When you think that you may have been exposed to an STD, it can be hard to know what to do. But it's important to act quickly, so that you don't risk your health, or the health of any potential partners. If you don't know where to start, here are a few tips to help you handle the process of dealing with an STD, and the steps you should take to ensure your health and safety.
Getting tested - The first step to addressing the suspicion of an STD is to get tested. On average, fewer than 40% of sexually active women are screened for STDs, even though there are 20 million new cases of infection every year. Making sure you know which neighborhood health clinics have fast STD testing is the first step to a healthy and safe life. The sooner you find confidential STD testing, the sooner you'll be able to take the next steps in the process of addressing the STD.
Communicating - If you find out that you do have an STD, you won't be the only one who needs to know. Make sure that you communicate with any sexual partners that may have come in contact with the affected area, and help them to find the right neighborhood health clinics and STD testing centers near them. Some infections don't have any immediate symptoms, so make sure that you contact them immediately, even if they haven't contacted you.
Following up - After you've found your local STD testing clinics, you'll know where to follow up for any treatment you may need. It's important to follow through and get checked regularly, because even if you find out you don't have anything, that could always change. You want to stay current with your sexual health checkups, even if you don't think you have any symptoms. It's always better to be safe than sorry.