It has been reported recently by the CDC that the increase in reported cases of STDs in Alabama has surpassed all other states in the nation. It’s scary to think that 50% of young people under the age of 25 will contract an STD and that those individuals will be five times more likely to develop HIV as a result. What many young people fail to realize is that many STDs are curable and all can be treated but it all has to start with getting tested. Unfortunately, the majority of people infected don’t even know it.
STDs are super easy to get. When you have sexual contact with an infected partner and do not use a condom, you will get the infection. If left untreated the infection could lead to long-term health problems or can even lead to death. If pregnant, an unborn fetus in an infected mother can develop blindness, seizures, neurological disabilities and many other kinds of permanent disabilities. It’s important to remember that you do not need parental consent to get tested.
STDs are transmitted through sexual contact with an infected partner so it’s important if you’re sexually active that you get tested on a regular basis. Unlike some forms of medical tests like for allergies, different tests must be given to detect which form you may have. You may be tested for chlamydia, gonorrhea, genital herpes, human papillomavirus, syphilis, bacterial vaginosis, trichomoniasis, viral hepatitis, AIDS and/or HIV. There are actually 20 different types of known infections but the aforementioned are the most common.
Some forms of STDs are tested one way whereas others require a different form. The tests may include any or all of the following:
* A physical exam (or pelvic exam for women) may show visible symptoms such as a rash, sores, a discharge or warts.
* A blood sample may be drawn.
* A urine sample may be taken.
* Samples of a discharge, cells, saliva, and tissue may be collected.
Occasionally symptoms alone can lead a healthcare provider to a diagnosis. Should a diagnosis be based on visible symptoms, treatment could be started immediately. If, however, samples need to be sent to a lab it may take up to a couple of weeks before you know if you have a STD or not.
Alabama currently has 67 governmental testing sites throughout the state. Local doctor’s offices often charge for the service as do private providers and online STD testing sites. It’s important to note that discount coupons are available to help defer such costs. The discount coupons can be found on sites like:
STDs are a silent threat to society. This requires sexually active individuals to be aware of the risk when they become involved with a partner. Although condoms help, they will not stop all forms of the disease. For more information you can log into stdtestinfo.com to determine what the best options are for you. Regardless of the choice you make, just remember your health and possibly life is at stake.