Though the term STDs (sexually transmitted diseases) is gradually getting phased out in favor of STBBIs (sexually transmitted or blood-borne infections), some stigma and uncertainty regarding this testing remains. However, it is essential that individuals who are sexually active get tested for these infections. Here’s a closer look at why sexually active individuals should consider getting screened at .
Many people assume that they don’t need to get tested because they haven’t noticed any unusual symptoms. However, many of the most common STBBIs, such as human papilloma virus (HPV) chlamydia, and gonorrhea are often asymptomatic. Symptoms may not even exist in the first place, or they may be so mild that they go unnoticed or are mistaken for other minor infections.
The problem, of course, is that these infections can quickly worsen, resulting in more severe health consequences. Gonorrhea can damage the reproductive system, increase one’s risk of contracting HIV, and even lead to brain or heart infections. Chlamydia increases a woman’s risk of pelvic inflammatory disease and can cause severe scarring that leads to infertility.
Worse yet, those who are sexually active can easily spread these infections to their partners. Though you may not have experienced any symptoms yourself, your partner could quickly develop noticeable signs of infection.
The Need For Treatment
STBBIs can have permanent health consequences — but if the issue is detected and treated early on, the more severe outcomes can be avoided. When caught early on, many of these diseases can be completely cured with antibiotics. Such treatments won’t merely help you avoid the worst possible consequences of an STBBI — they will also ensure that you don’t spread the disease to anyone else.
Though some individuals may feel nervous about going to a clinic for STBBI screenings, the reality is that most testing is relatively non-invasive. In addition to blood tests, most diseases can be detected through either a urine test (for men) or a vaginal swab (for women). Test results can often be provided in a matter of days so you can quickly take action should treatment be needed.
Your Personal Responsibility
If you are sexually active, you have a moral responsibility to ensure that you aren’t putting your partner at risk of contracting disease. By undergoing routine screenings and receiving treatment when necessary, you can ensure better personal health while also avoiding the challenges and conflicts that could arise if you were to infect another person.