What to do if you think you have an STD

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Your sexual health is incredibly important- and sexually transmitted diseases are not spoken about enough. 

But did you know that in 2019 there were 33,725 cases of chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis reported?  So even if you feel alone, you definitely are not. 

There may be a number of reasons why you feel as though you have contracted an STD, but whatever the most important thing is to act fast. There are some very important steps you should take to get you on the right track for treatment.

Here’s what you should do next. 

Get tested

The only way you can know for sure if you have an STD is to get tested. Going by symptoms or pictures alone won’t tell you for sure if you have an STD, or which STD you may have. 

There are several options For you to get an STD check. Firstly, you should arrange to speak to your doctor. During your appointment you should speak to them about why you feel you may have an STD – for example if a recent sexual partner has told you that they have tested positive. You also want to confirm with your doctor which STDs you are being checked for. They will run some tests and will give you the results within a few days.

Alternatively you could purchase and at home STD test. However some of these tests come with a several week turnaround period. If you’re truly worried about your potential STD then going to a doctor is your safest option.

For certain types of STD you will require specialist treatment for example if you feel you have been a risk of contracting HIV you need to go to a specialist test center. You can find out more information by looking here: http://www.tarrantcounty.com/en/public-health/clinical-services0/adult-health-services/hiv-aids/hiv-testing.html

Go for treatment 

If you find you have been diagnosed with an STD it is very important that you undergo any of the treatment recommended by your doctor. This is particularly true if you are prescribed antibiotics. Never stop taking your antibiotics before the course is over, even if you start to feel better. 

For incurable STDs such as HIV or AIDS, you need to speak to your doctor about how to manage the disease. This includes managing symptoms as well as limiting the potential to pass on the infection to others.

You can still enjoy a happy, healthy sex life, but you will need to take the appropriate measures to ensure the safety of yourself and your sexual partners.

Be open with sexual partners 

When it comes to being in any new sexual relationship, the first thing you should discuss when the subject of sex comes up is about how you will protect each other from sexually transmitted diseases. It is incredibly important to be honest With your potential sexual partners so that you can both discuss the best options for you. It’s also important to inform your formal sexual partners so that they can undergo testing and treatment, too.

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