Sexually Transmitted Diseases, or STDs, are indiscriminate infections that affect sexually active people regardless of age, gender, ethnicity, and socio-economic status. Common STDs include chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis, hepatitis B and C, herpes I and II, and HIV. Those who are infected with chlamydia and gonorrhea often experience no symptoms at all. Those infected with hepatitis B or C can suffer no symptoms as well and those who do suffer symptoms may mistake them for some other mild condition like food poisoning and fail to get tested or treatment. Syphilis can be marked by a genital sore or sores, though often they may go unrecognized. HIV can remain asymptomatic for ten years or more.

Clearly, one can be infected with one or more STDs and be entirely unaware of it until further, more serious health problems appear. Even those that are easily treated in their early stages, such as chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis, can result in permanent damage and be life-threatening. Only by STD testing can these infections and diseases be positively identified and properly treated. People who are sexually active and at risk for being infected should get an STD test yearly to stay safe.

Because of the sensitive nature of STDs, many hesitate to get needed testing when they suspect the presence of an STD. Due to embarrassment or fear, many do not want to be tested by their regular physicians or have the test or results appear on medical or insurance records. Fortunately, discreet STD testing is available that remains entirely private so there is no excuse to not be tested. Don’t take any chances with your health or the health of your loved ones. Get tested.

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