Today marks the start of National Men’s Health Week, a time for men (and women!) to learn more about men’s health risks and their prevention strategies, detection, and treatment.
To celebrate this important awareness week and help prevent the spread of sexually transmitted diseases, we’re sharing information on what increases men’s STD risk.
Men: Know Your STD Risk Factors
Whether you’re a man who has sex with women or men, having unprotected sex increases your STD risk factor. Every time you have sex — whether it’s vaginal, oral, or anal, and whether it it’s with a trusted or a new sexual partner — you should be using a male condom. Condoms reduce your STD risk, particularly when it comes to anal sex and the spread of HIV. Not only does condom use protect your partner from any potential STDs you may unknowingly have — it also keeps you from catching STDs from others.
Uncircumsized Men & STD Risk
Uncircumsized men have additional STD risks that circumsized men do not. This includes a higher risk of contracting HIV. Research has shown that the foreskin is susceptible to HIV infection, perhaps because it is more likely to tear during sex. When tearing occurs, STDs can enter and infect.
Failing to Get Regular STD Testing
Men’s STD risk also increases when they or their sexual partner(s) fail to follow a regular STD testing schedule.
It’s important for men to adhere to the following STD testing guidelines to reduce their STD risk:
- Get regular STD testing if you’re sexually active. At the start of a mutually monogamous relationship, both partners should get STD testing. If you’re in a casual or “open” relationship, each partner should be tested every 6 months.
- Seek STD testing if you’ve had sex with a high-risk partner. A screening every 6 months will help you catch and treat any problems before they do damage. A high-risk partner includes anyone who has had an STD in the past, IV drug abusers, anonymous partners, sex workers, and some men who have sex with men. To lower STD risk when engaging in these sexual relationships, get tested for HIV, syphilis, chlamydia, gonorrhea, and hepatitis C.
- Get tested 3 months after STD treatment. If you’ve had an STD before, your STD risk is automatically higher than other men’s. This is because many STDs can go dormant and resurface. Getting tested 3 months after your treatment can determine if your treatment was effective and how you should proceed.
- If you have STD symptoms, get tested now. The sooner you identify if an STD is causing your health problems, the sooner you can address them and get the necessary treatment.
Lower Your STD Risk With ARCpoint Labs
If you want to lower your STD risk, ARCpoint Labs can be your partner for STD testing. Our nationwide walk-in facilities offer quick, accurate, confidential STD test results so that you can best monitor your sexual health and lower STD risk. No appointment, insurance, or doctor’s orders are needed!