If you are at all worried about your sexual health it is imperative that you get yourself checked out as soon as possible. If you are experiencing symptoms that worry you or if you have put yourself into an "at risk" situation by having unprotected sex, then you need to take a deep breath and march yourself off to get the relevant STD tests.
The easiest way for most people to do this is by going to your local GP and getting a referral to the sexual health clinic at your local hospital. However, some people prefer the relative anonymity of attending a walk in clinic without first visiting your personal GP.
A walk in GUM clinic will have a standard set of tests that they recommend. These will generally include Chlamydia, Gonorrhoea, HIV and Syphilis. They will then recommend additional tests according to your needs and risks that you have exposed yourself to.
Chlamydia, Gonorrhoea and Syphilis are curable diseases treated by courses of specific antibiotics. They are also all best treated early before they can serious health problems. Even exposure to HIV can be treated by post exposure prophylaxis (PEP) which may prevent you becoming HIV positive if you begin treatment within 72 hours of a high risk exposure.
Treatment in the UK can be either on the NHS or at a private clinic. Some tests such as HIV can be undertaken by home screening. HIV home screening was introduced in the UK in 2006 – wheree you send a saliva sample off to a lab to be analyzed. Counseling is available if the initial result is not all clear.
Do not wait and cross your fingers. Decide which option suits you best, whether it be GP, walk in clinic or private clinic, and get yourself tested.