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How Often Should I Get Tested for STDs?

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How Often Should I Get Tested for STDs?

STDs are common

They are so common that 19 million new cases are reported each year in the US. By age 25 it is estimated that 1 in 2 sexually active people will get one or more STDs. Why are they so prevalent? There are many reasons. One is that STDs often don’t show symptoms and many people that are infected don’t know it. Because they don’t know they continue to pass them on to their partners. The good news is that all STDs are treatable and many are curable once they are detected. But the only way to know for sure is to get tested for STDs.

 

Should I Get Tested for STDs?

If you are sexually active – yes. Some sexual behaviors can increase your risk of getting a STD, but anyone who is or has been sexually active, including oral sex, is at risk. As we mentioned, many people have a STD and don’t know it. If you have one and don’t get treatment you are putting yourself at risk for other health issues that can affect both men and women. Without treatment certain STDs can cause infertility (the inability to have children) and some can increase the risk for getting cancer. Having a STD can also increase your the chances of getting HIV or other STDs if you engage with an infected partner.

It’s also important to know how the testing works. Just because you have an annual check-up with your doctor and they run blood tests doesn’t mean that they are checking for STDs. You also need to know there isn’t one test that checks for all STDs. You need to be tested for each one separately. So as you talk to your doctor or health care provider be honest about your sexual history and decide which STDs you should be tested for.

 

How Often Should I Get Tested for STDs?

While there are no hard and fast rules for testing, there are some common sense recommendations that should guide you. If you’ve never been tested and are or have been sexually active you should get tested. Getting tested before you begin a new sexual relationship is also a good idea. We also recommend that you talk to your partner about getting tested as well. Determining you are STD free without making sure your partner is just doesn’t make sense. We also recommend getting tested if you feel you have been exposed to an STD. If you are infected, your health care provider will recommend the right treatment. Once you are tested and treated we recommend a client be retested 60-90 days later. Some people like to be retested every 6 months, even if they are in a committed monogamous relationship. We think that is a good practice. After all, better safe than sorry.

 

PRC STD Services

Currently at PRC we are able offer free testing and treatment for Chlamydia and Gonorrhea and can have results in 10-14 days. We are excited that beginning in 2015 in addition to Chlamydia and Gonorrhea, we will also be equipped to test for and treat Syphilis, and HPV (Venereal Warts). If drugs are available, we will be providing treatment for Bacterial Vaginosis, Genital Herpes, Genital Warts, Trichomoniasis, Vulvovaginal Candidiasis, and Pediculosis Pubis. We will also be providing HIV Prevention Counseling as well as providing HIV testing for any client. PRC is expected to contact the Department of Health to provide post-test counseling to HIV-positive clients.

 

Schedule An Appointment

If you think you might be at risk for a STD you can give us a call at 814-234-7341 or visit our medical services page and fill out the form on the right. And remember, at PRC our services are free and confidential.*

 

* While most of our services are completely confidential, there are some regulations that require us to share some information if you are seeking STD testing. If you seek STD testing and treatment at our clinic, we are required to share your identifying information with the Department of Health, as is any medical facility testing for Sexually Transmitted Infections. Please bring a form of identification with you to your appointment.

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