In Colombia, the HIV joint table reports an increase in cases of sexually transmitted diseases or infections since 2021, These include HIV, chlamydia, gonorrhea, herpes, human papillomavirus, hepatitis B and C, and trichomoniasis, among others. It is estimated that one in five people has an STI.
(Keep reading: What Are the Symptoms of a Sexually Transmitted Infection (STI)?)
Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) are common, especially among young people. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), 38 million sexually active people in the Americas between the ages of 15 and 49 are living with easily treatable STIs.
The prevalence of STIs has reached an all-time high in recent years, in part because people with STIs face social and personal barriers to talking about STIs with their partners or others, It can also be a barrier to getting diagnostic tests or even talking about your sexual health.
“Talking about an STI with a health professional or your partner may not be easy, but it’s important to learn more about it. Sexual health is health,” said Dr. Oscar Guerra, medical director of Abbott Rapid Diagnostics.
In this context, it is important that people be aware that untreated STIs can have serious health effects such as: chronic abdominal pain, infertility, ectopic pregnancy, miscarriage, and congenital anomalies. Therefore, a quick and timely diagnosis is critical to understanding your sexual health and receiving appropriate treatment.
(You may be interested in: What You Should Know About Syphilis: Symptoms, Stages, and Treatment)
The Colombian Ministry of Health recommends regular rapid diagnostic tests for sexually transmitted infections to maintain good sexual healthespecially if the person is exposed to a risk factor.
Additionally, screening tests can help prevent the further spread of STIs and, if positive, can open a window of treatment options, helping people take treatment early and go on to live healthier lives.
Why should I have a rapid STI test?
STIs may lie latent or go undetected, with symptoms appearing weeks, months, or years later. For example, experts point out that most people with chlamydia don’t experience symptoms, but when they do, the symptoms can damage a woman’s reproductive system.
Another obvious example is HIV, which may not show any symptoms for weeks after infection, and some people may not develop symptoms until 10 years later; while others may suffer from opportunistic infections because they do not know they are infected HIV and not receiving treatment.
Symptomatic people may experience flu-like symptoms two to four weeks after contracting the virus, which can lead to AIDS if the infection is left untreated.
“Rapid diagnostic tests provide accurate and timely information for better health management. Early detection of STIs can completely change the course of your story. If you understand your condition, you can work with your health professionals to take appropriate steps to Get treatment,” explains Dr. Oscar Guerra.
This is your health. Get it under control: Today, technological innovations have enabled the development of rapid tests to detect STIs, with the aim of enabling adequate treatment for people who would otherwise be putting their own health and the health of others at risk.
When it comes to your sexual health, it’s important to remember: STIs are still common and testing can give you valuable information Help you stay healthy.