Guys are known to be silent and resilient. However, some topics necessitate action. Sexually transmitted diseases can lead to complications, and at worst, death. Don’t be the strong and silent type when it comes to testing for STDs. Every guy needs to be assertive in making sure they are healthy and engaging in a safe sex life.
Who’s At Risk
Don’t be naive. Every sexually active person should get tested for one or more sexually transmitted diseases. Even if you’re exclusive to one partner, it’s important to get tested due to your previous sex life as well as the entire sex life of your partner. Even though we may love our partner and we trust them, it’s important to get tested. In worst case scenarios, you may learn that your partner is sleeping with other people and has put you at risk of getting an STD.
What It’s Like
Most avoid medical procedures due to fear of the unknown. An STD screening involves a swab, blood test, or urine test. The procedure is painless, and in some cases, patients may get the results the same day. Otherwise, you may have to wait a few days for final results.
Where to Go
If you decide to go somewhere other than your physician’s office, you may use Internet tools to locate nearby STD testing. If remaining private throughout the ordeal is your wish, it’s nice to have such convenient websites. You may increase your level of knowledge about clinics by reading health forums.
It’s understood that some are reluctant to approach family doctors with sexual issues. Therefore, one may go to a clinic to seek help with screening and subsequent STD treatment. Conversely, some may feel more comfortable under the care of their regular physician. Other differences include the charge for services as well as the range of tests.
Who to Speak With
In some cases, the situation may not be yours alone. You may have a boyfriend or girlfriend who you must tell. It’s best to be forward, especially when another person’s health is on the line. How you may or may not have contracted an STD is a separate issue aside from the fact that a person close to you should get tested.
You could dismiss an STD scare as bad luck. However, for some, the need for an STD screening could reflect a reckless sex life. While it’s best practice to get regular screenings if you’re sexually active and with different partners, those who repeatedly contract STDs may have deeper problems, such as a tendency to engage in reckless behaviors.
When to Go Again
Don’t make your decision to get a screening a one-time deal. Make it an ongoing part of your health. Many people spread STDs due to a lack of awareness. You can’t save others from contracting an illness if you’re unaware to start. Be responsible to yourself and to others in your life.
Who to Ask
“Males are the stronger sex.” That label has its advantages and disadvantages. For example, a strong person is fearless and does not worry themselves with trifling health matters. However, what if you’re a sexually active guy who is interested in a girl who has a reputation? Is it okay to ask her to get an STD screening? Is it unmanly to abstain from sex before you know if your partner is clean?
Who to Inspire
Maybe some pastimes are common and shared with friends, such as going to baseball games, cafes, or local bars. You may have started playing a sport or wearing a certain type of clothing because a friend turned you onto it. You could be the one to inspire your friends to get regular STD screenings.
We’re all concerned about our health yet few know numbers related to STDs and HIV. For example, overall an American has a 1 in 99 percent chance of getting HIV in their lifetime. That chance is 1 in 20 for African-American males. And, that number is 1 in 6 for gay and bisexual males in the US. That person could be you, your best friend, or your next sexual partner.
What About Drug Use?
Lastly, you don’t need to have sex to get a number of sexually-related diseases. For example, those who share needles are at risk of getting HIV. If you are currently sharing needles or have done so in your past, it’s important to get an STD screening in the near future.
Natalie Martin is a freelance writer, and when she is not working on her next article she can usually be found in her garden. She attended the University of Cincinnati before turning to writing, and now spends much of her time drawing attention to some of the major health problems that are plaguing the country today. Natalie resides along the Gulf Coast with her 6 year old Labrador Retriever.