It’s an unfortunate fact that if you’re sexually active, you’ve likely been exposed to an STD. You may be thinking about getting tested, but, let’s be real—it can feel embarrassing. However, you should never feel ashamed for taking charge of your health!
Today, we’re exploring 4 reasons why you need to get tested for STDs. Keep reading to learn more!
- Not All STDs Have Symptoms
Many people don’t even realize they have an STD because they don’t experience any symptoms. For example, up to 75% of women with chlamydia are asymptomatic. It’s very easy for infections to go unnoticed until a partner is diagnosed or if complications arise later on.
The sooner you get tested, the better. Certain infections, like HIV, are much easier to treat when caught early. Early intervention can decrease your risk of developing AIDS and other serious conditions. Additionally, by getting tested and treated, you do your part to keep them from spreading to other people.
- They’re More Common Than You Think
STDs are quite common, especially among young people. In 2020 alone, more than half of reported STD cases were among teenagers and young adults from ages 15–24. The CDC estimates that 1 in 5 people has an STI. If you’re sexually active, there’s a chance you’ve been exposed to an STD at some point, whether you realize it or not.
- They Can be Transmitted Through Different Forms of Contact
If you’ve never had vaginal intercourse, you may think you’re safe from STDs. However, some STDs can be spread through other forms of contact, such as anal sex, oral sex, or kissing:
It’s worth getting tested even if you haven’t had any intimate sexual contact with your partner. This will help prevent any infections from spreading further and allow you both to get the care you need!
- They Can Cause Lasting Damage to Your Reproductive Health
When left untreated, certain STDs (such as gonorrhea and chlamydia) can lead to Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID), an infection of a woman’s reproductive organs. PID is known to increase the risk of ectopic pregnancy and even infertility.
PID can be treated when discovered early, but treatment can’t reverse the damage it’s already done. If you’ve had PID before, you’re at higher risk of getting it again. Additionally, it can return if you get reinfected with an STD.
How Often Should You Get Tested for STDs?
If you’re sexually active, it’s crucial to get tested regularly to protect your health! The CDC recommends that:
- Sexually active teens and adults (from age 13 onward) should be tested for HIV at least once a year.
- Sexually active women should be tested for gonorrhea and chlamydia once a year, especially if they have multiple sex partners or a partner (whether past or present) who has tested positive for an STD.
- Pregnant women should be tested for syphilis, HIV, hepatitis B, hepatitis C, chlamydia, and gonorrhea early in pregnancy. Repeat testing may be needed in some cases.
STD Testing and Treatment in Vista, CA
Looking for STD testing and treatment in Vista, CA? Look no further than Pathway Health Clinic! We offer confidential no and low-cost STD & STI testing and treatment, no insurance needed!
Give us a call at (760) 945-4673 or request an appointment online today.
- Patel, C. G., Trivedi, S., & Tao, G. (2018, September). The Proportion of Young Women Tested for Chlamydia Who Had Urogenital Symptoms in Physician Offices. U.S. National Library of Medicine. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6823598/
- Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research. (2021, September 21). Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). Mayo Clinic. Retrieved from https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/sexually-transmitted-diseases-stds/symptoms-causes/syc-20351240#
- U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. (2022, October 21). Early HIV diagnosis and treatment important for better long-term health outcomes. National Institutes of Health. Retrieved from https://www.nih.gov/news-events/news-releases/early-hiv-diagnosis-treatment-important-better-long-term-health-outcomes
- National Overview of STDs, 2020. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2022, April 12). Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/std/statistics/2020/overview.htm#Disparities
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2021, February 18). Sexually Transmitted Infections Prevalence, Incidence, and Cost Estimates in the United States. Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/std/statistics/prevalence-incidence-cost-2020.htm
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2022, April 12). Syphilis – CDC Detailed Fact Sheet. Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/std/syphilis/stdfact-syphilis-detailed.htm#
- Oral Herpes. Johns Hopkins Medicine. (2021, August 8). Retrieved from https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/conditions-and-diseases/herpes-hsv1-and-hsv2/oral-herpes#
- World Health Organization. (2022, March 10). Herpes simplex virus. World Health Organization. Retrieved from https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/herpes-simplex-virus#
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2022, April 12). Human Papillomavirus (HPV). Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/std/hpv/stdfact-hpv.htm#
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2022, April 18). Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID). Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/std/pid/stdfact-pid.htm#
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2021, December 14). Which STD Tests Should I Get? Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/std/prevention/screeningreccs.htm#