, STI is short for Sexually Transmitted Infection. An STD is the progressed form of an STI. However, most STIs are symptomless.
The Importance of STI Screening
As you may know, sexually transmitted diseases are serious. Of course, some are milder than others, but no matter which disease it is, all of them require medical attention. Here’s why STD and STI screenings are essential:
STIs are Common
The truth is, if you are sexually active, it is possible to get an STI. That is true even if you’ve only had been with one partner and used a condom. Per the CDC, there are 20 million new cases of STIs every year.
STI Screening Is Accessible
There are many places that you can go to get screened for an STI. Testing is easy and quick. You can go to a free clinic in your area or simply visit your doctor’s office. There may be other health organizations that offer testing in your city as well.
No Symptoms for Chlamydia and Gonorrhea
Just because you’re not experiencing symptoms, doesn’t mean you don’t have an STI. Diseases like Chlamydia and Gonorrhea are usually symptomless. You can’t always rely on symptoms to alert you. In fact, Chlamydia is known as the silent infection.
Furthermore, lots of women don’t realize they have Gonorrhea. In most cases, they mistake it for a vaginal infection or bladder infection.
Early Detection Is Key
Sexually transmitted infections can cause problems in other areas. STIs that go untreated could trigger pelvic inflammatory disease, scarring, as well as infertility. Actually, it leads to fertility issues in both men and women.
The Importance of STD Testing
Sexually transmitted diseases could lead to serious or fatal outcomes if they’re not treated. Furthermore, you can pass along an STD to your sexual partner if you don’t know that you have one.
As a result, they can also spread it to other people. Testing is the only way to truly know whether you have an STD. Again, some people don’t have symptoms, so they’re unaware. Regular screenings help to stop the spread of STDs and prevent severe illnesses.
Testing can be done in many ways, and it’s a simple process. You may need to provide urine, blood, saliva, or semen for testing. A physical exam may also be performed to diagnose STDs like genital warts and herpes.
Who Needs STI and STD Testing?
There are a number of different individuals who need regular STD testing. If you’re on the fence about whether you should get STD and STI testing, here’s a list of individuals who need it most:
Sexually Active Teens and Adults
Any person between the ages of 13 and 64 years old should get at least one HIV test. For women who are sexually active and under the age of 25, testing should be done annually. It’s important that females under 25 are screened each year for Gonorrhea and Chlamydia.
Also, women over 25 need annual screenings for Gonorrhea and Chlamydia as well. But that’s only if they have a new sex partner, a partner with an STD, or multiple sex partners.
Gay and Bisexual Men
Men that are in this category should get screened once a year or more for Chlamydia, Syphilis, and Gonorrhea. For those who have multiple sex partners, testing every 3 to 6 months is ideal. It’s also beneficial for gay and bisexual men to get HIV tests every 3 to 6 months as well.
Pregnant women should get HIV screenings, as well as tests for hepatitis B and Syphilis. It’s important that they receive these screenings early in their pregnancy. Women who are at risk for STDs like Gonorrhea and Chlamydia also require screenings early in their pregnancy.
The test should be repeated throughout the term in order to protect the health of the mom and baby.
Individuals who share needles or practice unsafe sex require yearly HIV screenings. Those who have multiple sex partners, sex without a condom, or anal sex should have regular screenings.
STDs respond best to early treatment. Also, some sexually transmitted diseases are completely curable with proper treatment and early detection.
The purpose of early screening is to start treatment before the disease gets worse or spreads to others.
If you believe that you have an infection, “If you believe that you have an infection, getting an STI test to check is a good idea.
The Benefits of STD and STI Testing
As you can see, STD and STI testing is extremely important. Not only does regular testing keep you aware of your sexual health, but it also helps to prevent future issues.
The good news is, testing for STIs and STDs is affordable and quick! Everyone can take advantage of it!
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