Why You Should Get Tested for STDs

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Whether you went to the beach, the mountains, or stayed right here in Fort Collins, here’s hoping that the sunburns post spring break are minimal and that you were able to get some well-deserved rest!

At Alpha Center, we know that it’s possible that you might have come back from Spring Break with a little more than you bargained for… whether you’ve experienced symptoms or not. 

Gonorrhea and Chlamydia are often asymptomatic, so if you’re sexually active,  the only way to know that you’re in the clear is through routine STD screenings. Chlamydia is the most commonly spread STD in the United States, with an estimated 1 in 20 sexually active young women testing positive for Chlamydia. It’s important to keep in mind that STDs can be spread through any kind of sex, and semen does not have to be present in order to spread or contract an infection.

In 2019 (the most recent data available), the Colorado Department of Health reported 29,820 cases of Chlamydia, along with 9,573 cases of Gonorrhea, 470 new HIV diagnoses, and 486 cases of primary and secondary syphilis. For both Chlamydia and Gonorrhea, these numbers represent historical highs, with Gonorrhea increasing 106.6% and Chlamydia increasing 18.5% since 2015. 

If left untreated, though you may not experience any physical discomfort, STDs can increase your chances of contracting additional infections, including HIV. For women, an untreated STD can lead to pelvic inflammatory disease, future ectopic pregnancies, and chronic pelvic pain.

The CDC currently recommends that sexually active individuals get tested at least once a year, and that individuals who are at higher risk are tested even more frequently. Alpha Center offers free routine STD screening and treatment for four of the most common STDs, and we’re right across the street from campus on the corner of College and Pitkin. 

Alpha Center in Fort Collins provides STD screening for HIV, Syphilis, Chlamydia, and Gonorrhea at no cost to you. No matter your story, sexual orientation, gender identity, race, immigration status, age or religion, we strive to provide excellent medical care. Request an appointment at www.thealphacenter.org or give us a call at 970.239.2272

Finally, always make sure to practice safe sex and *always* use a condom or dental dam. Any kind of sexual contact can spread an infection, so it’s better to play it safe.  Your future self will thank you!

 

Sources:

Colorado 2019 Sexually Transmitted Infections Annual Report. Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, Denver, CO. July 2021.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2021, December 31). Detailed Std Facts – Chlamydia. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Retrieved February 28, 2022, from https://www.cdc.gov/std/chlamydia/stdfact-chlamydia-detailed.htm 

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2021, December 14). Which STD tests should I get? Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Retrieved February 28, 2022, from https://www.cdc.gov/std/prevention/screeningreccs.htm 

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