Dec. 1 is World AIDS Day. It’s the day when people worldwide unite to show support for those living with HIV, remember those they’ve lost, and fight to end the disease. This year, the theme is “Putting Ourselves to the Test: Achieving Equity to End HIV,” and the aim is to eliminate the barriers to HIV testing, prevention, and treatment.
At MS Family Medicine Health Care PC in Rosedale and Garden City, New York, our team, including our board-certified family medicine physician, Michele Reed, DO, FAAFP, takes a proactive approach to wellness and preventive care.
Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), also called sexually transmitted infections (STIs), are common. Not having symptoms doesn’t mean you’re not infected. In honor of World AIDS Day, we want to encourage everyone to get tested for STDs, and here’s why.
Sexually transmitted diseases are infections that get passed from person to person through vaginal, anal, or oral sexual contact. Bacteria, viruses, and parasites cause these infections.
There are more than 20 STDs. Some of the more common include:
- Human papillomavirus (HPV)
Even if you don’t have symptoms, you can still pass on an infection to your sexual partner. The only way to help keep you and your partner healthy is to get tested.
Why you should get tested
Sexually transmitted diseases are serious infections that can cause long-term complications, especially when left undiagnosed and untreated.
If you have concerns about an STD because of suspicious symptoms, such as genital pain, unusual genital discharge, or genital or oral sores, you need to get tested.
You should get tested because it’s important for your health now and in the future. Both men and women can get STDs, but the health consequences can be more severe in women. For example, some STDs can cause women to become infertile or develop gynecological cancer.
When to get tested
If you’re not sure if you need to get tested, we can provide guidance during a physical or annual checkup. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) also provides guidance on when to get tested for STDs.
The CDC recommends that everyone ages 13-64 get tested for HIV at least once. The CDC also recommends that sexually active women, especially women ages 25 and younger, get tested every year for chlamydia and gonorrhea.
The CDC also suggests that sexually active gay and bisexual men get tested at least once a year for syphilis, chlamydia, gonorrhea, and HIV. You also need to get checked for STDs if you engage in activities that put you at risk of getting infected, such as sharing needles for drug use.STD testing and treatment benefits everyone. We offer discrete and confidential testing and can provide the compassionate guidance and support you need. In honor of World AIDS Day, book an appointment online or over the phone for your STD testing with MS Family Medicine Health Care PC today.