If you’re sexually active, you should get tested for STIs regularly. This is extremely important and necessary for your own health and the health of those you come in contact with. Many STIs have no symptoms and go untreated, which can lead to serious health issues. Taking responsibility for your health is not something to be ashamed of. In this day and age, we can move past the stigma of having “clean” or “unclean” test results. Many STIs can be cured with antibiotics and it’s often not the end of the world if you end up having one. There are many people living with STIs that aren’t curable. If this is you, your healthcare provider will guide you.
Not everyone is aware of what a full STI screening entails. I wrote some tips below to get you started.
*This website does not provide medical advice. What you read is for informational purposed only. Always seek the advice of your qualified healthcare provider.*
— Get tested for Chlamydia and Gonorrhea. These serious infections may show no symptoms at first. Later, if not treated, they can cause pain and serious health issues. They can be cured with antibiotics. They’re tested through swab collections/urine tests. The swab is used on the penis or cervix. Make sure to get a swab test in your throat too. Most people are unaware of the throat swab and end up having contagious throat STIs that go untreated. If you have anal sex, make sure to also get an anal swab test.
— Get tested for HIV.
— Get tested for Syphilis. It can be cured with antibiotics.
— Get tested for Trichomoniasis. It can be cured with antibiotics.
— Get tested for Hepatitis A, B, & C. Check your vaccine status for Hep A & B. If not treated, they can lead to serious health issues.
— Genital herpes - report genital warts/sores to your doctor. Infections are usually confirmed through lab tests. Genital herpes cannot be cured, but your healthcare provider can provide treatment and ways to take care of yourself during outbreaks.
— HPV - some types of HPV cause cervical cancer and other types cause genital warts. You can have HPV with no symptoms. The virus usually disappears in two years. For individuals with male sex organs, HPV is diagnosed by visual inspection or biopsy of genital warts. For individuals with female sex organs, HPV testing involves getting a regular exam and pap test. Check the status of your HPV vaccine.
Be open and honest when talking with your sexual partners and healthcare providers about STIs. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Sexual health isn’t about being clean or dirty - it’s about being responsible or irresponsible.
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