Are you sexually active? If yes, then when last did you get tested for HIV, syphilis, Human papillomavirus (HPV), gonorrhea, genital herpes, trichomoniasis, chlamydia, or sexually transmitted hepatitis B? Sexually transmitted diseases or infections are passed on from one person to another in contact with blood, semen, vaginal and other bodily fluids. Hopefully, you do get tested. Read on to discover five reasons why you should get tested for STDs.
In the United States, the incidence and prevalence of STIs are horrifically high, especially in the youth (15-24 years), so high that the government spends nearly $ 16 billion in direct medical costs alone. Did you know that 20% of the United States population, i.e., one out of five Americans contracted STI at a time in 2018?
Screening promotes early detection of disease which is essential for the prevention of serious complications associated with STDs: Undetected STIs can progress to infertility, pelvic inflammatory diseases, arthritis, ectopic pregnancy, heart diseases, and Cancer. Early detection also breaks the chain of transmission from person to person.
Here are four reasons why you should make it a habit to get tested for STDs if you are sexually active:
SOME STDs ARE ASYMPTOMATIC FOR A VERY LONG TIME
Don’t judge a book by its cover— The looks or composure of someone do not accurately define their STD status. This is because some STDs show no to little signs for a very long time after the contraction of infection. For example, HIV can go undetected for ages before it morphs into AIDS. Genital Herpes is also called silent herpes because it may never show itself but can be transmitted to your partner so as HPV (which causes cervical cancer) and trichomoniasis. Know that irrespective of how your partner looks, you should never overlook STI screening.
THE MORE SEXUAL PARTNERS YOU HAVE, THE HIGHER YOUR RISK
Although you can get an STI from sleeping with one person for one time, your risk of infection increases as the number of partners also increases. Two sexual partners mean double risk factor, three mean triple risk factors, and it goes on… Think about this: ‘’how many sexual partners do I have?’’ then estimate your risk of infection, thus the need to screen for STDs. Limit your sexual partners to protect yourself. Also, to avoid getting infected, you need to protect yourself by wearing a reliable condom that has been tested and FDA-approved.
STIs IS NOT ONLY TRANSMITTED VIA PENILE-VAGINAL SEX
Another reason why you should get tested for STIs is that it can be passed on through oral sex, anal sex, fingering, hand jobs, even kissing, and other wild things in bed. Many of the common STDs like herpes and syphilis can be transmitted through skin-to-skin contact.
STDs ARE MORE PREVALENT AMONG AFRICAN AMERICANS’ COMMUNITY.
STI rates of syphilis, hepatitis B, HIV, chlamydia, gonorrhea, herpes, and HPV are higher in African American communities than in any other community. One effective way for us to reduce the numbers or prevalence is screening for early detection.