Growing up, you go to the pediatrician to get vaccinated for chicken pox, have your vision tested, and endure getting struck on the knee to test your reflexes. A few years later, you’re on schedule for the HPV vaccination. And before you know it, it’s time for birth control and sexually transmitted infection (STI) testing.
Yes, getting tested regularly for STIs—regardless of your sexual orientation or gender identity —is part of basic preventive health care. This April, during Get Yourself Tested (GYT) Month, Planned Parenthood Hudson Peconic encourages everyone who’s sexually active to get tested.
It makes sense that getting tested is regular health care—like brushing your teeth and exercising regularly. After all, sexuality is a natural and healthy part of being human. It’s an important component of our physical and emotional development, and everyone deserves good sex that is consensual, healthy, pleasurable, safe, and respectful.
Make sure to ask to be tested when you see your medical provider for a checkup. Unless you ask to be tested, don’t assume you have been. Also ask your provider which STIs you should be tested for.
Luckily, getting tested is quick, easy, and painless. For example, rapid HIV tests can provide results in as fast as 20 minutes from a swab inside your mouth. Getting tested is entirely confidential. You can find a testing center near you by clicking here.
April 08, 2016