Surely these are not dating times.
Most doctors in the DC area are caring for their patients via telemedicine these days because of the ongoing corona virus pandemic.
It is not surprising that whenever a doctor treating sexually transmitted diseases queries a patient about new sex partners, the standard answer is a big no.
Everyone is taking shelter in place seriously.
A doctor at a lab that performs STD testing in Alexandria says, “My patients seem to be more interested in information about Covid-19 than the sexual problem they have come for”.
This pandemic has made most of the public practice meticulous hand hygiene and social distancing.
This is as to be expected – we must now prioritize needs from desires.
Are people indulging in sex these days?
It is difficult to answer this question.
It is quite possible that some folks are indulging in sex for temporary distraction. But there is not much data on this aspect.
Fear and anxiety has a negative impact on libido.
The kinds of worries people have on their minds include job security and health, including that of their loved ones.
Yet, it makes good sense to limit sex to your household sex partner, provided the person is also following hand hygiene and social distancing protocols.
What to do if you indulge in sex with a new partner and plan to get a STD test done?
You must get yourself tested.
But keep in mind that most labs are overloaded with Covid-19 testing and so you may not get the results as quickly as before.
Ask the medical provider in the lab you wish to go to, because the workflow may vary locally and you could still be able to get the tests done.
For STD testing, Washington DC has clinics where you can get tests done without an appointment.
These clinics offer worry-free confidential testing. Tests will be done in quick time and the billing will be discreet.
Most such walk-in centers abide by HIPAA (The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996) so that you can rest assured that your privacy is taken care of seriously.
You may even try to contact your local doctor.
Many regular physicians are still offering their usual services which can include HIV and STD screening.
If the physician has moved to the telemedicine mode, it is even better for you because you need not visit the clinical space. The doctor may write out tests that will allow you to visit pathology services with your samples.
You may still feel anxious about visiting a medical clinic.
Keep in mind that most medical facilities, including urgent care centers, have put mechanisms in place that minimizes the risks of patients getting infected by Covid-19.
In the United States, the number of STD cases, chiefly syphilis, gonorrhea and chlamydia rose to a record high in 2018.
Going undiagnosed with STD is not good at all, because it can cause serious health problems including infertility and ectopic pregnancy, and leave you with a high risk of contracting H.I.V. Consult your doctor who will recommend a panel of tests best suited to you.