COVID-19 Has Interrupted STD Screenings; Sexual Health Centers Are Concerned

When the cases of COVID-19 started increasing at a faster rate, most of the countries announce lockdown. With the interest of the public, and proper obedience, the stay at home order came into action. During this sexual health centers in some places were allowed to keep their operations going on. 

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  • The decision taken was not to cause any negligence and delays in STD screenings, which can lead to further problems. 
  • Sexual health centers had an order to remain open under a few conditions that they stop elective procedures and follow social distancing norms. It was to be taken care of by both the patients and staff.

However, things didn’t go as easy as it sounds. The safety measures involved to prevent coronavirus interrupted the walk-in testing for STDs in some of the health centers. Most of the centers were those that served patients without any health insurance. 

  • People were scared of getting exposed to the risk of COVID-19 by going for check-ups. So, this led to fewer people getting tested. It is a worrying fact as it may lead to an increase in the rates for syphilis, chlamydia, and gonorrhea
  • In Philadelphia, a survey conducted by the National Coalition of STD Directors, came out with an estimate that 83% of STD programs have stopped, and no community visits are happening. 
  • Around 66% of clinics reported that STD screening and testing had been decreased due to the pandemic. 

Importance of STD Screenings

It is important to undergo STD screening, if you are sexually active, especially with multiple partners. It is to prevent the risk of Sexually Transmitted Diseases and stay protected. To take care of this, usually, people go to clinics and health care centers to get tested. However, there’s another option.

  • Nowadays, screening kits are gaining popularity to deal with this problem. 
  • The use of at-home screening kits is available for STIs like HIV, Chlamydia, and Gonorrhea. 
  • To test STI at home, you need to collect a urine sample, an oral, or a genital swab. This sample will then go to a lab for analyzing purposes. 

To conduct certain tests, more than one sample is required. The benefit of screening kits is that you get the privacy to collect your samples without the need to visit a health care center or doctor.  

However, the samples collected through the screening kits don’t always provide accurate results. So, you need to contact your doctor or visit a public clinic to get the results confirmed, in cases where your test result was negative, but you are experiencing symptoms.

Final Words

The concern of sexual health centers regarding STDs is fair. However, in these challenging times, the best possible solution seems to be in the use of screening kits by most of the people.

References:

https://www.hiv.gov/hiv-basics/staying-in-hiv-care/other-related-health-issues/coronavirus-covid-19

https://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/930983

https://www.cdc.gov/hiv/covid-19/index.html

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