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The Importance of Getting Tested

Mar 28, 2019 10:02 PM EDT

For those who are sexually active, it is vital to get tested regularly. Sexually transmitted illnesses pose a serious threat to individuals. Even those who practice safe sex should take the time to get a professional screening done, as it can be invaluable in guaranteeing the safety of themselves and their future partners. 

As of 2018, statistics show that approximately one in two people who are sexually active may contact a sexually transmitted illness by the age of 25. Studies also show that close to 20 million new STIs will occur every year in the United States, and half of those will occur in young people between the ages of 15 and 24. Although these studies show that younger people will account for half of all new cases of illness, recent surveys also found that only 12% of them tested for STIs in the year. 

STIs are on the rise not only because of people not practicing safe sex, but also because some people that have an STI are not even aware of it. Many STIs lay dormant in the body, and the time before symptoms begin to manifest may vary. In the most extreme cases, symptoms may not even begin to show up until entire months have passed. 

Though not all sexually transmitted diseases are lethal, all of them can impact your quality of life in various ways. These may range from causing discomfort and creating unattractive lesions to creating debilitating health issues. In the most extreme cases, your entire immune system may become compromised, resulting in other illnesses attacking the body. 

Through regular testing, individuals may be able to catch the development of an STI at its earliest stages instead of allowing it to grow out of control. This will not only allow them to enjoy a greater degree of personal health and agency, but it can also help reduce the spread of STIs with future sexual partners. One of the biggest reasons for the spread of STIs is unawareness, and knowing what to expect and what measures you can take to prevent spreading illness can significantly curb the number of outbreaks. 

How often anyone needs to get tested for STIs depends largely on their sexual activity and relationship status. Virgins do not need to have intercourse to develop certain STIs, and getting tested before becoming sexually active can be one of the best ways to keep safe. Individuals who are in a monogamous relationship or who do not have sex frequently should still keep up with tests at least once a year. Getting tested once a year is a good baseline, but individuals who are highly sexually active should consider getting tested several times a year to be safe. 

If you feel as though you may be at risk for a sexually transmitted disease, it is vital for you to speak with a doctor as soon as possible. Check with potential symptoms that you may be experiencing and see if there is a treatment plan that is right for you.

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