What Are My Chances of Getting an STD?
Let’s face it. Talking about STDs is awkward and embarrassing. No one wants to admit or even think about having one.
But did you know that Alaska ranks third for states with the highest STD rates? Of all U.S. states, Alaska in 2020 had the nation’s third-highest rates of syphilis and chlamydia and the eighth-highest rate of gonorrhea.
More than 30 different bacteria, viruses, and parasites are known to be transmitted through sexual contact, including vaginal, anal, and oral sex. CDC reports more than 2.5 million cases of chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis alone were reported in 2021.
Young people ages 15-24 account for almost half of new STDs. Your age, level of sexual activity, location, and lack of contraception are just a few reasons you may be more susceptible to getting an STD.
You May Not Have Symptoms
Many STDs do not show symptoms, and screening is necessary for timely diagnosis and treatment. Because there are often no recognizable symptoms, people think they are safe. However, an untreated STD can eventually lead to pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) which can cause infertility, blindness and even some cancers.
How Often Should I Get Tested?
The following are the recommendations for testing according to the State of Alaska:
- All sexually active individuals should be tested at least once for HIV.
- All sexually active women younger than 25 years should be tested for gonorrhea and chlamydia every year.
- Women 25 years and older with risk factors such as new or multiple sex partners or a sex partner who has an STD should be tested for gonorrhea and chlamydia every year.
- All pregnant women should be tested for syphilis, chlamydia, gonorrhea, HIV, and hepatitis B starting early in pregnancy. Testing should be repeated in the third trimester and again at the time of delivery. (Syphilis can be passed to an unborn baby during pregnancy.)
Does HeartReach Provide Testing?
Licensed medical professionals at HeartReach Center provide confidential testing and treatment for certain STIs and STDs.
We Test For:
- Hepatitis B
- Hepatitis C
Contact us now and set your appointment.
HeartReach Center (HRC) does not charge for services. However, outsourced laboratory testing fees from Quest Diagnostics may apply. HRC will supply your Medicaid or insurance information to Quest Diagnostics, who will bill you directly. If you are uninsured, HRC will discuss the possibility of covering your lab expenses through a medical grant.