As of late, our culture has become more open with discussing the topic of sex. However, the topic of STDs/STIs still remains somewhat hushed. A lot of people shy away from the topic due to the misconception that STDs are associated with having multiple partners or “promiscuity.” If you are a sexually active adult, you should take it upon yourself to get tested regularly.
It is important to know your body and keep up with your health. Just like a routine check up is necessary, so is getting checked for STDs/STIs. There is nothing embarrassing or alarming about making sure that you are in good health.
You might say, “But I’m only sleeping with one person.” All it takes is one person for you to possibly contract an STD. They may be the only person you’re sleeping with, but are you the only person they’re sleeping with? Sadly, that is just the reality of the situation and it’s better to be safe than sorry. You and your partner can even get tested together. It is important to value your health, and that can definitely be incorporated into your relationship.
Another common excuse is, “I’m on birth control so I don’t need to get tested.” Birth control can help prevent pregnancy, not contracting an STD/STI so it is still important for you to get tested. Even if you are using protection during intercourse, there are still a number of STDs/STIs that can be contracted in other ways. Whether it’s through oral or anal sex, or even skin-to-skin contact, diseases can still be spread.
On my college campus, there are routine STD/STI tests that students can utilize free of charge, but some worry about what people will think if they see me getting tested? Quite frankly, who cares? It is no one else’s concern and you should not be ashamed for keeping up with your health.
According to the American Sexual Health Association, more than half of people will have an STD/STI at some point in their lifetime. Unfortunately, STDs/STIs can be a common occurrence. It is up to you to protect yourself and to know your status, so that in the event that you do contract something, you can be treated for it right away and not risk spreading it to someone else.