How to Lessen the Chance of STDs
In 2019, the CDC shared that there were more than 2.5 million cases of chlamydia, syphilis, and gonorrhea reported. This has led the U.S. to reach an all-time high (in terms of STD cases) for the sixth year in a row. Although that number did decrease in 2020, due to the global pandemic, sexually transmitted diseases are still a serious issue that must be taken seriously.
To help keep you and your partner safe during sexual activity, here are ways to help lessen the chance of STDs from being transmitted.
Without a doubt, it’s vital to know your status. Unlike the common cold, symptoms of STDs don’t present themselves right away; there’s a chance you could have acquired an STD from a partner and not be aware of it until it’s too late. And failure to know your status can result in not only spreading that STD to your partner but can also health-related problems for you, such as infertility.
On average, those sexually active should schedule an STD test at least once a year, as well as an HIV test (even though HIV is technically classified as an STI — a sexually transmitted infection). However, the CDC recommends that sexually active gay and bisexual men should consider scheduling HIV testing at least once every three to six months.
Use Latex Condoms
Especially if you are having sex with a new partner, you should strongly consider using a latex condom. Although condoms are not 100% effective at preventing sexually transmitted diseases or pregnancy, they are very effective when used properly. Also, if you are using a lubricant, you’ll want to make sure that it’s water or silicone-based — since oil-based lubricants can break down latex condoms, which can result in a rupture.
At Novus, we have free latex condoms at all of our locations.
In addition to regular testing and using latex condoms, you may also want to consider taking PrEP to help lessen the chance of contracting HIV. Short for “pre-exposure prophylaxis,” PrEP is a once-daily NRTI (Nucleoside/Nucleotide Reverse Transcriptase Inhibitor) that will help create a barrier around your CD4 cells (white blood/T cells).
When taken as prescribed, the antiviral medication will help your body reach maximum protection. This means that if HIV were to come face-to-face with your white blood cells, the barrier PrEP creates would help lessen the chance of the human immunodeficiency virus from replicating.
Free, Confidential STD Testing in Pennsylvania
For free and confidential STD testing in Pennsylvania, Novus is here to help. At each of our locations, every individual is offered testing for Chlamydia, Gonorrhea, Syphilis, HIV, and Hepatitis C, as well as rapid testing for HIV, Hepatitis C, and Syphilis.
When your test is complete, a member of our staff will contact you (via phone) with your results. Of course, we also offer hard copies of test results as long as you provide us with identification at the time of your appointment.
Additionally, contact us today if you would like to begin taking PrEP or find out if PrEP is right for you. Our team will make every effort to provide you with a stress-free experience; we take care of all the paperwork. Plus, 99% of our patients qualify for no out-of-pocket expenses when prescribed this life-saving medication.