Dos And Don’ts of STD Testing: Part 2
In the first part of this series, we discussed some critical dos and don’ts to consider when getting tested for STDs. But there is so much more to know about staying sexually healthy and responsible. Here are some more STD testing dos and don’ts to keep in mind.
- DO: Get tested between sexual partners – This is one of the most important steps to take to fully ensure that any infections you may have won’t be passed on to your next partner, who could then keep passing it on to their future partners. If you’re often getting involved with multiple partners, Buzzfeed recommends using protection every single time. You also shouldn’t assume that if you have one slip up with unprotected sex, the damage has been done. Dr. Peter Leone, medical director at the North Carolina HIV/STD Prevention and Control Branch, says, “It’s better to use a condom some of the time than none of the time.” That being said, you should always make a concentrated effort to use protective measures like condoms, even if you’re in a monogamous relationship.
- DON’T: Skip an HIV test – Even though HIV can take up to three months to show up on a test, the CDC recommends everyone to get tested at least once in their life, typically between the ages of 13 and 64.
- DO: Get annual chlamydia and gonorrhea tests if you’re a woman under the age of 25 – This may seem redundant if you’ve been with the same person for a year, but the fact is that a huge percentage of chlamydia cases occur in women under the age of 25, according to Buzzfeed. “The vast majority of chlamydia infections occur in women under 25 and [they’re] often completely symptom-less, so it’s best to just cover your bases…Also, most men aren’t getting screened for chlamydia, so if you have a male partner (even if you’re sure you’re both monogamous), it’s still wise to be tested every year.”
- DON’T: Ignore your urgent care options – An estimated three million patients visit an urgent care center each week, and urgent care walk in clinics are fantastic resources for receiving both information and actual testing. Not only that, but it’s generally much more cost-effective than other testing options.
Ultimately, your sexual health is no one’s responsibility but your own. Knowing these dos and don’ts regarding STD testing can help you make the right choices now and in the future.