Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) are easy to spread and catch, especially for people that have sexual relations with different partners often. While anyone can contract an STD from sexual relations, gay and bisexual men have a greater chance of getting an STD. If you are a gay or bisexual man, you should make a habit of getting tested for STDs on a routine basis. Here are three things you should understand about this.
You Are At Risk If You Have Unprotected Sex
Any type of sexual activity with a partner that has an STD can lead to you contracting the disease he or she has. This includes vaginal sex, anal sex, and oral sex. STDs are extremely easy to spread, and they are spread through skin-to-skin contact and through the exchange of bodily fluids. There are a number of STDs you could catch, including genital herpes, syphilis, Hepatitis B, and HIV.
If you always wear a condom when having any type of sexual relations, your risks of contracting an STD will be lower; however, condoms cannot fully protect against all diseases transmitted through sexual encounters.
Why Gay And Bisexual Men Have A Higher Risk
Anyone that has sexual relations with someone infected by a disease could catch the disease; however, people that have sex with a lot of partners typically have a higher chance of catching an STD. In other words, if you are in a monogamous relationship with another man and have been for many years, you have a low chance of getting an STD. On the other hand, if you are with different partners often, your chances will increase.
Gay and bisexual men have higher risks compared to all other categories or groups of people, and this is attributed to several different reasons, including
- The CDC reports that anal sex spreads STDs easier than vaginal sex.
- Gay and bisexual men tend to have more partners than heterosexual individuals.
- The percentage of gay and bisexual men that have STDs is much higher than the percentage of heterosexual individuals, which means there is a greater chance that your partners may already be infected with a disease.
- Many men in these types of relationships fail to wear condoms.
If you have never been tested or have not been tested recently, you should consider getting a free STD test.
Reasons You Should Get Tested
Getting tested will reveal if you currently have any STDs, and this is important because
- You pose the risk of spreading any disease you have – If you do not know you have a disease and continue having sexual relations with other people, you are placing each of those individuals at risk for contracting the disease you currently have. STDs are highly contagious, but you will not know if you are putting people at risk if you never get tested.
- You may be able to treat the disease – Treating STDs is much easier to do if you catch them at an early stage. If you wait too long, there might be nothing that can be done for the disease. With early detection, you might be able to cure the problems with antibiotics.
- You might not have to pay for the services – There are numerous organizations that offer free STD testing. This is done to help prevent people from spreading diseases and contracting diseases.
In addition to getting tested, you may also want to talk to your doctor or healthcare professional about steps you can take to protect yourself.
If you would like to learn more about STDs and ways to prevent them, contact a center that offers free STD testing.