Considered as a serious public health concern worldwide, Sexually Transmitted Diseases or STDs, also called Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs), are infections that are spread through sexual contact, including vaginal, anal, and oral sex. Generally propagated through skin-to-skin contact, like breastfeeding, STDs can also be ‘inherited’ through pregnancy and bodily fluids, such as blood transfusions.
STDs come in various kinds. Some common examples of those that are acquired with sexual contact are Herpes, Hepatitis C & B, Gonorrhea, Chlamydia, and Syphilis. Other diseases, such as Ebola, MPox, and Zika are those that are spread usually through ways other than sex. Some symptoms of STDs include, an unusual discharge from the vagina, penis or anus, pain when peeing, lumps or skin growths around the genitals or the anus, unusual vaginal bleeding, blisters and sores around your genitals or anus, itchy genitals, warts around your genitals or anus, although very rare, also in your mouths and throats.
The consequences of STDs can be severe and long-lasting. They can cause infertility in women and men, increase the risk of certain cancers such as cervical cancer in women and anal cancer in men who have sex with men (MSM), and lead to chronic pain or disability. Additionally, some STDs can be passed from mother to child during pregnancy or childbirth.
There are many ways to get tested for STDs, they are tailored to accommodate everyone, as it tries to provide the most effective, efficient, and accessible testing for all. One way is to get tested by your healthcare provider. A healthcare provider can perform a physical exam and take samples of blood, urine, or genital secretions to test for STDs. This method is the most accurate and reliable. Another way to get tested for STDs is through home testing kits. These kits can be purchased online or at drugstores and allow individuals to collect their own samples at home and send them to a lab for testing.
The pros of getting tested for STDs include early detection and treatment. Early detection can prevent the spread of the disease to others, and treatment can prevent long-term health complications. Additionally, getting tested can provide peace of mind and reduce anxiety about potential exposure. On the other hand, there are also cons to consider. One major con is the stigma associated with STDs. Many people feel ashamed or embarrassed about getting tested or receiving a positive result. Another con is the cost of testing, which may not be covered by insurance.
It’s important to weigh these pros and cons before making a decision about testing for STDs. Ultimately, it’s important to prioritize your health and well-being over any potential discomfort or stigma associated with testing. While there may be some downsides to getting tested for STDs such as stigma or cost, the benefits far outweigh any negatives. Early detection and treatment can prevent long-term health complications while providing peace of mind in knowing your status. It’s important to prioritize your health by considering all factors before making a decision about testing for STDs.
Dr. Kre Johnson is a Board Certified Family Medicine Physician and the sole owner of Brownstone Healthcare and Aesthetics. She is the Medical Director of the City of Birmingham’s Employee Health Clinic-Brownstone BWell Birmingham. She is the Event Producer of Wifeology and the founder of Three Twenty Girls, Inc. She loves God, traveling, and all things Southern!!
Brownstone BWell: Brownstone Healthcare has partnered with the City of Birmingham to offer primary care services to the employees of the City of Birmingham for $0 copayment. This partnership is for preventative services & screenings and sick visits. We partner with your current primary care physician and our goal is to keep you out of the ER and urgent care. We do not share your information with the City of Birmingham. We uphold HIPPA and professional standards. You can visit us at our downtown location 1700 5th Ave N Birmingham, AL 35203 or Trussville: 4643 Camp Coleman Road #117 Trussville, AL 35173 205-202-5650 call for your appointment today.