Did you know that sexually transmitted infections (STIs) can be passed on through any form of skin-on-skin contact? That’s right, even a gentle handshake or hug could be sufficient to transfer an STI from one person to another. It seems so innocuous yet so potentially life-changing.
Medical professionals would advocate STI screening for everyone, irrespective of the frequency of their sexual activity. That said, it is especially recommended for people who have recently changed sexual partners, people who have had more than one sexual partner previously, anyone who has shared injecting equipment or anyone whose condom broke or came off during intercourse.
Every year in the USA, 20 million new STI cases are reported, while more than 1.5 million people in the country have been diagnosed with chlamydia. Half of all STIs are diagnosed in young people aged 15 to 24, which is a horrendously tender age to contract an infection which could result in infertility, or even heart or brain inflammations.
If you go for STI screening quickly enough, doctors could spot an infection and enable you to eliminate it before it gets a chance to develop. The significance of early detection cannot be understated, so the message is clear: book a screening as soon as you can.
This infographic from Union Quay Medical Centre in Ireland has more information on why STI screening should be high atop your list of priorities.