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All You Ever Wanted to Know About STD Testing

Author : Kemble
Publish Date : 2021-02-26 09:20:18
All You Ever Wanted to Know About STD Testing

Obviously, abstaining from sexual activity is the only guaranteed means of avoiding sexually transmitted diseases. However once having made the choice to participate in sexual relationships one must commit to understanding how STD testing works in order to most effectively protect one's health.

Routine, routine, routine

Unless symptoms appear, heterosexual men are not urged to receive routine STD tests. On the other hand, men who have sex with other men should receive yearly STD tests. On the other side of the gender divide, women are prompted to receive a yearly pap smear. A pap smear tests the cells from the cervix and can detect cancer resulting from a human papillomavirus (HPV). Also for women, STD testing is important for a woman's reproductive health and if untreated, both gonorrhea and Chlamydia can cause infertility.

Regardless of gender, the presence of blister/sores on or unusual pain or discharge from the genitals is always an indication to have an STD test. However, health care professionals and organizations such as the CDC promote routine HIV/AIDS testing and the frequency of STD testing should increase if and or when an individual increases his/her infection risk (i.e. unprotected sex with multiple partners).

You have the Power

 

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Not all doctors perform the same STD tests, so the responsibility is all yours. In other words, do not be embarrassed and talk with the doctor/nurse so that all of your health needs can be met. Testing positive for any one STD, particularly gonorrhea or Chlamydia indicates susceptibility for other infections, so be sure to be tested for syphilis, hepatitis, and HIV/AIDS.

It is also important to know that genital herpes and HPV are the most common STDs and the trickiest to determine. As it stands, doctors cannot provide patients with accurate screening for genital herpes. A doctor can take a blood test or sample tissue from a visibly infected sight but results may not be beyond question. Testing for HPV becomes a problem with women under 30 years of age with healthy immune systems, since HPV infections can clear up on their own, rendering testing/treatment useless and unnecessary.

Money, money, money

Though not everyone living in the United States has health insurance and not all insurers cover STD testing, money should no deter anyone from receiving the appropriate services. Organizations like Planned Parenthood centers provide sexual health services for little or no cost.

The Aftermath

We must all accept the fact that even with the most thorough STD testing and contraceptive use nothing is guaranteed and there are both practical and emotional procedures to follow. Practically, one must undergo any and all related tests and treatments and most importantly, reveal to all past partners that their status is in question. After testing positive, particularly for incurable STDs like genital herpes and HIV/AIDS, one will feel a range of emotions, including guilt, shame, and maybe even doom. All of these feelings are normal and perhaps one can take solace knowing that millions of people are having similar experiences and can offer support. Most STD testing facilities offer information about counseling and support groups.



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