For individuals who are sexually active and have multiple sexual partners, there are two very important rules. First, you ensure that you use protection. Second, as a precautionary measure, ensure that you get yourself regularly tested for STIs. There are chances that you might be carrying a Sexually Transmitted Disease, without being aware of the fact. With many sexually transmitted diseases, there are no obvious signs and symptoms making it extremely hard to detect without regular tests. So getting checked on a regular basis is recommended for the sexually active.
All Sexually Transmitted Diseases are extremely infectious. Of the many possible STDs that individuals may contract, Herpes, Chlamydia and Gonorrhoea are the most prevalent. The only positive side to this is that they are also among the most easily detected with just a simple urine and blood test. In most cases STDs go undetected with a PAP test or a gynecologic test that women have regularly. For those who are sexually active, regardless of their gender, consulting a doctor is of primary importance. For those who are too shy to visit a clinic or other sexual health facility, there are alternative, but reliable, methods to have yourself checked regularly.
Many individuals will put off getting tested because they are too embarrassed. For such people, there are two recommended options to make sure that they stay protected and safe:
· Anonymous Tests: There are several labs across the country where you can provide your blood and urine samples to a dedicated centre and provide details of the tests you want to be carried out. You can use an alias during the check out to keep your lab results completely confidential. You will have to print a requisition form which you can present at the time of collection of your results and reports. Upon requests, these results can be made available online, confidentially to the patient.
· Home STD Testing Kits: There are simple home testing kits that can be used if you are looking for complete privacy during these tests. The STI Clinic has created a special home STD testing kit that can effectively detect STDs like hepatitis b and hepatitis c as well, with just a simple blood test. There are a few guidelines that you need to follow to collect the samples. Once the samples have been collected, they can be sent back to the laboratory for analysis. Only a small quantity of blood is required for an accurate result.
Checking for HIV, Syphilis and Hepatitis
For adolescents or adults in at risk groups, it is advised that they get tested for HIV as a part of routine medical procedures. Most people neglect getting tested for syphilis and hepatitis. It is recommended that you get tested for all the three if :
· You have had multiple sex partners since that last time you had yourself tested.
· You have already been tested positive for gonorrhea and Chlamydia.
· You have used intravenous drugs since the last test.
· You are a homosexual male.
There is a lot of HIV information available to those who want to be tested regularly. For people who can confirm even one of the above situations, it is recommended to take a test at least once a year. There are specific home testing kits with syphilis information and information about hepatitis.
Why Choose At-Home Testing for STDs?
There are several reasons why at-home testing can be a lot more comfortable than actually visiting a facility meant for STD testing.
· Privacy and Confidentiality: It is very hard for many people to go ahead and take a test in a STD centre because of the sheer embarrassment. Everybody knows why the person is there and meeting someone you know can be very awkward.
· Easy Access: There are several labs that are located across a given area where the sample can be sent to for analysis without any issue.
· No Physical Examinations: With most at home tests, you only need to send in a urine or a blood sample. In clinics where free STD testing is done, physical examinations and swabbing are mandatory. For those who are not comfortable, a home test is highly recommended and just as accurate.
· Reliable: There are specific tests available for each type of STD. In addition to that, a consultation and follow up with an online doctor is the next step, making it a reliable testing procedure.
If you are sexually active then sexual health testing is recommended on a regular basis. If you find the prospect uncomfortable or emabarrassing then there are online solutions as outlined above. The reason that we have recommended The STI Clinic is that they appear to be the only clinic online that offers full sexual health screening. There are many websites offering chlamydia testing but this will not be sufficient for most people.
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