The thought of having a Sexually Transmitted Disease (STD) infection confirmed still inspires dread in most people despite the fact that a great progress has been made towards finding treatments for most STDs.
While it is absolutely necessary and could be life-saving, considering the pros and cons of using using STD check is equally important. Special focus should be accorded to the legality of the screening, especially where the protection of private information is concerned. If you are planning to have yourself screened, here are a few points to have in mind.
- Doctors are bound by Oath
Before doctors enter practice, they take an oath designed to ensure that they protect their patients’ private information. It is known as the Hippocratic Oath. Among other solemn promises, it binds medical practitioners into an agreement that they will not disclose any information they come across and which they deem confidential. However, the oath is not clear on what the physicians should consider private information or not. In other words, circumstances that may require the revelation of results of your STD screening to third parties are a subject for discussion.
- You have a Right to Allow or Deny Disclosure
In some circumstances, there may be need to allow access to your STD information by third parties—medical practitioners other than the physician who took you through the screening process. If the test confirms the presence of an STD, it is advisable to seek medical care. However, it will be hardly practical if the individual or team responsible for your care and treatment have no information regarding your status.
- There is the Need to Protect People Closest to you
In some circumstances, STD testing is almost mandatory. One such special case is the necessity to protect an unborn from HIV transmission from the mother. It is can be easily assumed that you wouldn’t want to pass on a health condition to your baby. Therefore, the mandatory part of it would not much count.
In other situations, it is not only ethical to let your sexual partner know about your STD status but it is also a legal requirement. Passing on one type or another of STD to your partner knowingly would attract a legal punishment. Your employer may also require you to undergo STD screening and disclose the results to them
- Quality and Reliability are Indispensable
In a number of unfortunate circumstances, patients have received wrong results. There is also likelihood, especially in online testing, that you would get results that are not really yours sent to you. Whether you get positive or negative results, it cuts both ways. In other words, receiving information contrary to what is real will take you to making the exact opposite decisions to what you should. You can pursue legal redress but it is probable that the harm will already be done. Therefore, ensure that the method of testing, the medical personnel and even the manner in which the sample is transported are of unquestionable quality and reliability.
- Counseling is Greatly Important
There is no simpler way of stressing the necessity of counseling where STD testing is concerned other than terming it gravely important. The fear of testing positive discourages many people from undergoing screening. Talking to a qualified counselor will help alleviate the fear. It gets worse when an individual tests positive for such conditions as HIV and then get no access to a counselor. There is just no guessing about what the consequences would be. In a number of cases, freshly-tested HIV positive individuals commit suicide or homicide.
The advent of the internet has certainly made things much easier and confidential than they were in the past. Today, you can privately get screened for STD without the knowledge of anyone you don’t want to know. However, remember that some of the aspects of the traditional means of testing have not changed. You will still need to consider the risks of disclosure of your results to third parties without your consent.
In addition, you will have to forego the advantage of the personal touch which comes with counseling and advice on the most suitable steps to take whether you test positive or not. You also have to consider reliability of STD Check to ensure that you get the actual results as well as the legal ramifications of hiding your status information from partners and individuals it directly concerns.