Currently, we are faced with a situation that has changed our lives from their core. With the lockdown due to the COVID-19 spread happening, many of us are forced to work from home while screaming children are running around, students who are online learning, and people who are stuck at the hospital after having been affected by COVID-19.
One thing that has also changed is our behavior towards sex and sexual health. Many of us have forgotten how to use the usual hook-up apps and have reduced the number of their sexual partners, not knowing that by doing so, they are protecting themselves against the numerous, dangerous STDs.
On the other hand, experts and researchers are more than aware of this advantage and once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that we have been provided with. The current situation allows us to avoid getting infected by a dangerous STD, as well as, acknowledge our current sexual health status and treat any existing STD before we have the chance to pass it to someone else without even knowing it.
But there is one problem that many of us also face on a day-to-day basis. Even if we want to get tested for any STD, chances are that you will get face-to-face with a closed-door at the nearest sexual health services facility in your city. According to the British Association for Sexual Health and HIV, about 54 percent of the sexual health services in the UK have closed their doors due to the current COVID-19 outbreak. The same is happening in the U.S., as well as across many other countries in the world that have been facing the consequences of this new and unpredictable virus.
The solution, however, is still within our reach and it comes in the form of testing kits. These kinds of kits are already quite popular as they are offering an option to get tested at home, in complete anonymity. The kits come with provided instructions so that everyone could collect their sample of either blood, urine, or saliva, depending on which STD they want to get tested for, and send the sample to a certified and trusted laboratory. In case of a positive result, the users are then recommended to consult a doctor and discuss their treatment options.
Self-testing kits could be the starting point, but as Dr. John McSorley, who is a sexual health doctor and president of the British Association for Sexual Health and HIV explained in an interview with Radio 1 Newsbeat, we need to take advantage of the current situation and test everybody for an existing STD. Later they would receive proper treatment which will reduce the already low risk of spreading the infections further.