Sexual health is an essential piece of your overall health. Anyone who is having sex (vaginal, anal, or oral sex) can get an STD, which is why knowledge about these infections and testing is important.
If you are sexually active, or thinking of becoming sexual active, it is important to talk with your healthcare provider regarding your sexual life as it relates to your health.
Common STD screenings include, but are not limited to, Chlamydia, Human Papillomavirus, Hepatitis B, and Human Immunodeficiency Virus.
Screenings, early detection, and treatment can limit the long-term effects of the disease, preventing long-term complications.
The Good News: STDs ARE preventable.
Practicing the following steps can keep you and your partner healthy by helping avoid giving or getting an STD:
- Practice abstinence
- Use condoms
- Agree to have sex with only one person who agrees to only have sex with you
- Get vaccinated — HPV, Hepatitis B
- Don’t use alcohol or drugs before or during sex
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) the following STD guidance:
- Adults and Adolescents from ages 13-64 should be tested at least once for HIV.
- Sexually Active Women younger than 25 years be tested every year for gonorrhea and chlamydia.
- Women over 25 years with risk factors, new or multiple sex partners, or a sex partner who has an STD should also be tested for gonorrhea and chlamydia every year.
- Anyone pregnant should be tested for syphilis, HIV, hepatitis B, and Hepatitis C starting early in pregnancy. Those at risk for infection should also be tested for chlamydia and gonorrhea early in pregnancy.
- All sexually active gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men should be tested:
- At least once a year for syphilis, chlamydia, and gonorrhea.
- Those who have multiple or anonymous partners should be tested more frequently (e.g., every 3 to 6 months).
- At least once a year for HIV and may benefit from more frequent HIV testing (e.g., every 3 to 6 months).
- At least once a year for hepatitis C, if living with HIV.
- Anyone who engages in sexual behaviors that could place them at risk for infection or shares injection drug equipment should get tested for HIV at least once a year.
- People who have had oral or anal sex should talk with their healthcare provider about throat and rectal testing options.
If you would like an STD screening, contact your PCP. If you need help with scheduling an appointment or transportation to your PCP (for eligible members), call your MO HealthNet Managed Care Health plan, Healthy Blue, at 833-388-1407 (TTY 711) from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Central time, Monday through Friday.