17 Things Anyone With A Penis Needs To Know About Getting Tested
Your genitals could probably use a check-up.
Getting tested isn't scary or weird. It's just part of being a sex-having adult.
1. Chances are, you're not getting tested as often as you should.
2. Don't worry, you probably won't have a Q-tip stuck up your penis.
3. Most of the time, STIs are totally symptomless. So just because you look/feel OK, that doesn't mean you're in the clear.
4. But if you do notice any symptoms, go to the doctor.
5. If you don't know your HIV status, go ahead and get tested.
6. If you have sex with men, you should probably get an HIV test more frequently.
7. You should also get tested for STIs any time you have a new partner.
8. Fun fact: You should also get tested in your mouth and anus if you've had any sexual activity there.
9. Trans-identified folks should get tested regularly, too.
10. Keep in mind that HIV and some STIs take a while to show up on tests.
11. If your partner has an STI, you can probably get meds ASAP.
12. When left untreated, STIs can do serious damage.
13. There are lots of places that offer cheap (and sometimes free) testing to men.
14. There are vaccines for some STIs and you should definitely get them if you're eligible.
15. If you're at risk for HIV, you should also know about pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) and post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP).
16. If you're not sure if you need to get tested, just go in for a risk assessment.
17. Don't assume it won't happen to you.
FYI: Most experts now use the term STI (sexually transmitted infections) rather than STD (sexually transmitted diseases), since most of the time these are infections without any visible symptoms.