Could I Have An STD or STI?
Any time a person engages in sex or sex-like activity with a partner, there is a chance of contracting a sexually transmitted disease (STD) or sexually transmitted infection (STI). Using condoms and other barrier methods may help reduce the risk of contracting an STD, but nothing protects you fully.
According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), in 2018 15 to 24-year-olds accounted for almost half of the 26 million new sexually transmitted infections (STIs) in the U.S. In 2020, over 60% of all reported chlamydia cases were among people 15 to 24 years old.
What Is An STD or STI?
Many diseases, including sexually transmitted diseases, begin as infections. Both STIs and STDs begin as bacteria, parasites, or viruses. The Mayo Clinic lists the following infections caused by the following:
- Bacteria. Gonorrhea, syphilis and chlamydia are examples of STIs that are caused by bacteria.
- Parasites. Trichomoniasis is an STI caused by a parasite.
- Viruses. STIs causes by viruses include HPV, genital herpes and HIV.
How Do I Know If I Am Infected?
Many STIs and STDs have no signs or immediate symptoms. Because they don’t experience symptoms, people don’t get tested. But if left untreated many STIs can cause serious health complications.
Complications from untreated STIs include:
- Pelvic pain
- Eye inflammation
- Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID)
- Heart disease
- Certain cancers
Testing and Early Detection
Even if you have no symptoms but are sexually active, you should get tested regularly. Some STIs are curable with antibiotics or other treatment methods.
You are at risk any time you engage in sex or sex-like activity with a partner(s). Getting tested is easy and harmless.
We can refer you for STI testing in your area and give you guidance and support no matter your test result. Contact us today for confidential help.