Between 2017 and 2018, there was an increase in three different types of sexually transmitted diseases. Over 115,000 syphilis cases, over half a million gonorrhea cases, and over a million chlamydia cases. The need for protection and testing is more important than ever.
But who should be getting tested more, and how often should they be tested?
Dr. Shawn Veiseh has years of experience discreetly helping people with these delicate needs, as well as helping with many other medical issues.
Anyone being sexually active can risk exposure to the various STDs out there, but you can also pass certain infections on to unborn children. Worse, some diseases won’t show symptoms immediately, so if you’ve had multiple partners you may be spreading it and not realize. So, protection is an important first line of defense.
The CDC strongly recommends that the following people get tested for STDs:
This varies depending on the specific STD and risk factors. It's recommended that everyone should be tested for HIV at least once.
If you’re a woman under 25 or over 25 with multiple partners, you should be tested for gonorrhea and chlamydia once a year. Pregnant women should be tested for syphilis, HIV, and hepatitis B, for protecting themselves and their children. At-risk pregnant women should also be tested in early pregnancy for gonorrhea and chlamydia. Women between 21 and 30 will be given a test for HPV along with a Pap test and a Pap test every three years is recommended for women between 21 and 65
Aside from being tested for HIV at least once, men with multiple partners should be tested for syphilis, gonorrhea, and hepatitis once a year. This is especially true of at-risk homosexual and bisexual men, who should be tested every three to six months for syphilis, gonorrhea, hepatitis, and HIV.
If you’re practicing unsafe sex or are sharing needles, you should get tested for HIV at least once a year
Anyone who has oral, anal, or vaginal sex risks the spread of disease through the skin to skin contact. Protected sex is the best method for avoiding many of these STDs. Condoms, internal condoms (also called female condoms), and dental dams are effective ways of preventing the further spread of STDs.
That said, sexually transmitted diseases are treatable.
If you think you have symptoms of an STD, you should make an appointment with Dr. Veiseh to get the proper care.