- Fertility & Reproductive Systems
STD Testing for Men: 6 Tests You Need
Every male who is, or has been, sexually active needs to get himself tested. That goes for gay men, straight men and in-between men. (And yes, I say the same to women!) You owe it to yourself and to your partner, and anyone who thinks otherwise isn't mature enough to be taking their pants off. And to be honest with you, I fail to see why men aren't more self-motivating about this subject. Seriously, you people have it really, really good when it comes to the actual act of getting tested! In today's day and age, many of you won't even need a swab to get tested; meanwhile, women everywhere cringe at the mere mention of the words gynecologist, stirrups and speculum. So come on and just be a man and get yourself to the clinic, for God's sake. In some areas you can even get tested anonymously so if that's an issue of concern to you, don't let prevent you from getting a checkup.
There are 6 basic STD tests that men should be tested for when they visit their doctor or clinic. There are actually more than 6 diseases that you can carry -- and give to us -- but some of them can't really be tested for. Herpes, for example, is difficult to diagnose without a visible breakout. (There is a blood test for HSV, but it's not offered in every clinic, and isn't even available in the country I live in.) HPV (Genital warts) comes in loads of strains, some of which will not lead to disease. Unfortunately, the strain which does can cause cancer in women who contract it -- but, as I said, you really can't be tested for this, so this is one of those illnesses that you might have but never know.
What Do The Tests Involve?
Chlamydia, Gonorrhea and Trichomoniasis can be diagnosed with a urine test. If you're not into getting swabbed, find a clinic or physician who offers this type of testing -- but if you can't find one which does, the swab really can't be any worse than what women go through!
Hepatitis C, Syphilis and HIV are all blood-borne illnesses which require blood testing.
If you don't want to visit a clinic, there are FDA approved HIV home tests availble.
What If I Have One Of These Infections?
If you're diagnosed with Chlamydia, Gonorrhea and Trichomoniasis, these are all very treatable with antibiotics and in some cases you can take 1 pill and be done with the entire infection.
If you're diagnosed with Syphilis while it's in the first or second stages, it's easily treated with antibiotics. If you're in the 3rd stage, you'd already have complications that would make treatment very, very difficult. Fortunately, the disease usually takes a long time to progress to the 3rd stage, so if you don't take eons to get tested, this shouldn't be an issue.
If you're diagnosed with Hepatitis C, there is no cure, and you will need to take some precautions for the rest of your life to ensure that you don't overtax your liver. You can live a normal, long life with Hepatitis C as long as you make the necessary health changes.
If you're diagnosed with HIV, this too can be manageable with treatment, which is a huge leap from what the case would have been a decade ago. You'll want to follow your doctors advice immediately.
Things to Remember:
Timing is everything: There are windows of time with every illness and its subsequent detection. If you contracted something a week ago, it's unlikely to show up in a test you take tomorrow. You should either wait for the recommended interval, or repeat testing after that interval passes to be sure.
Avoid reinfection! It's a very bad idea to get tested and treated but not tell your partner about it! Not only do they deserve to know, they will need to be treated as well, or they'll just give it right back to you.
You can get bacterial STDs without having intercourse. In fact, you could be a virgin and get one. That's the nature of bacteria, so don't assume that you're disease free just because you haven't gone all the way.
Some 50% of men diagnosed with things like Gonorrhea and Chlamydia had NO SYMPTOMS of the illness at the time they were tested. So don't think that you're necessarily in the clear until peeing becomes uncomfortable.
Even if your partner tells you they are in the clear, and even if they've got the paperwork to prove it, be aware that the same windows apply to them. I'm not saying you should be paranoid; I'm saying getting tested for your own well being, and don't rely on what anyone else tells you.