Valentine’s Day is here, a holiday that brings out the true romantic in each of us. From the big box of chocolates to champagne toasts, it’s a day built around showing how much you care about your partner (or prospective partner!). Sexually transmitted diseases may not be the first thing you think of when you’re hit by one of Cupid’s arrows, but it’s vital that you’re tested for them regularly. STDs are at a record high and many people that have a sexually transmitted disease or infection don’t even know it! Getting tested for sexually transmitted diseases, and ensuring that any new potential partners do the same, is the best way to stay healthy. We know it’s not the easiest topic to discuss, but it is a conversation that could save your life.
No form of protection is 100% safe. If you’ve had sexual contact with anyone in the past, you’ve potentially been exposed to a sexually transmitted disease. STDs are not exclusively transmitted via sexual contact, they can also be contracted from blood transfusions, shared needles, or during pregnancy and/or childbirth. STDs can exhibit a variety of symptoms, and these symptoms often mirror those of other diseases or afflictions. For instance, many STDs cause flu-like symptoms, such as a sore throat, swollen glands, and muscle fatigue. Without testing, you would never know that the cause is a sexually transmitted disease. In other cases, you can be a carrier, but never show symptoms as it lays dormant in your system. For example, most men who contract HPV never develop symptoms, but it’s still possible to pass the infection on to another person.
If you’re sexually active, getting screened for sexually transmitted diseases is an incredibly important part of maintaining your health. When talking with your doctor, be honest about your sexual history and ask if they recommend that you get tested. The only way to know for sure whether or not you’re carrying an STD is to schedule a test. After all, if you have a new partner, you would want to know if they have a communicable disease or infection — so it’s only fair for you to do the same! You can find more information about the specific diseases/infections included in the STD panel and what you need to do before heading to the testing location here.
If you’re still looking for something to give your partner (or yourself) for Valentine’s Day, how about peace of mind? Get tested today.