Being sexually active puts you at risk for becoming infected with a sexually transmitted disease (STD). In most cases, young people and gay and bisexual men are the main demographic of those at risk of getting infected.
Many don’t get tested for STD because regular visits to the doctor don’t occur, they might be embarrassed at the possibility of having an STD, or they are not experiencing symptoms of a specific disease so they don’t know they should get tested.
It’s important to get tested for STDs to not only protect yourself, but to also protect your partner. Getting a diagnosis can alert you to an infection or disease you may have not known you contracted. Being infected with an STD is not immediately noticeable, but can be treated early on with regular testing.
An STD left untreated can cause many medical conditions such as pelvic pain, blindness, or the risk of more severe STDS such as HIV and herpes. Getting an STD also causes issues when it comes to reproduction, such as an inability to have children, stillbirths, or birth deformations.
One of the biggest steps in STD prevention is offering more access to screenings and treatment. With the growing numbers of individuals with an STD, local and state STD programs are cutting their budgets for STD treatment. Budget cuts and reducing overall access to treatment makes it difficult to offer preventative services. While many cases go undiagnosed and untreated, it’s important to put more emphasis on using protection, getting tested regularly, and seeking treatment if the test results are positive.
If you are sexually active, you should consider getting tested at least twice a year, or when you have a new partner. You should also get tested regularly when your partner is at high risk, or has a chronic long-term infection.
At AFC Urgent Care Portland, we highly recommend individuals who are sexually active to have regular STDs screenings. We offer testing for STDS such as gonorrhea, syphilis, chlamydia, herpes, HIV/AIDS, Hepatitis C, and HPV. Our walk-in clinic offers discreet STD screenings, deliver quick results, and can give you treatment and advice on preventative measures.