The topic of STD testing, (sexually transmitted diseases), is one that can be uncomfortable for many people to talk about. Because of the stigmas associated with casual sex and the use of safe sex measures (like condoms), many people go untreated or wait until symptoms become severe before they swallow their pride and show their genitals to a doctor or pursue some kind of pathology screening.
STD testing is incredibly important in order to identify infections in their early stages and give people treatment/isolate them from others so that they don’t spread said infections. Many people might avoid going to their doctor because they feel embarrassed that they made a poor sexual choice (like having unprotected sex with a stranger) which is often the catalyst for the spread of infections like HIV, the clap and herpes to name a few.
Let’s take a look at some measures that can help make STD testing less awkward and embarrassing so that people are not afraid to get screenings and ensure public health.
With the rise of telehealth services, it’s easy for someone to log on and speak to a doctor via video chat about getting a request for STD testing of some kind. All someone needs to do is download the telehealth app and connect with a doctor through an online call where they can use a webcam to visually diagnose you and listen to your symptoms.
The obvious benefit of this is that people no longer need to call a clinic, speak to a receptionist, wait in a waiting room then confront the doctor face-to-face. The entire aforementioned process can induce anxiety in people or simply be so inconvenient that they procrastinate getting STD testing (which is really bad for obvious reasons).
This means that someone who is concerned they might need STD testing can get a request for it via a doctor online and don’t have to travel somewhere feeling embarrassed. With this option, a lot more people who think they need a screening will be diligent about getting it and therefore will help stop the spread of whatever they may be infected with.
One thing that often makes people feel less worried about the prospect of STD testing is when they are educated about how prevalent these infections are and that more people struggle with them than you might think. Because many people are not properly educated on sexually transmitted infections, their early warning signs, how they spread or how serious they can be, many of them find the whole thing scary and confusing to deal with.
When someone has a drunk night out and wakes up next to a stranger, they often panic thinking about if they used protection or not and if they have been exposed to something that needs STD testing. Commonly, people’s misunderstandings about HIV and AIDS lead them to think they have transmitted a deadly disease and that there is no hope for them, when early detection and treatment are essential for defeating the disease.
While society has been loosening it’s sensibilities around casual sex, it is still treated as a very private thing that people are meant to have a degree of shame about. This causes STD testing to be seen as a negative obligation rather than a forward-thinking public health measure.
Hopefully the above has given you more insight on how to make STD testing less awkward for everyone in society.