With the rising trend of Sexually Transmitted Diseases, it has become incumbent on all to break the audacity with which these illnesses spread, especially as the young in the affected areas are rapidly falling to the morbidity induced by STDs.
Sexually Transmitted Diseases have sapped a lot of resources from governments; for example, it is estimated that 16 billion US dollars go into direct costs arising from STDs in the United States annually. Not only do financial resources go into combating these severe diseases, the impact on individuals and communities where there is a prevalence in the rate of STDs is usually overwhelming, as economic activities crumble, relationships become strained, and stigmatization and discrimination strongly take over the feeling of empathy and care for victims of STDs.
Indeed, there is so much to STDs than mere illnesses. The morbidity they carry along is greater than the activity they came through. Therefore, it behooves everyone to be geared toward fighting this menace to a standstill.
Though yet to be perfectly dealt with, strategies which have been instituted to achieve this long-term aim are working gradually. One of those tactics is testing for STDs. Testing for STDs is an all-important step needed to arrest the incessant spread of the diseases and to keep safe from the health complications arising from non-treatment.
The popularity gained by condoms and contraceptives among sexually active persons younger than 40 also accompanies STD testing. Casual sexual activities are high-risk behaviors that can expose a person to sexually transmitted infections/diseases. In effect, the decline in advocacy for an abstinence-only sexual behavior is a clear indication that as early as age 15, an average American teenager has become initiated into sexual intercourse such as vaginal, anal, or oral sex. Therefore, it is worthwhile to unabashedly emphasize the importance of testing for STDs for at-risk persons.
Who Should Get Tested?
At-risk persons should get tested. They include:
- Persons who presently have, or have had more than one sexual partner
- Men who have sex with men
- Sexually active persons who often have sex without condoms
- Pregnant women
- Those who have had sex with persons from an STD-endemic region, with or without condoms
- Sexually active women under 25
- Those who have been accidentally exposed to STD infected blood and blood products
- Victims of rape or forceful sex
When Should You Get Tested?
You should get tested as soon as possible. Early detection takes 100% care of the infection and makes treatment effective. Get tested
- When you have been exposed to risks that could get you infected with an STD
- When you are showing symptoms of an STD
- When your sexual partner has been tested positive for an STD
- When your sexual partner has symptoms that show an STD
- When you have met someone new and engage in a sexual relationship
- If you have unprotected sex most of the time
- If you are a person who injects drugs
- If you have more than one sexual partner
- If you reside in an STD endemic area and are sexually active
Where Can You Get Tested?
STD clinics, otherwise known as Sexual Health or Genitourinary Clinics, are the conventional places for the prevention and treatment of STDs. One of their core services includes testing for STDs. STD clinics are favored for the ease in accessing them and the expert care they offer at an affordable rate.
However, with cuts in budgetary allocations to states, regions, and countries, STD clinics within some communities have closed down, making it difficult for people in such places to access testing/screening services. Also, some patients do not readily disclose their sexual orientations and behavioral lifestyles which are part of the vital information needed for quality healthcare delivery. Some clinics do not have trained and well-equipped primary care providers to provide quality health services to patients who desire to be tested and counseled as well.
The most desirable and effective way to get tested for an STD without hassles is by using home testing kits. Unlike STD clinics, these kits can be used within the comfort of one's home without having to sit long hours in a doctor's waiting room. The result of the test usually comes out within minutes with an accuracy level that is undebatable.
The test samples for home testing are drops of blood or urine. Also, the result of your test can be discussed with a healthcare provider over the phone without the discomfort of face-to-face conversations. This convenient method has proven to be cost-effective and very easy to use.