Anyone who is sexually active should have regular HIV and STD testing done. While you may believe that you are not at risk, it takes one partner to be infected and it can result in you being left with a sexually transmitted disease.
Of course in order to reduce the risk of contracting one of these diseases you will want to limit your sexual partners, use condoms and have frequent HIV and STD testing.
First take a look at HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus). Many people live with this disease without knowing they have it, yet early treatment can be the most beneficial. The sooner you have a test done and know your status, the better.
Some of the first signs and symptoms of HIV is a sore throat, fever and body rash. Though don’t fret if you have these signs, choose a HIV and STD testing solution to know your outcome, there are a number of viruses which can have the same symptoms, so don’t assume the worst until you have been tested.
You should know your status and get treatment as quickly as possible. Thousands of people live with HIV for many years, while there is no cure, there are effective treatments to help you manage and live with the disease for years.
HIV and STD testing should only be completed four weeks after exposure, as it takes time for the disease to show. Testing is done through a blood test and examined in a laboratory environment. Don’t worry this is done confidentially. Many laboratories use numbers not names, so your privacy is kept secure at all times.
Before your test, you should meet with a counsellor or advisor who can give you information on the testing procedure and answer any questions, putting your mind at ease. Remember there are thousands of people around the world that live with this disease, testing is essential to catch the disease early and to know your status moving forward.
Tests should be done when you have a new partner or multiple partners, if you or your partner is a drug user or you notice any signs or symptoms you feel could be the disease. There are early detection tests available, helping you know your HIV status at all times.
When it comes to STD’s (sexually transmitted diseases) there are a large number in addition to HIV. Gonorrhea, syphilis, hepatitis, chlamydia and so much more are disease you need to be aware of and tested for on a regular basis.
Ideally you should incorporate your tests, having a confidential HIV and STD testing done when you go for your regular tests. It will not only help you know your status, but you can get recommended treatment quickly if you are diagnosed with any of the diseases that are a result of sexual activity.
Treatments vary. There are some important things to bear in mind. After you have been diagnosed, some of the diseases are curable with medication, while others will be with you for life. Ensure that you refrain from sexual activity while you take your medication, reducing the risk of you passing the disease onto another person.
If you are diagnosed with Hepatitis C or HIV, you should always use condoms moving forward. Basic contraception, such as the pill or injection, will not reduce the risk of your new partner contracting the disease.
After your HIV and STD testing, ensure you seek professional guidance to help you manage your symptoms, if you are diagnosed as positive. You can learn how to manage the disease, how to prevent contracting the disease in the future and how to reduce the risk of passing it on to someone else moving forward.