Planning for STD Testing

std-testingWouldn’t it be convenient if everything was planned out for us? Well, I suppose our bosses generally already control that for us for work but other things like vacations, dentist appointments, family visits, dating, marriage, etc, etc – wouldn’t it be nice if we just received an update that it’s time to go and do that activity without having to mess with setting it all up to begin with? That would actually be a really funny (or scary) scenario for a wedding…two people get a notification pop-up one day out of the blue – daily update: pick up tux (or dress) and be at church at 2pm. Setting things up though is now easier than ever thanks to technology. Our smart phones allow us to find, book and schedule pretty much anything…yes, even dating and I would have to imagine too by now that some young couple has at least planned a big majority of their wedding from one of their hand-held devices.

Unfortunately, the majority of the population forgets to consider STD testing as an important event that we should be planning to do at least once a year too like we do with vacations and family visits and the dentist and what not. You do not want to wait for something to go wrong and then plan a trip to a doctor. It’s much better to get screened early and often so you know for sure and then can help fight off a virus or a bacteria easier should they have been transmitted to you in your last sexual encounter. We see it in movies ALL the time, the wild bachelor/bachelorette party in Vegas and the “hangover” night. Movies do often imitate real life situations and that is why we like them so (though I’ve never heard of anyone waking up with a tiger in their bathroom!) but unfortunately, even in serious dramas, most movies always leave out the real-life STD scares and burdens. Where’s the scene “What!? I slept with who? I need to go get tested for STDs as soon as I can!” That real life threat and a scene at the lab getting tested is conveniently left out 99% of the time.

It’s sad too – because STD transmissions have NOT gone down like the threat of Measles, Mumps Rubella, Polio and such. Yes, for one (and the obvious reason) there is not one overall vaccination that we can give to everyone but two (and this is the big reason) because it is somewhat of an “out-of-sight out-of-mind” concept we hold as a society about STDs. It’s taboo to discuss over the water cooler and no one really wants to hear about it either. Kind of scary especially knowing that there are in fact STDs that are passed without people knowing about it because either their partners never told them or they never knew they were infected themselves to begin with. Some STDs do not even show any symptoms in many people and that is why they are passed so easily and how we come to nickname them “The Silent Killers”. It’s also the main reason over 80% of the population has Herpes in which a big majority still don’t even know they have it.

So, my advice (whether you are a planner or not) is to plan ahead at least for this anyway and make an STD screening part of your list of to-dos every year if you are sexually active with more than one partner. It can only save you from heartache and pain later down the road. Plus now, like with many other items on your list, it can all be set up over your smart phone without speaking to anyone.