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Sexual Health

Sexually Transmitted Infections and Your Body

Any time a person has sexual contact with a partner, there is a chance of contracting a sexually transmitted infection (STI). Condoms and other barrier methods may help reduce the risk of contracting an STI, but these methods are only risk reduction, not risk elimination. Many STIs show no signs or symptoms. Therefore, it is important to be tested regularly. How regularly you should be tested depends on your sexual behaviors and other risk factors.

Could I Have an STI?

If a person is sexually active, they are at risk for a sexually transmitted infection. If you have had sex but have no signs or symptoms, you could still have an STI and you can still transmit it to your partner(s). Some STIs are curable if they are caught early and have no long-term effects. But if left untreated, many STIs can cause damage which can be permanent. This is one reason why testing and early detection is important.

How Do I Prevent an STI?

If you are engaging in any type of sexual activity, you are at risk for a sexually transmitted disease. Condoms and other barrier methods are risk reduction, not risk elimination. Abstinence is the only way to ensure you don’t contract an STI. This means not engaging in vaginal, oral, or anal sex.

What If I Tested Positive for an STI?

Some STIs are curable with medications or other treatment methods. Talk to a medical professional and begin a treatment plan. Do not engage in any type of sexual activity until cleared by your doctor to make sure you do not pass an STI to your partner(s). There is help, hope, and healing available after an STI. Call us today to talk with a peer consultant confidentially, without shame or judgment.

Who Should Be Tested for a Sexually Transmitted Infection?

Anyone, regardless of age, who has engaged in any type of sexual activity with a partner(s) should be tested.

Is It Possible My Partner Lied to Me About Having an STI?

People are not always open about their STI status or sexual history. Getting to know your partner before engaging in sexual activity does not guarantee they have shared all of their sexual health history with you. You are at risk any time you engage in sexual activity with an infected partner(s).

My Partner Told Me They Have an STI. Should I Be Tested?

If you have engaged in any type of sexual activity with someone who is infected with an STI, you should stop all sexual contact and seek testing immediately.

What should I do next?

It is estimated that about 20 percent of the United States population – approximately one in five people in the U.S. – has an STI. We are here to offer help and hope. At our center, we can offer you or refer you for STI testing in your area and give you guidance and support no matter your test result. Getting tested for STIs is easy and harmless. Contact us today for confidential help and support.


References

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2023, April 11). Infections continue to forge ahead, compromising the nation’s health. https://www.cdc.gov/std/statistics/2021/default.htm#print

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2021, February 18). Sexually transmitted infections prevalence, incidence, and cost estimates in the united states. https://www.cdc.gov/std/statistics/prevalence-incidence-cost-2020.htm

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2021). Sexually transmitted infections treatment guidelines, 2021. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report: Recommendations and Reports, 70(4), 1-190. https://www.cdc.gov/std/treatment-guidelines/STI-Guidelines-2021.pdf

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2021, December 14). Which STD tests should I get?. https://www.cdc.gov/std/prevention/screeningreccs.htm

Cleveland Clinic. (2023, February 3). Sexually transmitted infections. https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/9138-sexually-transmitted-diseases--infections-stds--stis

Cleveland Clinic. (n.d.). Sexually transmitted infections. https://my.clevelandclinic.org/services/sexually-transmitted-infections-treatment

Mayo Clinic. (2023, April 14). Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/sexually-transmitted-diseases-stds/diagnosis-treatment/drc-20351246

Mayo Clinic. (2022, May 5). Sexually transmitted disease (STD) symptoms. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/sexually-transmitted-diseases-stds/in-depth/std-symptoms/art-20047081

Mayo Clinic. (2023, April 14). STD testing: What’s right for you?. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/sexually-transmitted-diseases-stds/in-depth/std-testing/art-20046019

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