Despite the continuous effort of the government and other private entities to hold screening, awareness and sensitization events, the prevalence of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) is still on the rise. STIs such as Gonorrhea, Syphilis and HIV are still in parts of Nigeria. To be on the safe side, it is advised to get tested for STIs at least once every 3 months, especially if you are sexually active. Remember, most STIs may not have signs and symptoms. The only way to know if you have been infected, and to begin treatment early, is to get tested.
Below are five reasons why you should repeatedly test for STIs.
You Had Sex Without Condom:
According to a study conducted in Nigeria in 2011, the prevalence of condom use among youths is very low. Till date, the prevalence of condom use remains very low, as “most youth will say sex with a condom is like licking a candy with the wrapper still intact – it is not sweet”. Ideally, it is advisable to always use a condom when having sex. In situations where you do not know the STI status of your partner(s), adequate testing should be carried out before having sex, even if you intend to use condom. This is because condoms give you protection from most STIs, they do not provide total protection from STIs that are spread by skin contact, such as syphilis, external genital warts, HPV, and genital and oral herpes. However, using condoms reduces your chances of becoming infected with these STIs.
Some STIs Are Less Obvious:
Some STIs are quite dubious, displaying little or no symptoms in some cases. In the early stage of infection, gonorrhea, syphilis and chlamydia may show little or no symptoms, which may later lead to more problematic health issues down the line, such as infertility, stillbirths or even death.
Getting Tested Is Quick and Easy:
Most test kits for some STIs are very easy to use. Gone are the days of complicated testing methods. Recent STI rapid diagnostic test kits are user-friendly and provide accurate results.
Continuous Rise of STIs In Nigeria.
“It is better to be safe than sorry” is the statement that was the go-to back in the day, and is still relevant today. With a continuous rise of STI among the younger population in Nigeria, it’s advisable to constantly test for STI.
Most STIs are Treatable and Curable:
The sooner you know your STI status the better. STIs such as chlamydia, gonorrhea and syphilis can be effectively treated with antibiotics. HIV is no longer a death sentence, if detected and treated early.
Early and constant self-testing for STDs can save your life and the lives of the people around you.
To help increase the culture of constant STI self-testing among Nigerian youth, you are encouraged to join the #HIVSelfTestingContest by logging into bit.do/HIVSelfTesting to submit your ideas on how you can promote self-testing in Nigeria. Your idea may just be the key to reducing the growing STI population in Nigeria.
The best ideas will win cash prizes and support for business startups. Entries close on November 25, 2018