Condoms provide by far the best protection against sexually transmitted infections (STIs),
but they still don’t provide 100% protection. Even if you always use a condom, it is a good idea to get tested for STIs.
There are different STIs, and they can affect you in different ways. Untreated STIs have a negative impact on the body, sometimes without the person noticing. If you have an STI it could also increase your susceptibility to other STIs and HIV. So, it’s a good idea to get tested regularly, even if you don’t have any signs or symptoms of an infection. By getting tested, you take control of your own health.
Safer sex means making a conscious effort to minimise the risk of transmitting STIs. Keeping an eye on your health is a good start. If you know you have an STI you can do something about it – for one, get treatment, but also you can avoid passing it on. Many STIs have no visible symptoms, so many people don’t realise they have one, but they can still be bad for your health and be passed on to others.
Most infections can be cured and are easy to treat if they’re discovered in time. Testing can also put your mind at ease. If you’re worried or just want to check, go and get tested!
The only way of taking control and avoiding uncertainty is to get tested. There are many benefits of having this control, from avoiding uncertainty for yourself and your sexual partners, to being able to start effective treatment at the right time if it turns out you do have the HIV virus. The overwhelming majority of people who contract HIV today get it from someone who doesn’t realise they have it.
You are entitled to free testing and treatment for HIV and most sexually transmitted infections. You have the right to remain anonymous during HIV testing. If, however, you later turn out to be HIV positive, you can no longer remain anonymous to the medical staff. Testing for other STIs is not anonymous in Sweden.