Whether you are from Long Island, New York or Tampa, Florida, sexually transmitted diseases are no joke. Unfortunately, most of them can infiltrate your body without providing obvious and clear-cut symptoms. A full 19 million new STD cases are registered each year,  and it is much better to be safe than sorry by getting tested for STDs yourself. The idea of STD testing carries a stigma, but it shouldn’t. It’s a prudent and important choice to make, not just for your own health, but for your sexual partners as well.

STDs Don’t Discriminate

Sexually transmitted diseases don’t care if you make a lot of money or have an impressive college degree. They also don’t care about your age, race, or body type. As long as you are sexually active, you are at risk of contracting sexually transmitted diseases. STD testing is the wise choice because it only requires your blood, urine, or cell samples to identify exactly what disease you have and how it can be treated.

Condoms Don’t Protect Against All STDs

Condoms are designed to prevent unwanted pregnancies, but they cannot and do not protect against all STDs. Herpes, for example, is passed through direct contact with an infected area. Since many STDs are subtle, you cannot simply look at your partner or date and assume that he or she is free of STDs. Any sexual activity puts you at risk, and only testing can reveal if a previous partner did pass along an STD to you.

Undiagnosed STDs Can Destroy Your Quality of Life

More than anything else, you deserve the knowledge of any STDs in your system due to the severe potential health ramifications of living with an untreated STD. Even if you don’t have symptoms, an STD can increase your risk of other diseases and eventually even lead to your death.

Chlamydia, for example, is the most commonly reported STD in America, yet 50 percent of men exhibit no symptoms at all. If you are diagnosed with this STD, a simple antibiotic treatment will cure it! However, if ignored and left untreated, chlamydia causes an increased risk of HIV, infertility, miscarriage, and preterm labor in women. Even worse, the disease can impact newborn babies by causing lung infections, conjunctivitis, and other complications.

Gonorrhea, herpes, hepatitis B, hepatitis C, syphilis, and HIV all have equally as awful results when left untreated, yet they all are easy to control or cure with medication. So why wait to be tested and risk ruining your life?