Scheduling an STD test can certainly be uncomfortable, but sometimes uncomfortable medical visits are the most important ones to make—especially when STD rates are as high as they are. According to the CDC, one in five people have an STD.

To learn more about STDs and the importance of testing, read what our AFC Urgent Care Sevierville team has to say below.

What Are STDs?

Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), also known as sexually transmitted infections or STIs, are very common. Millions of new infections occur every year in the United States.

STDs are typically transmitted by having unprotected vaginal, anal or oral sex with someone who has an infection, and there are two types of sexually transmitted diseases—bacterial and viral. Bacterial diseases (like chlamydia) can be cured with antibiotics, while viral diseases (like HIV) can only be treated, not cured. Although many STDs don’t show symptoms, some do, and we’ve listed the common ones below.

Common Signs of STDs

  • Sores or bumps on and around the genitals, thighs or glutes
  • Uncommon discharge from the vagina or penis
  • Burning when you urinate and/or having to frequently urinate
  • Itching, pain, irritation and/or swelling in the penis, vagina, vulva or anus
  • Flu-like symptoms, such as fever, body aches, swollen glands and feeling tired

Do I Need to Get Tested for STDs?

According to the CDC, you should get STD-tested at least once a year if you are sexually active. If you have more than one partner, share intravenous (IV) needles or don’t always practice safe sex by using a condom each time you have intercourse, you should be tested every three to six months.

In addition to getting tested for STDs, there are ways you can lower your risk of getting infected. We’ve listed some effective prevention tips below.

Ways to Prevent STDs

  • Practice abstinence. The surest way to avoid getting STDs is to not have sex.
  • Use condoms. Condoms lessen the risk of infection for all STDs, but you can still get certain STDs, like herpes or HPV, from contact with your partner’s skin even when using one.
  • Have fewer partners. First, make sure you know that neither of you has an STD, then have sex with one person who is only having sex with you. This will dramatically lower your STD risk.

Our AFC Urgent Care Sevierville center provides STD testing and treatment with the utmost care and respect. Don’t hesitate to visit us today.