What You Need To Know
Anyone who has sex can get an STD, but men who have sex with men (MSM) are more frequently impacted by HIV, syphilis, gonorrhea, chlamydia, and other sexually transmitted diseases. Despite this, STDs are preventable with the proper and consistent use of safe-sex precautions. Understanding how STDs are spread and ways to utilize preventative measures properly, as well as engaging in routine STD screening, is a proactive way in which an individual can protect themselves and their partners. Please take a moment to read the following information to learn more about available screening options, ways to prevent STDs, and nearby locations in which STD testing is available.
All STD screening tests act as an important tool to detect or rule out disease, but for those who engage in oral and/or anal sex, extra-genital testing is particularly important. Extra-genital screening refers to testing for STDs at specific sites of sexual contact (often the butt and throat), rather than just performing a urine or urethral swab test.
As rates of gonorrhea and chlamydia are increasing among MSM, increasing extragenital testing rates among MSM is a high priority issue for the Utah Department of Health. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), urine-only chlamydia and gonorrhea tests miss 70-88% of infections in MSM. Additionally, individuals with rectal gonorrhea infections often do not have symptoms (85% of the time), illustrating the growing need for routine extra-genital screening.
Below is a list of nearby testing sites that offer extra-genital testing along with other routine STD screening procedures.
STD Testing Sites:
For more information on specific STDs, as well as no/low-cost testing locations throughout the state of Utah, please visit the Utah Department of Health Testing and Treatment Resource Guide listed below:
There are a variety of ways to prevent the contraction and spread of STDs. Utilizing methods of protection and educating yourself will keep you and your partner(s) safe.
Most reliable way to avoid infection.
Avoid Mixing Drugs & Alcohol
Think twice before mixing alcohol and/or drugs with sex. Alcohol and drugs can impair your ability to make responsible decisions and increase the likelihood of engaging in risky behavior.
Get to know someone before having sex with them and talk openly and honestly about past or current STDs. Consider getting tested before you have sex.
Correct and consistent use of the male latex condom is highly effective in reducing transmission of STDs. A condom should be used every time you have anal, vaginal or oral sex. Synthetic, non-latex condoms are available for those with a latex allergy, although, these condoms have higher breakage rates than latex condoms and can be more expensive.
You agree to be sexually active with just one person, and that persona has agreed to be sexually active only with you. Both partners need to be open and honest with each other and get tested together initially, and when necessary in order to bring about the greatest amount of protection.
Reducing the Number of Sex Partners
Reducing the number of sex partners can decrease your risk of STDs. It is important that you and your partner(s) are continuing to get tested and sharing results with one another.
Vaccines to prevent hepatitis B and Human Papillomavirus (HPV) are available. Vaccines are safe and effective ways to reduce the risk of contracting these infections. Unfortunately, there are no vaccines for preventing chlamydia or gonorrhea.
Also check out our prevention page
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2017, August 24). Human Papillomavirus (HPV). Retrieved March 09, 2018, from https://www.cdc.gov/hpv/parents/vaccine.html
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2016, March 03). Reproductive Health: Teen Pregnancy. Retrieved March 09, 2018, from https://www.cdc.gov/teenpregnancy/teens/index.htm
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2016, February 10). Screening | Questions & Answers | 2015 STD Treatment Guidelines. Retrieved March 09, 2018, from https://www.cdc.gov/std/tg2015/qa/screening-qa.htm
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2016, March 31). Sexually Transmitted Diseases: How You Can Prevent Sexually Transmitted Diseases. Retrieved March 09, 2018, from https://www.cdc.gov/std/prevention/default.htm
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2018, January 11). Viral Hepatitis. Retrieved March 09, 2018, from https://www.cdc.gov/hepatitis/hbv/hbvfaq.htm
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2017, December 05). Sexually Transmitted Diseases: What Gay, Bisexual and Other Men Who Have Sex with Men Need To Know About Sexually Transmitted Diseases. Retrieved March 09, 2018, from https://www.cdc.gov/std/life-stages-populations/stdfact-msm.htm
National Network of STD Clinical Prevention Training Centers. (n.d.). Extragenital Testing: Resources for Providers and Laboratories. Retrieved March 09, 2018, from http://nnptc.org/resources/extragenital-testing-resources-for-providers-and-laboratories/