The unfortunate truth is that sexually active men and women have a decent chance of contracting a sexually transmitted disease at some point in their lifetime. Accidents, ignorance and misunderstanding often lend a hand in this happening. But when it does, it’s important to familiarize yourself with your options and know that there are people who can help.
Every year 20 million new cases of sexually transmitted infections occur. Being educated is the first line of defense against sexually transmitted diseases. When that fails, it’s important to know what your options are for treatment. It all depends on your comfort level, personal preferences, schedule and financial situation.
Most Americans have a primary care physician who keeps track of their medical history. Many seek testing and treatment for STDs from their primary physician, but this is just one option. Only about 30% of primary physicians offer after-hour services and not everyone’s schedule is conducive to regular business hours.
Unfortunately, STD testing can be seen as taboo by some. If you are looking for anonymous STD testing, urgent care may be a good fit for you. The average wait-time for 60% of urgent care centers is fifteen minutes or less, so you won’t be likely to spend a great amount of time waiting. There are also mobile health clinics that offer anonymous STD testing. If you’re unsure of the procedure and policies of a clinic or urgent care center, you can give them a call to ask. They are there to help.
Depending on what you’re hoping to test for, home STD testing may be an option. There are STD testing kits available for a number of specific diseases. Being able to take a test in the comfort of your own home can take some of the anxiety out of testing.
If you don’t have health insurance, there are free health clinics that offer anonymous STD testing services. This allows you to put your health and safety ahead of any financial constraints you may have. This is a great option for young people (such as college students) who may not be able to afford testing elsewhere and would like to avoid going to a family doctor.
Statistics show that only a small percentage of the population is taking steps to test for and treat STDs. For example, less than half of sexually active women have been tested for chlamydia. With all the options readily available, it’s important that each person takes responsibility for their health. Together, we can the world a safer place from faceless monsters like STDs.