Sexually transmitted diseases are incredibly common, affecting some one million diagnoses around the world each day. In fact, it’s more likely that you’ll develop one than not at some point in your life. Routine STD tests, as well as additional tests when you’ve had unprotected sex, can help ensure that you get the care you need if or when you develop an STD and ease your mind if you don’t.
Dr. Asrar Sheikh and the expert team at Family Urgent Care in Schererville, Indiana, and the Lincoln Park neighborhood of Chicago, Illinois, can provide you with STI and STD testing. Read on to learn more about these common conditions and if you might want to schedule a test.
STDs are illnesses caused by viral and bacterial infections that are transmitted during vaginal, anal, or oral intercourse. You might also hear them referred to as STIs, or sexually transmitted infections, although they aren’t quite the same thing. When such an STI leads to complications, it’s considered an STD.
Many types of STDs exist. Some of the most common include:
- Hepatitis B
- Human papillomavirus (HPV)
- Genital warts
The STI, human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), is also quite common and can lead to the STD, AIDS.
Who gets STDs?
If you’ve been sexually active or sexually assaulted, you could acquire an infection that leads to an STD. In the US alone, more than 20 million STDs cases are reported each year, with 50% of those affecting teens and adults under 25.
Thankfully, effective safer sex practices can help lower your risk substantially from these diseases. Even so, just as wearing a helmet doesn’t ensure that you won’t potentially get hurt while riding a bike or skiing, using protection does not mean sex is completely devoid of any risk—especially if you or a partner have had multiple partners.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends:
- HIV testing for all adolescents and adults, ages 13-64, at least once a year
- Chlamydia and gonorrhea testing for women under age 25, every year
Chlamydia and gonorrhea testing for women age 25 and older who have new or multiple partners, every year
- HIV, hepatitis B, and syphilis testing for pregnant individuals, starting in early pregnancy
- Chlamydia, gonorrhea, HIV, and syphilis testing for all gay and bisexual men at least one a year
- Testing for STIs more frequently if you have multiple or anonymous partners or had unprotected sex or shared injection drug equipment
How do I know if I have an STD?
The only way to know if you have an STD or STI is by getting tested. The quick and routine test may include a urine test, a cheek swab, or a prick of your finger for a blood test. If your test comes back positive, Dr. Sheikh will recommend treatment. Several STDs, including chlamydia, gonorrhoea, syphilis, and trichomoniasis are curable. Viral STIs, such as herpes, HIV, and hepatitis B, are not curable, but they can be well managed.
The sooner you receive proper diagnosis and treatment, the better, so don’t delay your next test. Learn more by calling Family Urgent Care or booking an appointment through our website.