Sexually transmitted diseases, or STDs, are a major health concern that’s on the rise with chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis showing a significant increase since 2021 with a total of 2.5 million cases of all three in that year alone. In many cases, you may not realize you have an STD, which increases the risk of you giving it to someone else.
Different groups of people can have risk factors for different diseases, so to understand more about the type and frequency of your STD testing, let’s examine the common diseases to look for, the factors that determine which you should be tested for, and how often you should get tested.
There are a lot of STDs out there, but these are among the most common:
The tests you should get depend on your age, gender, and sexual orientation. Guidelines to follow include:
Anyone in this wide age group should be tested for HIV at least once in their lifetime.
If you’re a sexually active woman under 25, gonorrhea and chlamydia testing is highly recommended annually. If you have multiple partners, they should be tested as well.
You should be tested for STDs like syphilis, HIV, hepatitis B, and hepatitis C early in your pregnancy to reduce the risk of passing any of them on to your child.
You should be tested for syphilis, chlamydia, and gonorrhea annually. HIV should be tested for every six months, and if you have HIV, you need a hepatitis C test annually.
If you engage in risky sexual behavior, you’re most vulnerable to HIV, although it also increases your risk for many other STDs. If you’re participating in this lifestyle, get tested annually.
Other specific situations like oral or anal sex require rectal and throat testing for various STDs.
There are many STDs you could end up with if you’re not careful, so practicing safe sex and getting regular screenings can make a huge difference in keeping yourself and your partner safe.
For questions or concerns about sexually transmitted diseases, make an appointment with the medical team at Michigan Avenue Primary Care today. Call our office or schedule your visit online.