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Testing helps save your life

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Even with every inch of the media and pop culture drenched from head to toe in romance and romantic innuendo, it would seem that just plain outright talking about making love and how it impacts on our health is still a difficult discussion.

Soap operas, however, have been attempting to enlighten us. In recent years, many have tried to be responsible for storytelling in regard to the love scenes. They may show a condom, or share insight on health issues and sexually-transmitted-diseases (STDs) like AIDS.

The very popular and heart-wrenching General Hospital storyline of teenagers Stone Cates (Michael Sutton) and Robin Scorpio (Kimberly McCullough) brought award-winning light on HIV. After a struggle that lasted throughout most of 1995, Stone died from AIDS at the age of 19 and his death was followed by storylines in which 17-year-old Robin had to deal with being HIV positive as a result of her relationship with Stone. Sutton won a Daytime Emmy for Outstanding Supporting Actor and McCullough won Outstanding Younger Actress. When the character of Robin returned to General Hospital in 2006, she eventually fell in love with and married Dr. Patrick Drake (Jason Thompson), but when their romance led to their desire to start a family, the HIV story kicked up again and we learned that with the proper care, even though she was HIV positive, she was able to give birth to a healthy baby.

Soap opera storylines are fun, romantic, full of hope, mayhem and intrigue. They impart social knowledge as much as they entertain. They encourage discussion around many issues. This is a wonderful thing.

For some people, they'd rather not have conversations surrounding these issues at all -- or until it is too late.  It is this sort of self-induced myopia that puts millions of men and women at risk everyday at the hands of something that is supposed to be enjoyable and fruitful. It is very important that we de-stigmatize the topic of love making and all its myriad affiliated sub discussions, because the more we're not talking about it is the less we're learning about it.

Specifically, there is still so much fright and taboo that surrounds the discussion of STDs, it seems that in this regard we're still veritably stuck in the medieval time. STDs are a big part of our sexual culture because now more than ever, science is able not only to prevent, but to detect and treat most of the more "popular" STDs. One sure way to be screened for the likelihood of any trace of an STD in your body is by getting a blood test conducted. Luckily for you, Health Testing Centers has discounts on blood testing panels.

What are STDs really?

"Sexually Transmitted Diseases," often also referred to as "Sexually Transmitted Infections" are diseases or infections that are passed from person to person through intimate contact. One of the scariest things about STDs is how little they care about their victims, in that, they do not discriminate as far as age, gender, sexual orientation and ethnicity are concerned. The only thing that the victims have in common is that the victims engage in intimate contact.  A differential factor of each disease is that they affect each victim in a different way. They may all produce the same symptoms and side effects but some are more prevalent, others are more violent on the body, some have additional side effects that others don't - this all ties into the body's individual metabolism and how that particular immune system processes the disease and the treatment. Is there any good news?  Yes! Not all STDs are a death sentence as so many of them are treatable and others are completely curable.

Why is Blood Testing so important to prevention and treatment?

The simple fact of this matter is that blood testing is the most accurate science available when it comes to thoroughly screening the patient and determining the status of infection in their body. Many doctors will opt to completely forego blood testing as an option to cut costs for themselves and move straight on to prescribing medicines based on external symptoms or what they consider to be educated hypotheses. Some of the more traditional tests that are conducted include oral swabs and / or swabs in the "private parts" areas which can provide some results, but quite often neglect to produce others which are equally as important. While some people may fear getting stuck with a needle, just keep your focus on - it's so much easier to get some blood drawn from a vein in your arm than having to pull down your trousers and bare yourself to your doctor.


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