While HIV, or AIDs, tends to get a lot of the media attention when it comes to sexually transmitted diseases, there are actually lots of other diseases that can be deadly and difficult to detect and cure. Hepatitis B is one of those STDs that can be very dangerous and many people that have it are unaware for quite some time. Here are some of the symptoms to watch out for and how you can test for it and get treated as well.
Unvaccinated People Are At Risk
The risk factors for Hepatitis B are those that have multiple sex partners, adults that have never been vaccinated, and long-time sex partners of those with chronic Hepatitis B. When it comes to transmitting it through sexual activity, it’s very contagious, and in fact, it is the most common way of contracting the disease in the US.
Even after the infection is over, you can still show signs of having had the disease with a simple blood test. Up to 40% of those tested for all STDs show positive to having had hepatitis B at some time in the past, or a current infection. This is a huge number, and one that could be lessened by more vaccinations within the sexually active community.
It’s Important That All People Going In For Testing Get The Vaccination Anyway
Studies have shown that almost 40% of all patients that end up with acute hepatitis B were at some point treated in an STD clinic and failed to get the vaccination. It’s clear that the group of people that do get tested for any sexually transmitted disease are at a higher risk of contracting Hepatitis B than the population as a whole. I had a friend who made this same mistake after getting STD testing in Bakersfield. He regretted it after the fact and now advocates to everyone he knows about the dangers.
Just a quick vaccination is all that is needed to prevent Hepatitis B in nearly everyone, and the more people that get the vaccination the fewer carriers there will be in the general population to spread the disease. For this reason all adults should be offered the vaccination and given a short speech on how important it is.
In addition to those seeking STD testing, all sexually active adults should also be vaccinated as well as any sex partner of a person that already has chronic Hepatitis B.
There Are Home STD Tests Available For Those Wishing Privacy
If you don’t feel comfortable going to the local county clinic, there are many in most larger cities, then there is also the alternative of getting a home test sent directly to you in a discreet package. These tests are up to 98% accurate and easy for almost anyone to do. The great thing about most of these tests is they give results immediately, or in about 15 minutes, with no waiting to hear back from the lab.
If you’re hesitant to do your own testing, the alternative for anonymous testing is to go to an STD lab and have them draw your blood. You don’t have to give them your name, or you can make one up, pay your cash and have the results in just a few minutes. They are very professional, discreet, and very experienced since they do testing all day long. The at-home tests can usually be purchased online at about $25 each, you’ll want to test for HIV, Chlamydia, Gonorrhea, and Hepatitis A and B all at the same time, if you can afford it. There are also tests for Syphilis and Hepatitis C available, and you should take those too if you have any doubts whatsoever.
Getting STD tested for all of the different diseases is important, not only for peace of mind but in order to begin treatment immediately. Many of the diseases are preventable or curable if caught early. But some of them can be deadly if left unattended to.