When is the last time you've been tested for Stds?!
Don’t wait years to get tested!
Girl, do it now!!
This summer I went home to Seattle for the first time in 5 years. During my short stay at home, I logged into my Tinder app and started swiping right like crazy.
I stumbled on a handsome guy and we begin to talk!
Our talk started with the usual "get to know you" questions. You know, the let me try to make sure you're not serial killer- type questions! One of his questions hit a nerve, he asked me when was the last time I had an STD check? Well!?!?! Thats the first time I've ever had a man ask me that. I was shocked by his question but of course I respected it. I’ve actually never been asked that question before from a guy, usually I ask that question. I started to get that cold sweat on my forehead and palms because it had hit me!!!!! When WAS the last time I had an STD check!?!?!?.
YES I’LL ADMIT IT!!!
Living in UAE, STD checks aren't something that are talked about or done frequently. Its almost sorta taboo here especially if you aren’t married. If you're found to have certain STDs in UAE, you will be deported. The government is also very serious about monitoring certain STDs and You have to get a STD check to get a work visa. When you go to the doctor in UAE, they don't ask you about your sexual history and theres not various campaigns to remind you to know your status. Premarital sex is illegal in UAE. Although my excuses are awful, this is the reason I didn’t get tested! I didn’t plan to have sex with Tinder dude, but knowing your status is still important!
According to the Centers for Diseases Control and Prevention depending on how sexually active you are is how often you should get tested. However, you should be tested for HIV at least once in your life time. I usually try to get tested at least once a year for the recommended STDS: Chlamydia, Gonorrhea, Hepatitis, HIV and Syphilis. If you aren’t sure what STD test you need, you can take this test to find out: “ Not Sure What Test You Need
What are STDs?
STDs are Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) that are passed from one person to another through intimate physical contact – such as heavy petting – and from sexual activity including vaginal, oral, and anal sex. STDs are very common. In fact, CDC estimates 20 million new infections occur every year in the United States. STDs can mostly be prevented by not having sex. If you do have sex, you can lower your risk by using condoms and being in a sexual relationship with a partner who does not have an STD. STDs do not always cause symptoms, so it is possible to have an infection and not know it. That is why it is important to get tested if you are having sex. If you are diagnosed with an STD, know that all can be treated with medicine and some can be cured entirely.
There are dozens of STDs. Some STDs, such as syphilis, gonorrhea, and chlamydia, are spread mainly by sexual contact. Other diseases, including Zika and Ebola , can be spread sexually but are more often spread through ways other than sex. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
I immediately googled everything I could find about STD checks in the city of Seattle and started calling around.
I have no insurance in the states, so I knew wherever I went, I would be paying out of pocket. I called several places and the cost was ALARMING in Seattle. $150 to visit the clinic!!!, $150 per a test IF they could analyze the cultures in clinic and even more if they had to send the cultures off. That means, I would be paying almost $1,000 for a visit to the clinic and the tests for the four major STDs. I was shocked but I knew there had to be a cheaper way to get an STD check. So I stumbled on The STD Clinic at Harborview Medical Center. They offer great service that provides confidential STD and HIV evaluation, screening, testing, treatment on a sliding fee basis.! I immediately called and went straight in. The clinic is large, clean and has wonderful service. I filled out the normal paperwork and did an optional survey about my sexual history. I was seen by the nurse and took the test for HIV, Chlamydia, Gonorrhea and Syphilis. I paid $0 for the test and was in and out in less than 1 hour!!!!!!. You are also able to view your results online hassle free in about a week. Once I was able to review my results and saw that they were all negative I felt a sense of relief.
It is important to take care of our sexual health. Don’t be afraid to get tested regularly especially if you are active and or have changed partners.
In each state there are resources out there to get low cost to free testing.
To search for options in your state please visit one of the following links:
Planned Parenthood has chapters all over the United States and they offer free or low-cost healthcare, depending on your age, income, and insurance status. They're pretty easy to find, you can call for appointments or even get walk-in screenings. I have personally used Planned Parenthood when I was younger and the experience was wonderful! Check out the website for a wealth of information on STIs, the screening process, locations, and free testing qualifications.
The Centers For Diseases Control and Prevention have a list of clinics by state that offer low cost testing. Check it out.
AHF Wellness Centers provide free testing for sexually-transmitted diseases, including chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis, and HIV. Their testing counselors can see you on a walk-in basis, you can get tested when it’s convenient for you, without an appointment. The testing process is fast, friendly, and confidential – your sexual health is yours to protect, and They’re here to help.
Many LGBT health clinics offer free to low cost testing for the community. Click the link to check out clinics in your area.