Dos And Don’ts of STD Testing: Part 1
If you’re sexually active, the fact is you run the risk of contracting STDs. And unlike the common cold, of which Americans get approximately one billion each year, STDs often show zero symptoms whatsoever, That means only surefire way you’d ever know you had one was through the testing process. Here are some dos and don’ts to keep in mind when considering taking an STD test for men or women.
- DO: Start getting tests after your first sexual encounter – This is absolutely critical to maintaining your overall sexual health. Buzzfeed says, “STIs can be spread through oral, anal, and vaginal sex — and sometimes just through skin-to-skin genital contact (which is the case with HPV and herpes) or sharing sex toys. So if you’re engaging in any activities that can result in transmission — even if you think your partner is STI-free — it’s time to talk to your doctor about which tests you should be getting.”
- DON’T: Think minors need their parents’ consent to get tested – The CDC has ruled that minors are allowed to consent to their own sexual health services regarding STDs anywhere in the United States. However, you should be aware that some private insurance companies do send statements regarding services and medical bill benefits to your listed address. But this should never deter you from talking to your doctor or visiting one of the 6,800 urgent care centers in the U.S. if you think you’re at risk.
- DO: Know your cheap STD testing options – Some insurance policies only cover what are considered “screenings” for certain STDs, but if you’re already experiencing symptoms or may have a higher risk, it’s generally coded as a “test” and covered by insurance. Gettested.cdc.gov is also a great resource for finding information about how to take a free STD test for men or women.
- DON’T: Hesitate to get tested if you’re having symptoms – Even though many STDs don’t have any immediate symptoms, it’s still critical to get tested as soon as you feel like you may be at risk. The absolute worst thing you could do for yourself and any of your sexual partners is let a potential STD or STI go untreated.
Ultimately, these are just a few dos and don’ts to keep in mind regarding STD tests. Keep an eye out for the next post, where we’ll discuss even more critical dos and don’ts that are imperative to taking care of your sexual health.