Learn more about STIs by clicking on the information below!
Chlamydia and Gonorrhea are two of the most common STIs. Symptoms can include a thick urethral discharge, minor discomfort with urination, pink eye, anal abnormalities, or no symptoms. Samples for testing are obtained by collecting urine from males (after not voiding for at least one hour) or a vaginal swab in females. These samples can be self-obtained. If there is a risk of infection in the throat or anus, swabs of these areas are generally obtained by a medical provider.
Chlamydia and gonorrhea can be prevented by use of condoms or another barrier method. However, once an individual contracts one of these infections, they are treated and cured with antibiotics. Untreated infections can cause pelvic inflammatory disease, sterility, infections in joint fluid, abscesses, and blindness.
HIV (virus that causes AIDS) infection may have no symptoms. HIV risk can be decreased by using condoms and with medications (PEP, PrEP). The blood test detects antibodies to the virus and proteins associated with the virus. The test can be falsely negative soon after exposure, so repeat testing is needed if concerned. Treatment options are available if positive.
Syphilis is a bacterial infection that can cause a temporary and painless sore. The infection continues to develop, but the initial symptoms resolve. The symptoms can return to cause a rash on the palms and soles and body. The rash is very infectious with contact. Testing is done through a blood test.
Syphilis can be treated and cured with antibiotics. It can be prevented by use of condoms or another barrier method. Untreated syphilis can cause birth defects, nerve and brain damage, and death.
Speak with a peer health educator about the process, how you're feeling, etc... Choose a "sexual health meeting" and find a time that works for you!