Protecting yourself from the dangers of contracting a sexually transmitted disease (STD) involves being tested on a regular basis. If you are sexually active, this means at least once a year. Testing at least once a year can keep you from experiencing the worst symptoms of diseases like gonorrhea and chlamydia. It's even more critical to have had at least one HIV test in your lifetime if you are an adult who has ever been sexually active. 

STD Testing is Easier Now
If you are having symptoms of a sexually transmitted disease or you feel like you might have been recently exposed, you should get testing right away. If you live in any major city in the country there are free services available if you are a low income resident. There are also online resources available that can send you STD testing kits that have been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for these purposes. There is no excuse for not getting tested at this time. 

Talk to Your Healthcare Provider
The most critical thing you can do to protect your health is to see your doctor right away if you have received a positive result to an STD test. The sooner your STD is treated, the more can be done to limit the scope of damage it does. You should let all recent sex partners be aware of your positive test results. This is both a responsible and a moral action on your part. Fear of negative judgments and retributions can keep so many from doing the right thing. Remember that being untruthful about your current condition can do more to keep you out of trouble than get you in it. 

Start Practicing Abstinence
You and anyone that you have been sexually active with need to avoid all sexual activity. You can't risk spreading the STD to others and, since your former partners probably haven't had a recent STD test, they shouldn't risk it either. It needs to stay that way until any needed treatments are over and the condition is in remission. 

If you are currently involved with someone on a sexual level, they should have found out about your positive results immediately after you. They should get an STD test as soon as possible to find out if they are infected or not. Both of you should practice abstinence at this time. This is even more true if you discover that your partner has not been infected. It's your responsibility to keep your STD from spreading to others. 

Take Your Medications as Directed
You should take the medications that have been prescribed for you exactly as directed and for as long as you are directed to. If you have been prescribed antibiotics, as is often the case, make sure you take them all. Sometimes symptoms of an STD can seem to vanish long before the prescribed antibiotics are finished. Continue taking them until they are all gone to ensure the infection is completely eradicated. If you and your partner were both infected, you can help each other stay encouraged to recover completely by sticking to the treatment program. Remain in communication with your healthcare provider during the course of the treatment. 

Author Bio: Paige Jirsa- I work with Top10.Today, a shopping comparison site, where we strive to help consumers find the best quality and priced products.