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(EmpowHER) Are STD tests really necessary? If you are sexually active, the answer is yes. But depending on your situation, there may be different tests you need to have done.

The reason you need to be tested is that many sexually transmitted diseases do not cause symptoms, particularly in women, so you may not realize you are infected.

STDs are also called sexually transmitted infections but they are exactly the same group of conditions. STI is just a newer term used for these infections.

Women who are sexually active often see their doctor for yearly Pap exams, but unless you specifically ask to be tested for sexually transmitted diseases, you may not be having those performed.

Being checked for STDs before you become sexually active with a new partner is wise for both men and women. Neither should feel uncomfortable about asking a partner or potential partner to be tested.

Here are the STDs to be tested for before you start a new sexual relationship. according to Elizabeth Boskey, Ph.D.

Boskey is a sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) expert at About.com.

1) HIV

The CDC recommends that everyone between the ages of 13 and 64 get tested for HIV at least once as part of routine health care. About 1 in 8 people in the United States with HIV are unaware that they have it.

2) Chlamydia

Chlamydia is the most commonly reported STD according to the CDC, with young and minority women being the most frequently affected. Chlamydia often has no symptoms. It is recommended that women under the age of 26 be tested every year.

3) Gonorrhea

Gonorrhea is the second most commonly reported STD according to the CDC and like chlamydia, may have no symptoms. It commonly affects younger men and women between the ages of 15 and 24 years.

This article are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from the insight. We always advocate seeing a medical specialist. Talk to a doctor online, by phone, or text at Chat Live MD

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