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STD/STI Testing and Treatment is free and confidential for all.
If you are sexually active—whether you have had oral, anal, vaginal intercourse or genital touching—you can get a sexually transmitted disease/sexually transmitted infection (STD/STI). The Center for Disease Control estimates that nearly 20 million new sexually transmitted infections occur every year in America alone. Half of those are among people ages 15–24.
If you have engaged in sexual activity, you have been exposed to the possibility of an STD/STI. While some STDS and STIs have some symptoms, not all are obvious. Some may have no symptom. Not all symptoms are obvious though. Some can cause a change in discharge, burning with urination or genital sores. If left untreated, some can even lead to infertility. The only way to know for sure if you have an STD is to get tested. When sexually active, it’s advised to get tested at least once a year.
Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) and sexually transmitted infections (STIs) are very common. In fact, there are over 110 million cases in the U.S. with 20 million new infections each year. Prevalence estimates suggest that young people aged 15-24 years acquire half of all new STDs and that 1 in 4 sexually active adolescent females have an STD, such as Chlamydia or Human Papillomavirus (HPV).
The Centers for Disease Control recommends STD/STI testing for all sexually active people, and treatment right away if your test is positive. The infections associated with this epidemic are all preventable.
If left undetected and untreated, STDs and STIs can increase your risk of acquiring another STD/STI, and cause serious medical complications including painful sores, heart disease, cancer, birth defects and more. Early identification and treatment are key to the prevention and management of these outcomes.
With early detection, all STD/STIs are treatable and most STD/STIs are curable. ABC Life Choices offers same-day testing and treatment for Chlamydia and Gonorrhea.
Do not have sex during treatment of an STD/STI. Notify all sex partners that you have an STD/STI so they can be tested and treated. You should be re-tested for STD/STIs 3-4 months after finishing treatment.
If you are sexually active and have not yet received STD/STI testing or have questions, we can help. Call us today for an appointment.
STD/STIs are infections spread by sexual contact with skin, genitals, mouth, rectum, or body fluids. Although some STD/STIs can be treated, others cannot. People with an STD/STI may not know they have it.1 According to the Centers for Disease Control, in the United States, 1 out of 4 women between the ages of 14 and 19 is infected with at least one STD/STI.
Sexually Transmitted Diseases/Infections (STDs/STIs) pose a serious risk to future reproductive and overall health, especially if left untreated. People who have an STD/STI are at least 2 to 5 times more likely to contract HIV, the virus which leads to AIDS.2
More than 1 in 3 female teens who have had sex have an STD or STI.3 As your number of partners and sexual encounters increases, your risk of contracting an STD or STI increases dramatically.
Most STD/STI’s go undiagnosed because symptoms are not recognized or are very mild. An infected individual can share an STD/STI with their partner before ever realizing they have one. Because they are often asymptomatic, it’s important to be tested. ABC Life choices provides select STD/STI testing and treatment.
Chlamydia is a common sexually transmitted disease caused by the bacterium, Chlamydia trachomatis, which can damage a woman’s reproductive organs.
Chlamydia is the most prevalent STI. Use of hormonal contraceptives increases your risk of contracting Chlamydia. 75% of women who are infected with Chlamydia do not know they have it, because they have NO SYMPTOMS.
Symptoms of Chlamydia in women include:
Symptoms of Chlamydia in men include:
Symptoms can take 1-3 weeks to appear after exposure.
If left untreated: Can develop into a “silent” infection, impacting a woman’s future ability to have children.
Gonorrhea is a sexually transmitted infection caused by Neisseria gonorrhoeae, a bacterium that can grow and multiply easily in the warm, moist areas of the reproductive tract in women and men.
Many women and men have NO SYMPTOMS of Gonorrhea. Symptoms can take up to 30 days to appear.
Symptoms of Gonorrhea in women include:
Symptoms of Gonorrhea in men include:
If left untreated: Can develop into PID and infertility in both men and women.
Bacterial Vaginosis (BV)
BV often appears as an abnormal vaginal discharge with an unpleasant odor, pain, itching or burning.
If left untreated: Can develop into PID, resulting in damage to the fallopian tubes and infertility.
Hepatitis B can include fever, fatigue, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, dark urine, clay-colored bowel movements, joint pain, jaundice.
Can cause jaundice; is easily spread through fecal-oral contact.
If left untreated: Hepatitis B is the leading cause of liver cancer.
Herpes Simplex Virus
Herpes can include small red bumps or tiny white blisters that become ulcers and can be found on the genitals, buttocks, anus or thighs; sometimes flu-like symptoms.
If left untreated: Can increase a woman’s chances of contracting HIV.
HIV/AIDS symptoms can include fatigue, fever, headache, sore throat, rash, swollen lymph glands, diarrhea, dry cough, sudden weight loss.
If left untreated: Can progress into AIDS and death.
Human Papillomavirus (HPV)
HPV is a very common STD and can include genital warts, sometimes in the mouth or throat, genital itching or discomfort, bleeding with intercourse.
If left untreated: Causes genital warts, cervical and vaginal cancers, and rarely, penile and anal cancers.
Syphilis can often appear as one or more painless, open sores called chancres.
If left untreated: Can damage internal organs, resulting in paralysis, blindness, dementia and even death.
Symptoms of Trichomoniasis in Women include:
Symptoms of trichomoniasis in men include:
If left untreated: Can result in premature or low birth-weight babies.
1 The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (2011). “How to prevent sexually transmitted diseases.” FAQ009.
2 Wasserheit JN (1992). Epidemiological synergy: Interrelationships between human immunodeficiency virus infection and other sexually transmitted diseases. Sex Transm Dis, 19(6): 61-77.
3 Forhan SE, Gottlieb SL, Sternberg MR, Xu F, Datta SD, McQuillan GM, et al. (2009). “Prevalence of sexually transmitted infections among female adolescents aged 14 to 19 in the United States.” Pediatrics, 124(6): 1505-12.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, “A reliable way to avoid transmission of STDs or STIs is to abstain from oral, vaginal, and anal sex or to be in a long-term, mutually monogamous relationship with an uninfected partner.”1
In other words, the only way to be sure you won’t get an STD or STI is to not have sex, or to only have sex with one sexually healthy person who will only have sex with you.
But what about condoms?
Condoms cannot protect you against certain types of diseases, such as herpes, syphilis and HPV. Condom use can provide some protection from other STDs, but this protection still fails 21-40% of the time.2 See Birth Control and STDs (link to https://www.compasscare.info/health-information/birth-control/birth-control-stds/) for more.
Additionally, a phenomenon known as “risk compensation behavior” typically applies as the availability of contraceptive methods such as condoms increases. This basically means that people who feel ‘safer’ by using a condom participate in riskier sexual behavior than those who do not use condoms. For example, analysis indicates that increasing access to condoms increases teen pregnancy rates in the long run, while reducing access to condoms reduces teen pregnancy rates.
1 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2010). “Sexually transmitted diseases treatment guidelines, 2010.” MMWR 59(RR-12):2-8.
2 Sanghvi H (1996). “Contraception and STDs.” In: JHPIEGO. “Issues in Management of STDs in Family Planning Settings.” STDs Workshop Proceedings; Apr 19-21, 1995; Baltimore, MD.
3 Arcidiacono P, Khwaja A, Ouyang L (2012). Habit persistence and teen sex: Could increased access to contraception have unintended consequences for teen pregnancies? J Bus Econ Stat, 30(2): 312-25.