Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Peter, I don't have symptoms - but should I be regularly checked for STDs?

[Peter Pointers is here 4 YOU, as a service to LifeLube readers - whatever question you may have regarding sexual health, physical health, mental/emotional and spiritual health - ask him. He will find the answers you are looking 4. Below is a recent Q&A you may be interested to read.]

Question: How do I know if I should be tested for syphilis, gonorrhea, chlamydia? I don't have symptoms but should I be tested regularly like I do for HIV?

Answer: Thank you for your question. I am happy to hear that you get tested regularly for HIV and think it's great that you are considering getting tested for STDs, also.

So, Howard Brown Health Center in Chicago recommends that men who have sex with men get tested for HIV every 6 months to a year. Similarly, they recommend getting tested for syphilis, gonorrhea, and Chlamydia each time you get tested for HIV, each year, at the start of a new sexual relationship, or at the onset of symptoms.

Just as a refresher, here is a good rundown of the symptoms of other STIs: click here. Some include burning during urination and any discharge from the penis or anus (especially on the inside of your underwear or pants).

Depending where you are located, there are places where you can get tested for STIs for free or low cost. One good source is www.hivtest.org, where you can search by zipcode for testing locations. If you have any trouble finding a place to be tested for STI's, let me know (include where you are located) and I will assist you the best I can!

Be Well,
Peter Pointers
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1 comment:

  1. Post sex STD tests are a strategy--but what do they cause a person to do? Give up sex? Have less sex? Have more sex in order to "get even"?

    Testing before sex is a way to keep some sex from happening, and, consequently, prevent an STD. Post sex STD tests don't do that. Pre sex STD tests will save some lives--some people will back out of the possibility of sex with that partner. Others may be way more cautious. Still others might wait for non-HIV STDs to be cured, if available.


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