Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs)-also known as sexually transmitted infections (STIs)-are common amongst sexually active individuals. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, an estimated one in five people has an STD on any given day. Given the prevalence of STDs, being aware of how, when, and why to get tested is important information for any sexually active adult.
Why STD Testing is Important
While getting STD testing may not be your preferred way to spend your time, it is imperative to ensure you (and your sexual partners) stay healthy now and for the long term. Many STDs can be asymptomatic (not cause symptoms) for months or years-so in many cases, you can't tell if you have an STD based on how you feel or look. The only way to know for certain if you have an STD is to get tested.
If you do have an STD, finding out can ensure you get the proper treatment as soon as possible. Some STDs can cause major health problems over time (e.g., infertility, cancer, or blindness), even if you feel perfectly healthy right now. And if you do have an STD-whether you are experiencing symptoms are not-you can spread it to any sexual partner, putting others at risk.
Getting tested for STDs can provide you with peace of mind. And if you do test positive, you can begin treatment right away to minimize or prevent future complications. Not only that, but it's also the right thing to do to take care of yourself. Most STD testing is quick and painless and won't take up too much of your day.
Safe sex practices, such as wearing a condom, paired with regular STD testing, allow you to take control of your sex life. Armed with the STD information you need to keep yourself healthy, you're empowered to make informed choices about your sex life and sexual health.
When to Get Tested For STDs
If you are sexually active and in a non-monogamous relationship, it's important to get tested for STDs regularly. Knowing exactly when to get tested can help you get an early diagnosis so you can begin treatment as early as possible to prevent complications from STDs.
While it may seem prudent to get tested immediately following a sexual experience with a new partner or after unprotected sex, STDs tend to have an incubation period, delaying how long it takes for symptoms to appear after your exposure. It can take some time for positive STD test results to show up.
Aim to get tested within a few weeks after unprotected sexual activity or STD exposure. Annual STD testing is recommended for people who are at high risk of STDs, such as those who have sexual partners with an STD, people who do not practice safe sex with condoms, and those who share needles with others.
How to Get Tested For STDs
With an abundance of STD testing clinics in the United States, it's never been easier to get tested for sexually transmitted diseases. Through contracts with lab companies throughout the United States, STD Labs offers STD testing at locations throughout the country. We are committed to providing you with confidential, speedy, and affordable STD testing service.
Tests are available for Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C, HIV (both conventional and rapid tests), chlamydia, gonorrhea, herpes, syphilis, and tuberculosis (TB). Visit our website to select a location near you from one of our 4,500 FDA-approved and CLIA-certified labs in the U.S.