Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), are probably way more common than you think. In fact, there are over 20 million new cases of STDs every year. That equates to 110 million American living with STDs, over a third of the total US population.
Despite the prevalence of STDs, the American Sexual Health Association reports that only 12% of young people, who make up half of all new STD infections, have recently been tested.
Multiple factors play a part in this statistic, but the fact that many STDs remain asymptomatic for years doesn’t help. In fact, one study of three STD clinics found that 66% of positive tests came from asymptotic individuals.
Almost anyone could have an STD. The best way to prevent the spread is testing, and our experts at Apex Medical Professionals can help. Walid Elkhalili, MD, and the rest of our team work with you to perform an STD screening and do what’s best for your sexual health. Dr. Elkhalili places a high priority on preventive care, wellness strategies, and health education.
Even if you don’t think you have an STD or are in a monogamous relationship, you should get tested at least once. Here are five reasons why.
1. Even virgins can contract an STD
If you’re in any type of romantic relationship or have had sexual contact with someone else, you could have an STD. Many of the most common STDs can spread simply through skin-to-skin contact.
HPV, syphilis, and both kinds of herpes can spread with just skin-to-skin contact. Sores are the main concern with syphilis, but cancer-causing HPV varieties and the HPV varieties that cause genital warts are easily spread through skin contact. The HSV-1 strain of herpes, which causes cold sores, can be spread through normal family contact, which is why 3.7 billion people under age 50 have it.
2. Be ready for more serious health issues down the road
HPV has a well-known connection to cervical cancer, but it can also cause cancer of the vulva, vagina, penis, or anus. Every year, about 20,000 women and 12,000 men are affected by cancers caused by HPV.
If you know you have HPV, you can be on the lookout for signs of these cancers and catch them early. If you don’t have the disease yet, you may still be eligible to get the vaccine.
3. Be ready for a relationship discussion
When starting a relationship with a new partner, it’s important to discuss sexual history. Your partner deserves to know if you have a serious STD or if they may contract a more common STD from you.
Talk to Dr. Elkhalili about getting tested for these leading common STDs:
Even if you currently don’t have an STDs you should still practice safe sex.
4. Build trust in monogamous relationships
STDs have a reputation for being asymptomatic, lying dormant for years, or having such mild symptoms that the infected person never feels that they need to get tested or treated. In fact, three-quarters of all women and half of all men with chlamydia have no STD symptoms.
Imagine the anxiety you might experience if your partner starts to show symptoms years into your relationship. It’s easy to see how accusations of cheating could come up. Instead, get tested at the start of a relationship.
5. Stay in charge of your sexual health
STD testing empowers you to take total control of your sex life. Routine testing and safe sex practices put you in the driver’s seat no matter what your romantic or sexual situation is. You’ll be able to make informed choices about your sexual health.
We recommend STD testing for anyone who’s sexually active. Dr. Elkhalili and our team at Apex Medical Professionals are ready to help. Call or request an appointment at our Fair Lawn office today or take advantage of our telemedicine services. Please contact the office at 201-797-2003 for more information.