Topic: STI Prevention and Screening
A 52-year-old female woman presents to the clinic concerned she may have contracted a sexually transmitted infection. She states that she is recently divorced and has been with several people over the past few months. She explains that she feels that she should be tested for everything, as she has been experimenting with things sexually. Sexually transmitted infection screening is usually quick and non painful. There are different tests used for different infections or diseases.
Most of the time, STIs have no symptoms, so testing is the only way to know for sure if you have an STD (Planned Parenthood, 2020). Even when symptoms are present, they are usually so mild that are ignored for some time. With this patient, I would ask questions that include: 1) Do you have sex with men, women, or both? 2) Have you and your partners used protection each time you’ve had sex? 3) What kind of sex have you had? Vaginal? Anal? Oral? 4) Have you or any of your partners used alcohol or drugs when you had sex? 5) Have you ever had a sexually transmitted infection? 6) Have you ever been tested for HIV (NCSH, 2019). If she responds yes to any of these questions, as her APRN, it would be recommended to follow screening guidelines and test her for what she is at risk for. It would also be important to review her past tests and see their results and how recently they were done.
By following the STI/STD screening guidelines, there are a few tests that should be performed on this patient. If she has not yet been tested for HIV, then this should be performed. Due to her risk factors of multiple and new sex partners, she should also be tested for gonorrhea and chlamydia according to the CDC guidelines (CDC, 2015). Some safe sex practice education to provide this patient with is to discuss with her new partners if they have a history of STIs, discuss if they their new partners would be willing to get tested, always use protection, and go for regular STI/STD screenings if the patient is going to continue to have multiple new sexual partners. It would be important to review how frequently she should get tested based off of her risk factors and following guidelines. It is recommended by the CDC to get a gonorrhea and chlamydia test once a year if a person has multiple sex partners and it is also recommended that anyone who has unsafe sex should get an HIV test done once a year (CDC, 2015).
CDC. (2015). Which STD Tests Should I Get? Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/std/prevention/screeningreccs.htm
NCSH. (2019). Sexual Health and Your Patients: A Provider’s Guide. National Coalition for Sexual Health. Retrieved from https://www.kdheks.gov/sti_hiv/download/Provider_Guide.pdf
Planned Parenthood. (2020). Get Tested. Retrieved from https://www.plannedparenthood.org/learn/stds-hiv-safer-sex/get-tested