What are the benefits of STD testing after unprotected sex?
The World Health Organization endorses that a person can have an STI without the presence of symptoms. More than 1 million STIs are acquired daily because many people are living with undiagnosed infections including syphilis, hepatitis B, HIV, chlamydia, gonorrhea, herpes, and HPV because they are asymptomatic; they do not know that STIs are spread by any form of sexual contact.
STI testing can help with early detection, diagnosis, and treatment of STIs, as well as create awareness on the importance of testing with each new sexual partner. STI testing raises the community’s awareness of the modes of transmission through sexual contact, encourages the community to recognize the symptoms of STIs, thereby motivating sexual partners to get tested together. Discussing STI testing empowers the community to take responsibility for their sexual health in the future.
At TPPRC, our medical staff has a proactive approach in educating our patients before and after STD testing. This approach raises the awareness of how crucial it is for both partners to be educated on STD testing after unprotected sex and with each new partner to prevent transmission of STIs and re-infection after treatment. In this respect, if symptoms are silent, STIs can still be detected early and treated without causing further health consequences to the patients and their partners. In addition, our team reinforces education on symptoms and treatment of common STIs and to schedule a free STI test with each new partner. In these cases, the patient and sexual partner are empowered through testing and education to recognize the signs and symptoms of an STI and when to seek care.
“Julie” (name changed for confidentiality) came to TPPRC for an STI screening after unprotected sex. Julie wasn’t sure whether her symptoms were related to an STI because she has frequent urinary tract infections, abdominal pain and burning with urination after baths. Julie was seen by one of TPPRC’s registered nurses who performed a comprehensive health assessment and was able to educate the patient on the importance of good hygiene before and after intercourse. Moreover, the RN reinforced that prompt STI testing can help detect whether her symptoms were related to the urinary tract infection or a new STI.
Julie’s outcome was favorable and we were able to rule out the STI. She was advised to follow-up with her primary care physician for management of frequent UTI’s. Julie felt educated to make informed decisions and said our staff was “beyond helpful.” Julie’s testimony demonstrates that education on STIs, consequences of unprotected sex and poor hygiene can be detected early through STI screening. It also proves that evidence-based education encourages our patients to take responsibility for their health and most likely will prevent them from being predisposed to future STIs or other types of ailments associated with unprotected sex practices.