Editorial: Five simple reasons to get yourself tested

By Pitt News Staff

‘ ‘ ‘ Sex is pretty great. It feels good, it gets your heart rate up, and if you have thin… ‘ ‘ ‘ Sex is pretty great. It feels good, it gets your heart rate up, and if you have thin walls, then it’s an excellent way to get back at your roommate for not doing the dishes. But like any activity, being sexually active carries risks that people need to realize. And while most people know about pregnancy already, and straight-up relationship drama is kind of tough to avoid, there is one thing that can be easily prevented: sexually transmitted infections. ‘ ‘ ‘ STIs are easy to test for, and doctors and clinics almost always offer options to be tested. But not everyone is convinced that testing is necessary, so we compiled a list of pros and cons to help you make up your mind. First, the positive aspects of getting an STI test. ‘ ‘ ‘ 1. It’s good for you and your partner. This first reason is probably the most obvious, but it deserves to be said. Just like you get a flu shot in flu season or a tetanus booster when you stick yourself with a rusty nail, people should get tested for STIs when they’re sexually active. Even if neither partner has a history of infection, it’s simply a good idea to safeguard your own health. ‘ ‘ ‘ 2. It’s not painful or awkward. Well, OK, maybe it’s a little awkward the first time you do it, at least if you’re shy. But if you’re willing to get naked in front of another person and exchange body fluids, you shouldn’t feel that weird about letting a trained medical professional evaluate your health. And all it really involves is a cotton swab and a quick blood test. No muss, no fuss. ‘ ‘ ‘ 3. It shows you care. They say nothing says you care like flowers or chocolates or whatever, but getting tested on behalf of someone else’s heath is about as nice a thing as you can possibly do for another person. If you want to prove that you’re a good person and want to prove that you’re not passing along a variety of nasty infections, this is a pretty good way to go about it. ‘ ‘ ‘ 4. It won’t cost you anything but your time. Student Health offers students two free tests per year. If you’ve paid your Student Health fee, you’re already paying for the service, so you might as well take advantage of it. Think about it: For a free appointment, you’re gaining a clean bill of health, some personal peace of mind and the ability to tell your partner that you’re free and clear. But all you have to lose is a little bit of free time ‘mdash; and it would really be a shame to miss that ‘House’ rerun, wouldn’t it? ‘ ‘ ‘ 5. It enables you to make better choices. Knowing your sexual health status means that you can make informed decisions about your sex life, simple as that. If you come up positive, it’s always better to know and get treatment, as well as change the way you go about your game so that you can avoid it in the future. Like G.I. Joe always said, knowing is half the battle. ‘ ‘ ‘ We also felt that we should provide skeptics with reasons why they might want to avoid getting tested, just in case. ‘ ‘ ‘ … Actually, we couldn’t think of any. Sorry about that ‘mdash; maybe you should make an appointment now. After all, you’ve got no reason not to.