STD (sexually transmitted disease) statistics are startling and should be taken as a warning to get tested. According to the American Sexual Health Association, every year around 20 million new STD cases are diagnosed in the United States. Around half of those cases are in people between the ages of 15–24; however, only about 12% of young people get tested. When you consider that most STDs don’t cause symptoms in their early stages, this means there are millions of people out there with no idea that they have an STD. They’re not getting treatment, and they’re putting their partners at risk.
Our team of physicians and clinical staff here at Calvary Urgent Care in Humble, Texas, offers confidential STD screening in a comfortable, nonjudgmental environment. If you haven’t been tested for STDs before, have a high risk of contracting an STD, or are concerned about your sexual health, make an appointment for testing today.
Human papillomavirus is the most prevalent STD in the US today. Around 80% of sexually active Americans will have an HPV infection at some point during their lives. Only a few strains of HPV are known to cause or genital warts or cervical cancer — most HPV viruses don’t cause any symptoms or harm to your overall or sexual health. Nonetheless, getting tested is critical to protecting your health.
Other common STDs include:
As mentioned, most STDs don’t cause symptoms in their early stages. The only way you can know for sure that you’re STD-free is to get tested. With effective preventive screening, you can get treated for most STDs before they can cause any symptoms, let alone cause long-term damage to your reproductive abilities and overall health.
STD risk factors
While everyone who engages in sexual activity has some degree of risk, some behaviors create a higher risk than others. For example, your risk of contracting an STD is higher if you:
- Have unprotected sex
- Have multiple partners
- Have a history of STDs
- Have been sexually assaulted or forced into sexual activity
- Abuse drugs or alcohol
- Inject drugs
- Take medication for erectile dysfunction
While vaginal and anal sex are most likely to spread disease, you can also contract an STD through oral sex.
Recommended STD tests
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) provide recommendations for STD testing. In summary, they advise that everyone should get tested for HIV at least once. Then, depending on your risk factors, you should be tested for other STDs annually or more frequently. Even if you’re in a monogamous sexual relationship, you should be checked occasionally to ensure you’re healthy.
Our physicians here at Calvary Urgent Care provide exams, testing, and STD counseling. They assess your risk and provide customized advice on which tests you should have and how often. For example, many women can have HPV testing when they have their Pap smear and well-woman exam.
Protect your sexual health
You can take steps to reduce your risk of sexual disease. You should always use condoms and dental dams with new sexual partners and only stop after both you and your partner are committed to monogamy and have been tested for all STDs.
Additionally, your lifestyle is your choice — and there is no judgment here at Calvary Urgent Care. But if you choose to engage in sexually risky activity or abuse drugs, you should get tested for STDs frequently. Not only will this allow you to get the treatment you need to protect your health, but it can help you prevent spreading the disease to your partner(s) as well.
If you’re concerned about STDs and want to learn more and/or get tested, give us a call at 832-680-2273 or make an appointment online today.