5 Popular Myths About STD Testing Debunked

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By the time we are all adults (unless we live in the Bible Belt or on a very large farm), most of us have probably had a good dose of sexual education. You remember — your gym teacher showed you a bunch of really gross images of sickly genitalia, told you that if you had sex ever you were basically on the fast track for death, and then handed you a bunch of condoms. (Okay well maybe that was just a scene in Mean Girls, but still — it was only funny because of how close to the truth it is)!
Despite our general knowledge that “condoms are good,” and “unprotected sex is bad/dangerous,” people aren’t perfect. Slip-ups and malfunctions occur. The heat of the moment barges in and certain vital things are forgotten. This is why it is extremely important for every sexually active adult to engage in STD testing on a semi-regular basis. Below are a few myths about testing that prevent people from getting tests (but shouldn’t):
1. “It’s hard to get an STD.”
Wrong. While it is true that some STDs are more common than others, some, such as chlamydia or gonorrhea, infect upwards of 3 million people each year! You can also become infected with an STD from just a single sexual encounter. That means that even if you mess up with the condoms once, you’re at risk.
2. “Well if I have no symptoms then I’m fine.”
Wrong again. Many, many STDs including the incurable ones (HIV and herpes), can lay dormant in your system for years. The only way to know for sure if you’ve been infected with something is to go to your local Planned Parenthood or urgent care center for testing.
3. “STD testing is painful.”
Very few people describe the minimally-invasive swabbing that an STD test entails as painful. You know what is painful though? An STD.
4. “It’s hard to find places that will test for STDs.”
This may have been the case back in the 1950’s, but today, it can be as easy as booking an appointment online. In fact, there are nearly 7,000 urgent care centers country wide that serve 156 million people a year. If they can all get appointments, so can you.
5.”STD testing is expensive.”
Many people are leery of getting tested because they think it will cost them an arm and a leg. Due to the public health issue STDs pose however, most tests come at little to no cost, are covered by most insurance companies, or are charged on a sliding scale based on your income.
Have all of your excuses run out yet? We hope so, because there really is no substituting a clean bill of health in terms of the peace of mind quotient. Furthermore, getting tested for STDs is the responsible and compassionate thing to do if you’re about to embark on a mutually monogamous relationship with a new partner and plan to eschew condoms. Bottom line — make your appointment. You’ll be better for it. This is a great source for more.

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