Testing for sexually transmitted diseases is a burning topic in the circles of medical professionals. Sexually transmitted diseases have social taboo attached with them and this taboo makes it even more difficult to detect and treat them. The rate at which STDs are spreading is alarming. Every year more than 15 million Americans contract STD and these are the one who reports. Many more million cases go unreported. Though many sexually transmitted diseases are curable if detected in time, diseases like HIV AIDs are not only incurable but fatal also if left untreated. Even simple STDs such as syphilis and gonorrhoea can lead to fatal diseases such as organ failure, cancer, etc.
The important question that arises is that looking at the grave nature of sexually transmitted diseases, should we do a blanket testing for the entire population or should we devise methods to identify high risk population. STDs are hard to detect by symptoms in their initial stages. For example, HIV takes almost five to ten years to develop detectable symptoms. Hence we should identify people such as those who are ready to begin a new relationship, are having multiple sex partners, indulging in un-protected sex, sharing syringes and needles, doing drug abuse, etc. These all form the high risk category and should be persuaded to undertake STD tests.
The next question that arises is that what all tests should be done on the high risk category individuals. There are a large number of STDs which are prevalent and it is neither economically viable nor physically possible to test for all of them and hence we have shortlisted few high risk STDs such as HIV, syphilis, gonorrhoea, etc. Testing for above sexually transmitted diseases at least ensures that people are aware about their status for these fatal diseases. Even testing for these sexually transmitted diseases involves a lot of complexities. For example there a large number of HIV tests and each one of them differ in their method. Some tests can give quick result but are only partially accurate whereas the other tests are accurate but then they take longer time.
The last and the most important factor is that we also need to provide financial assistance to the needy for undergoing tests for sexually transmitted diseases. Poor people under estimate the danger from sexually transmitted diseases and hence do not undergo tests to avoid the financial strain that it might bring.