Should older women get STD testing?

I struggle with this. The standard of care is to test all women under the age of 25 for sexually transmitted diseases like chlamydia, trichomonas, gonorrhea, herpes, and HIV. For older women, testing is optional. I do offer STD testing to ALL women, even if they haven’t been active in years. I’ve had so many positive results in women who got infected years ago! Recent research has shown Trichomonas, an STD, is highest in women aged 47 to 53 years, whereas Chlamydia is highest in ages 14 to 20 years. I think it’s smart that some of you come in and request testing for “everything,” including HIV. For women who are married or in longterm monogamous relationships, it may seem silly to get tested. However, you have to consider the fact that things happen that you may be unaware of. Many women have test positive for an STD and feel betrayed by their partners. Some women also have more than one partner. Also, an infection like herpes could have been there for years, even possibly before your current relationship. Wouldn’t it be good to know your status? Regardless of the situation, knowing helps you make informed decisions. For older women, I recognize that the implications could be more stressful especially when there is a marriage or longterm relationship that may be affected. I encourage you to have a discussion with your partner about sexually transmitted diseases. And yes, please, get tested for everything!

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