It’s something everyone should take seriously: sexual health. In fact, the centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that more than 20 million new sexually-transmitted diseases are diagnosed every year. This means you are at high risk of contracting an infection or virus if you have unsafe sex (sex without a condom), especially with multiple partners. If you are sexually active, particularly if you are not in a monogamous relationship, it’s important to practice safe sex. This means regular condom use every time you have sex. According to the CDC, regular testing for sexually-transmitted diseases is one of the most important things you can do to protect your health. STDs can pass from one person to another through body fluid exchange, usually through blood, semen, pre-ejaculatory fluid, and vaginal fluids.
It is an uncomfortable topic for many, but a physician will provide instructive counseling on what you can do to continue to protect yourself from STDs, through safer sex. You should know, too, that many STDs have no symptoms until they are at an advanced stage, and you cannot usually tell you are infected until it is too late.
Of course, the best way to protect yourself if through abstaining from sex, but abstinence is not realistic for many adults. Instead, you should always use protective barriers, particularly, condoms. However, you should be aware that condoms may not protect against all sexually-transmitted infections. This is why it’s extremely important to get tested regularly, and have your partner be tested if you are starting a sexual relationship with someone new.
STD Testing Guidance
Per the CDC, here are simple, easy-to-follow recommendations for STD testing frequency:
- Any time after having unprotected sex with a new partner.
- You should be tested for HIV at lease once between the ages of 13 and 64.
- Sexually-active females under the age of 25 should be tested for gonorrhea and chlamydia annually.
- Women over the age of 25 who have high risk factors (such as multiple sex partners, or a sex partner diagnosed with an STD), should be tested for gonorrhea and chlamydia annually.
- All sexually-active men who have sex with other men (MSM) should be tested at least once a year for chlamydia, syphilis, and gonorrhea. If you are MSM and have anonymous or multiple partners, you should be screened about once every 3-6 months.
- All pregnant women should be screened for HIV, syphilis, and hepatitis B. At-risk pregnant women should also be tested for chlamydia and gonorrhea in the early stages of pregnancy.
- Anyone who engages in unsafe sex should be tested for HIV at least once per year.
What Are the Risk Factors for Getting an STD?
The following puts you at a higher risk of contracting an STD, and if you have one or more of these risk factors, you should be tested right away:
- Having unprotected sex
- Having sex with multiple partners
- Past STD infections
- Your partner has an STD
Primary Care Associates of Texas Provides 100% Confidential STD Testing
Our doctors provide STD testing and counseling for sexually active adolescents and adults in a 100% confidential, judgment-free environment. We are your advocates for sexual and overall health. Even if you have a positive result for an STD, we will encourage you not to feel embarrassed or ashamed – in fact, 50% of adults will contract an STD by the age of 25, per the American Sexual Health Association, so you are not alone.
Need quick, private STD testing in a supportive atmosphere? Come to the Primary Care Associates of Texas in Fort Worth. Call us to make an appointment at or book your appointment online.