Good News – It Is Still Possible To Get Tested For Sexually Transmitted Infections
There is no doubt that the Covid-19 pandemic badly impacted routine STD/HIV services.
Stay at home orders, shifts to telemedicine, reallocation of resources, and closure of clinical services translated into reduced STD screening.
Healthcare centers in Covid-19 hotspots were encouraged to optimize their resources. The result? STD screening got
• Healthcare centers in Covid-19 hotspots were encouraged to optimize their resources. The result? STD screening got impacted.
• Some Planned Parenthood centers suspended walk-in appointments.
• A majority of the STD programs across the United States paused services.
At this stage, it is difficult to assess what the outcome will be of missed screening opportunities. Yet, we may assume the long-term implications are not cheery with high possibilities of negative implications on sexual and reproductive health.
During this Covid pandemic, the shift of testing towards symptomatic patients only can reduce the ability to identify asymptomatic cases, particularly chlamydia in male and female individuals.
“The observed drop in cases during the early part of the Covid-19 pandemic should not be interpreted as a drop in prevalence”, says a doctor at a walk-in STD testing near Arlington VA. “The real reason could be lower percentage of risk-based screening”.
The doctor’s explanation is right on target.
The Covid pandemic certainly kept people away from bars, night clubs, and parties reducing opportunities for risky behavior. But the pandemic also hindered efforts to mitigate sexually transmitted infections (STIs).
The cornerstone for control of STIs is timely diagnosis and treatment. It would not be surprising if we witness unchecked and sustained increases in STIs going forward. With sexual behaviors on the rebound after the easing of restrictions and continuance of service interruptions, doctors are projecting a steep increase in both STI and HIV cases.
Some clinics, of course, are trying out creative ideas. In places with reduced access, you can buy test kits online that allow you to collect specimens at home and then mail them to labs.
Regardless of the situation, regular testing is important.
The only way to know your STD status is to get tested.
Left untreated, a sexually transmitted infection can create havoc by inducing a range of complications including:
Pelvic inflammatory disease – infection in the female reproductive organs such as the fallopian tubes, ovaries, and
• Pelvic inflammatory disease – infection in the female reproductive organs such as the fallopian tubes, ovaries, and cervix.
• Infertility – inability to get pregnant even after a year of trying
• Higher chances of miscarriage
• Cervical cancer – a type of cancer that starts in the cervix
If you are in Arlington, get tested for STDs. You may still be able to find out clinics that provide same day STD testing and treatment.
Some of these clinics work during extended hours. You just need to walk in with no prior appointment needed.
There is no need to worry if the results return positive. It is possible to cure most sexually transmitted infections. These include syphilis, chlamydia, gonorrhea, and trichomoniasis, to name a few.
The present easing of restrictions might have encouraged risky behavior.
You must get tested if you:
• Had or have new partners
• Are unsure of your partner’s status
• Suspect you might have got exposed to a sexually transmitted infection
• Experience unusual symptoms
With vaccination rollout under full swing, and new covid-19 cases somewhat under control, many STI centers are slowly returning to normal operations.
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