Screening can be a complicated or even frightening step for some, but it is an important and responsible act. It is completely normal to get tested to find out your HIV status.
What is an STI?
Sexually Transmitted Infections are viruses, bacteria, fungi or parasites that are transmitted most often during sexual intercourse by penetration (vaginal, anal or oral) unprotected or poorly protected, with a person carrying an STI. But this is not the only mode of transmission. Some can also be contracted by other routes, such as skin-to-skin contact, especially between mucous membranes, blood transmission, sharing an infected syringe or from mother to child during pregnancy. .
What are the consequences of an STI?
A Untreated STIs can cause complications, such as damage to the eyes, brain, nerves or even the heart (in the case of an syphilis).
It can also cause:
- Cirrhosis (like viral hepatitis)
- Liver cancer (in the case of Hepatitis B)
- A probability of evolution towards a precancerous or cancerous lesion for some HPV.
- Tubal, ovarian or pelvic damage that can lead to sterility (following salpingitis) or ectopic pregnancy (chlamydia or gonococcus).
- Maternal-fetal transmission with neonatal involvement (chlamydia, gonococcus, HPV, hepatitis, HIV).
What is an STI screening?
It is a test to verify the existence or not of a Sexually Transmitted Infection. STIs are often so-called “silent” infections! There are therefore no apparent symptoms, hence the importance of screening.
When to get tested?
Typically, STI screening is done if:
- You do not always protect yourself when you have sex with occasional partners: it is therefore recommended to take a screening test at least once a year.
- You are considering a life as a couple: both take a screening test before stopping using condoms.
- You have been or are a drug user, especially if you have exchanged injecting equipment with other drug users.
- Quite simply if you are curious to know your serological status and that can reassure you.
STI screening: how does it work?
There are several ways to do this:
- You can ask your doctor who will prescribe a blood test, a smear, a urine test, etc. Thanks to the prescription you will be reimbursed by Social Security.
- You can also go directly to the laboratory for a blood test but without a prescription you will not be reimbursed
- There are now also self-tests available in pharmacies, but be careful, read the instructions carefully and follow all the steps to the letter for a reliable result. The result is only reliable if the risk taking dates back more than 3 months.
To screen for an STI, several samples may be necessary:
- A blood test
- Pap smear
- A urethral swab
- A urine sample
Where to get tested?
You can get tested:
- In medical analysis laboratories
- In the Free Center for Information, Screening and Diagnosis of STIs (CeGIDD).
Do condoms protect me against STIs?
Yes to more than 99% but for some STIs it is enough to have a simple skin-to-skin contact to transmit them.
The best way to protect yourself from STIs is to use a condom, whether internal or external, and a lubricating gel (to avoid cracking) for all sexual relations with vaginal and anal penetration.
You can reduce your risk of contracting an STI by getting tested regularly and getting vaccinated against the human papillomavirus (HPV) and hepatitis B.
Can an STI be cured?
Yes and no, it all depends on the STI. To be cured of an STI, it is necessary to be taken care of quickly.
get tested once a year to avoid the dangers of STIs and don’t forget they are mostly asymptomatic, so protect yourself!
And at HEYME, what does mutual insurance give?
At HEYME from €9.90/month we cover your essential needs: hospitalization, routine care, pharmacy. And if you need extended coverage, we offer 4 levels of guarantees to meet your expectations.
Regardless of the level chosen, you have unlimited access to medical teleconsultation 24 hours a day with ABI. You can consult a doctor from your smartphone and directly from your sofa!
We also provide you with an app to view your reimbursements, download your third-party payment card, send us your documents and find a doctor near you!
And the icing on the cake… an app with good deals and discounts on your favorite brands: shopping, cinema, restaurant…
👉 HEYME student mutual
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