Do you need STD testing?

STDs are one of those “little problems” nobody likes to talk about. We all know that STDs are running rampant among the teenage population, but did you know they’re very common among adults, too? As a walk-in lab that offers STD panels, we’re often quizzed by others trying to gauge their risk. So if  too are trying to figure out if you’re “safe” or if you should get tested – here are some handy rules to live by…

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No matter how old fashioned you may be, don’t assume you don’t need STD tested.

When to get STD Tested

Generally, I encourage anyone who’s had multiple sexual partners to get tested yearly. We take a simple non-invasive cheek swab or blood sample. The results will give you either peace of mind or awareness that you need treated for a sexually transmitted disease. You especially need tested once, possibly yearly, if:

1. You’ve been with someone with an STD.

This one’s pretty straight-forward. You get an STD by sleeping with someone who had an STD. So, if your sexual partner has notified you that they have an STD, it’s best to go ahead and get tested. Several STDs can be cured with prescription medication.

2. You’ve slept with multiple people.

Another reason STDs are common is because of the … let’s just call it inter-breeding. When individuals have multiple sexual partners, their risk for STDs greatly increases. If you’re not in a monogamous relationship, consider adding an STD panel to your yearly round of tests to keep yourself well.

3. You’re not 100% certain your sexual partner doesn’t have an STD.

Even if you’re getting married or in a committed relationship, it’s a good idea to get you and your partner tested for STDs. That way you can know with 100% certainty that neither one of you has an STD (and will not be transmitting it to the other.) If you cannot say for sure that you don’t have an STD, you need to be tested.

4. You’ve used intravenous drugs.

Some STDs, such as HIV, can come through drug use. If you’ve used intravenous drugs, consider a rapid HIV test to determine if you’ve been infected with this disease.

5. Your spouse has had an extra-marital affair.

Nobody likes to think about this – cheating is emotionally hard enough. However – if your spouse has cheated on you (especially multiple times) – consider getting an STD test. The reason is pretty self-explanatory.

6. You’ve been involved in a male homosexual relationship.

Homosexual men are at a high risk of HIV/Aids. That’s why we encourage anyone who’s engaged in these relationships to get tested for HIV. There are medications available in the event the result is positive that can lessen symptoms and further exchange of the disease.

Learning about STDs? Visit this helpful STD resource site.

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