STD Testing: What is the Right Choice For You?
The spread of sexually transmitted diseases (STDS) is still a major global health concern, meaning regular STD screening is essential to a person’s overall health. Yes, it is can be an uncomfortable subject for some people to discuss, but it cannot be ignored or brushed aside. When it comes to STD testing, there are different methods and types available, and it is important to find what works best for your unique situation.
Medical research and science can certainly do a lot for people, but only if they are able to actually make use of it. If you are concerned about your sexual health, or you just want to make sure everything is okay, there are plenty of options to suit your needs, and our team at Hope Across The Globe is always here to help. If your STD screening comes back with positive results, there are also a variety of STD treatments that can be discussed with a medical professional.
Continue reading to learn more about STD testing and why it is important for your overall health.
What is an STD?
The term sexually transmitted disease, or infection, relates to a large variety of diseases, parasites, and infections that are typically passed from an infected person to a recipient during sexual activities. This does not just include vaginal intercourse, as even saliva can be a carrier for some sexually transmitted diseases.
Symptoms and severity range drastically for STDs, depending on the one in question, and some can end up being lethal. By this point in time, HIV and AIDS are common knowledge around the world, and they are a very real threat if you do not take the time to protect yourself. There is still no known cure for AIDS, but medical science can do things to prevent HIV from progressing to AIDS in certain situations.
Who Should be Tested?
In a perfect world, anyone who has ever been sexually active should get an STD screening on a regular basis. It never hurts to know you are safe, especially if you are not in a monogamous sexual relationship. There are some specific groups of people that may require STD testing more urgently than others.
Women who are sexually active and under 25 should be tested regularly, along with women of any age who are pregnant. Men and women who have multiple partners, regardless of protection, should also keep it on their schedule. Men or women who engage in anal sexual relations need to be cautious, and HIV testing is recommended.
Symptoms That Indicate You May Need STD Testing
While symptoms can range in severity, there are a number of issues both men and women need to keep aware of. Any burning or pain caused by sexual intercourse or urination typically indicates something is wrong, along with any strong discharges or odors. Certain STDs may also appear as warts, bumps, or sores around your genitals, which can also be painful.
But I Have No Symptoms!
Pleading ignorance won’t do you any favors when it comes to contracting a sexually transmitted disease. Not every person who is infected will show symptoms, regardless of the STD, but can still easily pass it on to others. The only way to ensure that you do not have any sexually transmitted diseases is to talk to your medical provider about routine STD screening.
Some of these diseases and viruses can lay dormant for extended periods of time, including HIV, and suddenly go active with no warning. A person could be infected with an STD for years, passing it on unknowingly to partners, thus creating a chain reaction of infections.
STD Rates Are Steadily Increasing
The World Health Organization (WHO) states that there are more than one million transmissions of STDs, globally, on a daily basis. That means, in three years, roughly one billion separate STD infections. That is a very scary number to look at, considering contracting certain sexually transmitted diseases, like syphilis and gonorrhea, can actually increase your risk of being infected with HIV.
In reality, the only way to get these numbers down is to get more people aware, get them talking about it, and get them tested. Everyone can do their part to help stop the spread of sexually transmitted diseases and infections across the globe, and it can be as easy as getting a simple test.
Four Types of STD Screening
Until you talk to a medical professional about your unique situation, you will not know what type of STD test you will require. Barring some very unique circumstances, STD tests are usually done by analyzing samples of different bodily fluids. There are four different types of tests available, with one being used far less frequently than the others.
The three most common types of STD testing are swabbing, drawing blood, and testing urine. There is a lot that can be learned about a person through these means, including a potential STD diagnosis and hopeful STD treatment. If you go to your doctor with specific symptoms, they may order one specific type of test, if not, they may choose to do all three for various results.
Hearing the term ‘spinal tap’ typically makes most people uncomfortable, let alone actually having to get one. Although it sounds extremely painful, a lumbar puncture would be necessary if certain STDs found their way to the spinal column or brain stem. Under normal circumstances, a person would need to have a long-term, severe infection for it to spread to that part of the body.
It Always Pays to Play it Safe When It Comes To Your Sexual Health
Everyone has their own unique take on sexual health and relationships, yet there are some things that every person should have in common. Awareness, education, destigmatization, and widely available testing for sexually transmitted diseases are goals that everyone should share, as everyone should care about their sexual health and that of their partners. If you take the risk of sexually transmitted diseases seriously, it can only be good for you and your loved ones overall.
There is no shame in talking to a medical professional about real medical issues, and STD treatment, screening, and prevention are some of the most important issues around. To find out more about STD testing and more information about sexually transmitted diseases, be sure to get in touch with our team at Hope Across The Globe. Our professional, friendly, and knowledgeable staff can help you with any questions or concerns that you might have.