Let’s face it. Thinking you might have an STD is scary. With just 29% of primary care doctors available to patients after-hours, you may panic at the thought of waiting to be tested. Luckily for you, there are more options available, such as urgent care services, that can test you when your doctor cannot. Here are some common questions often asked by those who think they may have an STD along with informative answers.
I just had unprotected sex. How soon will I know if I have an STD?
There is no way to tell if you have contracted an STD during intercourse unless you are tested because many STD infections are asymptomatic. The better question is how long after you’ve had unprotected sex until you start to see and feel symptoms. The answer to this varies depending on the disease and could take anywhere from a few days to a few years to start showing. For discretion, testing at urgent care locations is available to find out your status.
Is it possible for my partner to be unaware that they have herpes and give it to me?
While some people recently diagnosed with herpes may not be truthful to their partners about knowing their status, it sometimes may be true. Infections do not always have symptoms, and many doctors do not always perform blood tests for herpes. Often times, people are not tested until they specifically ask their physicians.
I’ve already had unprotected sex. Is there any point in using a condom now?
Contrary to belief, sleeping with someone who has an STD does not mean that you too will contract the disease. It is true that your chances of infection are increased, but it is not guaranteed that you will get it as well. It is always best to practice safe sex each time you have sex, no matter if you’ve previously had unprotected sex or not.
Do I have to tell my partner I have an STD?
Letting your partner know if you have an STD is the recommended thing to do. Not doing so can potentially lead to a lawsuit in which you will have to consult a sex crime attorney for legal advice. While lifelong STDs, such as HIV or herpes, are not always deal-breakers for some people, but lying about having the disease usually is. It is best to visit an STD testing site together so that you both are aware of each other’s statuses at the same time.
Sometimes, your doctor may not be available to answer some of the above questions. When that happens, you have the option of visiting a walk-in medical clinic whose wait times are often 20 minutes or less and have copays of $35 to $55. Urgent care clinics are also an option if you are looking to be discreet. To ease your mind and have confirmation of your status, get fast STD testing and do so on a regular basis while sexually active.