5 reasons for men to get tested
Family planning is a lot of things, but it’s not just for women. When it comes to STDs, knowledge is power. According to experts, getting tested for STDs is one of the most important things sexually active men can do. Regular testing keeps men and their partners safe. Here’s why you should be tested annually:
Between 2017 and 2018, more than 115,000 cases of syphilis and 580,000 cases of gonorrhea were reported nationwide in America. And the number of those testing positive for chlamydia soared to 1.7 million, the highest number ever reported in U.S. history. All three are highly transmittable STDs that can be spread quickly, easily, and in just one sexual encounter.
STDs carry severe implications. If left untreated, infections like gonorrhea and chlamydia can cause infertility in men or permanent damage to the urethra. STDs like HIV/AIDS and even an untreated syphilis diagnosis may result in long-term health consequences, including death. And those are just the impact on your physical health. STDs also result in an emotional and financial burden for those affected.
Pain, discomfort, and other obvious signs may come along with STDs like gonorrhea and chlamydia. But there are others that present no physical symptoms for men. HPV and Hepatitis C are often undetectable – and even with regular testing, the incubation period for some STDs can make it difficult to find them through testing. Make testing a priority. But also know that tests can be inconclusive if you don’t wait for the infection to be detected through routine testing. Your family planning provider can also help you to develop a plan for testing. Regular testing can help you stay on top of your status.
If you don’t know, you don’t know. STDs are easy to transmit through sex, and you don’t want to give an infection to someone else. It only takes one time to transmit an STD. Whether you are in a committed relationship or not, the responsible thing to do is to know your status and protect your sexual partners by using condoms – which are available for free at family planning health centers throughout Philly.
Seeking treatment for STDs should be done as soon as possible to avoid passing the infection on to other partners. The good news: the majority can be treated with antibiotics. There are others, like herpes and HIV that remain in the system. Although these can still be transmitted despite treatment, there are antiviral medications to treat symptoms and prevent the infection from growing worse.
Regular testing keeps men and their partners safe. Bottom line, it’s the responsible thing to do.
For more information on the more than 25 no or low-cost family planning health centers in Philly,