If you are sexually active or think that you have been exposed to a sexually transmitted infection/disease (STI/STD), it is important to get tested. Some common symptoms of STIs include unusual odor, discharge from the vagina or penis, burning during urination and sores on the genitals. However, many STIs do not cause any symptoms and it is possible to spread these diseases and infections without ever having symptoms.
While condoms and birth control may prevent pregnancy and some STIs, even if used consistently and correctly each and every time, they cannot provide 100% protection. Many STIs do not have any symptoms and can lead to health complications.
If you are considering having an abortion it is important to be tested before scheduling that procedure. According to the Department of Health and Human Services, having gonorrhea, chlamydia or bacterial vaginosis can increase a woman’s chance of having an infection after an abortion procedure. This is important because more than one million pregnant women are annually diagnosed with a sexually transmitted infection.
Choices offers cost free and confidential STD testing and treatment for both men and women. We can also give you information on specific infections and how they can affect your health, how to talk to your partner, and what you can do to make sure your relationship is healthy. Text or call today for a no cost, confidential appointment.
While most people are only concerned about unplanned pregnancy when sexually active, sexually transmitted infections are on the rise especially among young people ages 15-24. If you are sexually active, you are at risk for STI’s/STD’s.
- Affect both men and women
- Most often show no symptoms
- Can be transmitted even while using a condom or other types of birth control
Left Untreated STI’s can cause1
- Increased risk of giving or getting HIV
- Long term pelvic/abdominal pain
- Inability to get pregnant or pregnancy complications
Who should get tested?2
The CDC recommends the following testing guidelines
- All adults and adolescents from ages 13 to 64 should be tested at least once for HIV.
- All sexually active women younger than 25 years should be tested for gonorrhea and chlamydia every year. Women 25 years and older with risk factors such as new or multiple sex partners or a sex partner who has an STI should also be tested for gonorrhea and chlamydia every year.
- All pregnant women should be tested for syphilis, HIV, and hepatitis B starting early in pregnancy. At-risk pregnant women should also be tested for chlamydia and gonorrhea starting early in pregnancy. Testing should be repeated as needed to protect the health of mothers and their infants.
- All sexually active gay and bisexual men should be tested at least once a year for syphilis, chlamydia, and gonorrhea. Those who have multiple or anonymous partners should be tested more frequently for STDs (i.e., at 3- to 6-month intervals).
- Sexually active gay and bisexual men may benefit from more frequent HIV testing (e.g., every 3 to 6 months).
- Anyone who has unsafe sex or shares injection drug equipment should get tested for HIV at least once a year.