For many people, the biggest hurdle to being tested for a sexually transmitted infection (STI) or sexually transmitted disease (STD) is overcoming the embarrassment of the whole thing. Societal stigma can lead people to ignore concerns and symptoms, contributing to the further spread of these infections.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends regular testing for anyone who is sexually active, and specifically recommends annual gonorrhea and chlamydia screenings for women under 25-years-old, as well as, “older women with risk factors such as new or multiple sex partners, or a sex partner who has a sexually transmitted infection.”
So, how can you overcome the embarrassment in order to get these important tests?
Do a Little Research
You may be surprised to learn just how common STIs are in the United States. The CDC estimates there are nearly 20 million new sexually transmitted infections each year, and that at any given time, there are more than 110 million active STIs in this country. Women are disproportionately affected, and are prone to more serious long-term impacts from many STIs, including severe health complications and infertility. With so many people infected and such serious health impacts on the line, there should be no shame in seeking testing or treatment.
Confide in Someone Close to You
It always helps to have someone to talk to. Select a friend or loved one who will listen without judgment. Share what you suspect you may have and why, express your concerns and plans. You may even find out that your friend or loved one has been down this road before. Of course, some people find it easier to talk with an impartial third-party. At Sira in Gainesville, our client advocates are compassionate listeners trained to answer your questions thoroughly and honestly.
Find a Comfortable Place to be Tested
Where you choose to get tested for an STI makes a big difference in the overall experience. You deserve to be treated with respect and kindness in an environment that’s warm, welcoming and professional. At Sira, you can be tested for gonorrhea and chlamydia for free at our lovely, tranquil office. Our professional medical staff and volunteers will ensure you are informed and supported. All test results are 100% confidential, and if you need further tests for other STIs, we will refer you to a community partner for treatment and additional testing.
Don’t let embarrassment prevent you from taking care of your health. Contact Sira today at 352-377-4947 to schedule your STI screening. We’re here to help you get the answers you need.