STI Testing Q & A

What Is an STD?

Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) are infections or diseases which are passed from one person to another during sexual contact. STDs are also referred to as Sexually Transmitted Infections (STI’s) as symptoms may not manifest immediately. Most STDs can be treated quickly and effectively if caught early and cause grave or even fatal health complications if left untreated. If someone is sexually active and has had more the one partner in a short period of time, they should be frequently checked for STI’s. 

How Will I Know if I Have an STD?

If you are sexually active and have multiple partners, or do not know your partner’s sexual history, the best way to know if you have contracted an STD is by having regular screenings. Many STDs do not present symptoms for months or even years. There are some symptoms to be aware of including sores or ulcers in the genital area, painful itching or a rash in the genital area, painful urination, or abnormal discharge from the penis or vagina. If you suspect that you do have an STD, seek screening and treatment immediately. Most STDs can be treated with an antibiotic. 

What Types of STDs Exist?

STD’s are extremely common with some estimates stating that 50% of the sexually active population will contract one or more during their lifetime. There are approximately 20 different infections transferrable via sexual contact, including: 
· Chlamydia 
· Genital Warts 
· Gonorrhea 
· Hepatitis B 
· Herpes 
· Human Papillomavirus (HPV) 
· Molluscum Contagiosum 
· Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID) 
· Pubic Lice (Crabs) 
· Scabies 
· Syphilis 
· Trichomoniasis 

What Is HPV?

HPV is short for the Human Papillomavirus. Some forms of HPV are linked to cancer, most commonly cervical cancer. HPV is the most common sexually transmitted infection. The Center for Disease Control estimates that up to 70% of the population of the United States may have the virus. HPV can be transmitted even when the infected has no signs or symptoms.

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