Worried About an STD? Take a Home Test
Take a confidential test
Have you had unprotected sex, or an accident with a condom? Think you might have picked up a sexually transmitted disease (STD)? Or maybe you’ve heard that someone you’ve had sex with has an STD. Understandably, you may be reluctant to go to your own doctor with your worries. After all, that means baring all – literally as well as figuratively. Or perhaps you’re afraid of the test results, or worried your parents will find out you’re not a virgin. How would they react to that?
In this article we explain why it’s so important to have an STD treated. And why there is absolutely no reason to worry about taking a test. You can even do it yourself, with a test kit you order online. We also tell you where you can go for confidential advice about sexuality and STDs.
Don’t leave an STD untreated. If you think you might have an STD, the most important thing is not to ignore it! Having a test is the first step in putting your mind to rest. Only then can you be absolutely sure. And if you have caught something, you know exactly what. Fortunately, these days most STDs are easily treated. In many cases, rubbing in an ointment or taking antibiotics is enough to cure the infection. Others don’t go away so easily, but medication can keep the symptoms under control.
What happens if I dont get treated right away?
Things can be very different if you just ignore an STD. That can result in really unpleasant symptoms, or even serious harm. For example, it can make sex very painful. You could also end up permanently infertile or chronically ill. And if you’ve contracted HIV, you eventually develop AIDS, a fatal disease. As long as you have an untreated STD you can infect other people. And they can pass it on to yet more people. And more, and more… In short, there are plenty of good reasons to get an STD treated. But first you need to take a test to know if you are infected or not.
It’s your business
Did you know that millions of people in the UK are tested for STDs each year, either by their own GP or at a sexual health clinic? And there’s no need to worry that they will tell your parents. Or anyone else. Doctors are bound to keep all dealings with their patients absolutely confidential.
Patient confidentiality means that your doctor can never discuss your health with anyone else without your consent. They can only break this confidence in very exceptional situations, if the risk to your health, safety or welfare, or that of other people, is more important. This applies even if you are under 16. As long as they think you are ‘competent’ – that is, you properly understand your situation, whatever your age – your doctor only needs your permission for any medical test or treatment. They do not have to ask, or tell, your parents. It’s entirely up to you!
If everyone in your family sees the same physician it can be understandable that you may not feel comfortable going to see him or her and discussing your private life in details. Your uneasiness can delay treatment particularly if you think you are starting to feel symptoms from an STD. Its important that you do not delay getting tested or getting treatment.
Free and anonymous
If you prefer not to be tested by your GP, there are still a few options. You can go to a sexual health clinic. This is sometimes also called a GUM clinic (GUM stands for genitourinary medicine). You may need to make an appointment, but in many cases you can just drop in without one. Testing is free and anonymous – you don’t even have to give your real name. Naturally, the clinic won’t tell anyone you’ve been there.
Take a STD test at home
If you’d rather not go to either a doctor or a clinic, it is also possible to test yourself for STDs. You can order a test kit online. The advantage is that you take the test at home, whenever it suits you. And it spares you the embarrassment of explaining your situation to someone else. Once you’ve taken the test, you send it off to a laboratory. A few days later, the results are available online. If these show that you do have an infection, it’s essential that you do then seek treatment. You can even send your results to an online doctor and ask his advice for treatment.
Arrange a treatment for me
What other visitors read
Last updated on July 14, 2016.