The Importance of Getting Tested for STIs Annually
Even if you’re in a monogamous relationship, Get Tested for STIs Annually may not be at the top of your list of topics to discuss with your doctor during your yearly check-up if you don’t have any symptoms. But Kerry-Ann Kelly, MD, MPH, a board-certified OB/GYN in California, believes that it ought to be.
Get Tested for STIs Annually:Rising Rates of STIs Among Americans
Testing for STIs is becoming increasingly important due to the prevalence of 2.5 million cases in 2021. Between 2020 and 2021, syphilis rates increased by 32%, gonorrhea rates by 4%, and chlamydia rates by 4%. These statistics are likely to be substantially higher due to undiscovered infections because fewer people were checked during the COVID epidemic.
The Need for Routine Testing
However, a 2018 study by Quest Diagnostics revealed that just 56% of sexually active women had ever had STI screening. Others were uncomfortable discussing it with their physicians because they believed they weren’t at risk, felt it wasn’t relevant because they didn’t have any symptoms, or thought it wasn’t important.
Kelly advises anyone who engages in sexual activity to get tested for STIs.. This is particularly true for chlamydia, which is most frequently discovered during regular testing.
Monogamy Doesn’t Guarantee Safety
No matter how long you’ve been in a monogamous relationship, this advice still holds true. “In our culture and society, monogamy is a flexible term. What it may mean to one individual may not necessarily mean the same thing to their other, she explains. “Even if you’re monogamous, there’s no guarantee your partner is. I frequently witness individuals in committed monogamous relationships with positive STI test results. Because of this, I urge every woman to be tested every year, along with her boyfriend.
High-Risk Groups and More Frequent Testing
You might want to get tested more frequently than once a year if you do have several sexual partners or are in a high-risk category, according to Kelly. For instance, homosexual and bisexual men should have regular testing every three months since they are disproportionately impacted by STIs. According to the CDC, STIs are also underreported among Black people and Native Americans, albeit this is most likely caused by a lack of access to medical care rather than sexual behavior.
Overcoming Barriers to Testing
Don’t allow fear of screening costs prevent you from attending: All around the nation, testing facilities are free. While it’s okay to seek your doctor for a STI test, at-home testing kits give accurate findings for individuals who don’t feel comfortable doing so or who are told they don’t need one. She advises that you should undergo testing even if your doctor claims it is not required. The dangers of avoiding that yearly test
Prioritizing Regular STI Testing for Overall Health
Regular STI testing is crucial for individuals, even those in monogamous relationships. With the rising rates of STIs in the United States and the possibility of asymptomatic infections, getting tested annually is essential for protecting your health. Monogamy does not guarantee safety, as definitions and understanding of monogamy can vary among partners. By taking the initiative to get tested, individuals can ensure early detection and treatment if necessary.
Additionally, certain groups, such as gay and bisexual men or those in high-risk categories, may benefit from more frequent testing. Overcoming barriers to testing, such as cost or discomfort in discussing STIs with healthcare providers, can be achieved through free testing sites and at-home testing kits.
Ultimately, the importance of routine STI testing cannot be overstated. By staying proactive and prioritizing your sexual health, you are taking an important step towards maintaining overall well-being.
Even people in monogamous partnerships should get regular STI testing. Getting tested annually is crucial for preserving your health due to the growing STI prevalence in the US and the potential for asymptomatic infections. Since different partners may have different conceptions of monogamy, it is not a guarantee of safety. Individuals may assure early detection and treatment if necessary by taking the initiative to be tested.
Regular testing is beneficial for high-risk populations, with free services and kits.
In the end, it is impossible to emphasize the significance of routine STI testing. You are making a significant step toward sustaining general well-being by being proactive and placing a high priority on your sexual health.