Even though testing and treatment have made significant gains in recent years, sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) are still on the rise. In large part, you can attribute that to the fact that although people can test to find out their status more easily than ever before, many avoid it. Perhaps they think their risk isn’t high or they simply don’t want to know.
The issue, though, is that having an STD without being aware of it means you put any sexual partner(s) of yours at risk. In fact, that’s precisely why we offer walk-in and by-appointment STD testing at our SmartClinic Urgent Care locations in West Covina and Santa Clarita, California. Knowledge is power, especially when it comes to this aspect of your health, so we want to make it as easy as possible for you to get any tests you need.
Should you be tested for STDs? That depends on your risk level. Here, we look at the main risk factors for contracting an STD that indicate you should be getting periodic testing.
New or multiple partners
Each time you have intercourse with a different partner, you risk a new infection. This isn’t an insult to your partner. Many STDs come with no signs or symptoms, which means a person can transmit an infection they didn’t even know they had. (Add that to your list of reasons to get tested yourself.)
If you’re in a monogamous relationship, you can get tested once to make sure neither of you has an infection. But each time you’ve had sex with a new partner, you should get tested afterward to check for any diseases that may have been transmitted to you, even unwittingly.
Not using protection
Latex condoms help reduce your risk of sexually transmitted diseases. If you’re in a monogamous relationship, both of you have been tested, and you’re using another form of birth control or you’re ready to have a baby, you can skip the condom. But if you’re not 100% confident in your partner’s STD status, condom use provides an important layer of protection.
If you don’t consistently use a condom, regular testing can help you stay informed about your STD status.
Using shared needles to take drugs puts you at a greater risk for certain STDs, as does having sex with a partner who takes drugs intravenously. That’s because some STDs, like HIV and hepatitis B, can be transmitted through blood contact.
Even if you’re in a monogamous relationship or not sexually active at all, if you’re using these types of drugs, get tested regularly.
History of infections
Once you get an STD, it’s possible to get reinfected. The same goes for any partner of yours. That makes it all the more important to stay up-to-date about your current STD status so you can be informed moving forward.
If you think you might be at risk and want to find out if you have an STD, we’re here for you. For efficient, discreet STD testing, call us at either SmartClinic Urgent Care location to make an appointment, or simply walk in when it’s convenient for you.