No one really enjoys going to see the doctor—especially if you suspect you have a sexually transmitted infection (STI) and need to get tested for it. Ignorance may be bliss, but suffering through a STI certainly is not. If left untreated, STIs can lead to serious and painful long-term consequences like infertility and cancer. Regular testing (every six months) for STIs is recommended if you have had unprotected sex with a partner who engages in high-risk behavior such as using injected drug or having unprotected sex with other (perhaps even multiple) partners.
Female Network visited different health clinics and talked to their staffs to give you a realistic idea of what to expect when getting checked for a sexually transmitted disease (STD).
STEP 1: GETTING CHECKED You may choose to walk into a clinic and simply ask to for a sexually transmitted infection (STI) or HIV test even without a consultation. However, it may be more prudent to consult a gynecologist or your family doctor, who may in turn refer you to an infectious diseases doctor, depending on your concern.
STEP 2: FILLING OUT FORMS You will need to fill out forms with standard personal information such as your name, address, age, and birthday. HIV testing, however, has an additional requirement since mandatory testing for HIV is unlawful in the Philippines. Alma Moral, the medical laboratory manager of Healthway Clinic, says, “The patient will be asked to sign a consent form certifying that they are voluntarily undergoing this (HIV) test.” “In addition, the patient will undergo a counseling session with the lab staff assigned to HIV testing. The HIV antibody test, the benefits of taking it, as well as the confidentiality of the test results are also explained,” says Moral.
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