STI/STD EFFECTS AND TREATMENTS


Over 65 million Americans are now infected with an incurable STI/STD. Each year, 29 million more become infected with STIs/STDs, and almost 4 million of these are teenagers.

It is important to understand that many STIs/STDs have no obvious symptoms, or only very mild symptoms, but can worsen, and may affect your overall health, your sexual and reproductive health, and your ability to conceive in the future. It is critical to treat issues as early as possible to avoid permanent damage.

Transmission of an STI/STD cannot be prevented by washing the genitals, urinating, and/or douching after sex. Any unusual discharge, sore, or rash, particularly in the groin area, should be a signal to stop all sexual activity and visit a doctor immediately.

STI – Sexually Transmitted Infections commonly have a high probability of being spread from person to person through sexual contact. The term STI is broader and more encompassing because some infections are curable and may not cause any symptoms.

STD – Sexually Transmitted Disease is the term used if the infection results in altering the typical function of the body – these are also called VD for ‘Venereal Diseases’.

Many STIs/STDs have no obvious symptoms or if any, are very mild ones; therefore, it’s very important to learn about STIs/STDs. Yet no matter how minor the symptoms are, STIs/STDs can still be harmful to you and to your sexual partner(s). It’s important to seek treatment for sexually transmitted infections and diseases as early as possible in order to restore your health as well as to stop the spread of the infection or disease.

If you have ever had vaginal, anal, or oral sex, Pathway Health Clinic advises that you get tested. Not only do we provide STI/STD testing and treatment, we also educate you on how sexually transmitted diseases are spread.

There are many kinds of sexually transmitted diseases and infections (CDC website).

  • You can get a STI/STD any time you have vaginal, anal, or oral sex.
  • An individual does not have to have symptoms to spread an STI/STD. This means that anyone with a STI/STD can spread the infection without even knowing that they have one.
  • Using a condom (even perfectly) does not eliminate your risk of contracting a STI/STD, and some infections may even be spread without sexual contact.
  • Not all STIs/STDs can be cured. In fact, the most common sexually transmitted infection in the U.S. today, HPV, has no cure.
  • Many STIs/STDs have no cure while others can be treated through medication.
  • Many STIs/STDs can be transmitted to a baby during pregnancy or birth.
  • If you are pregnant and considering an abortion, get tested first.

STI/STDs can be identified by the following common symptoms:

  • Unusual discharge from the penis or vagina
  • A burning feeling when urinating
  • Growths, sores, or itching in the genital area
  • Lower abdominal pain
  • Dark urine
  • Skin rashes or sores
  • Yellow eyes
  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Joint inflammation and enlarged lymph nodes

STI/STD TESTING

PHC wants to empower you to make the best sexual choices for your health. You owe it to yourself to be safe. Don’t ignore the important step of being tested.

PHC tests are simple, quick, and confidential to ensure your comfort and peace of mind.

We currently provide low to no cost STI/STD testing including chlamydia, gonorrhea, herpes, syphilis, hepatitis B, hepatitis C, bacterial vaginosis, trichomoniasis, and HIV. We can provide testing for both males and females; each need an appointment. We do not provide HPV testing, but can provide referrals for HPV testing.

Testing for each STI/STD is as follows:

  • Chlamydia – Urine test and Swab (females only)
  • Gonorrhea – Urine test
  • Herpes – Blood test
  • Syphilis – Blood test
  • Hepatitis B – Blood test
  • Hepatitis C – Blood test
  • Bacterial Vaginosis – Swab
  • Trichomoniasis – Urine test
  • HIV – Blood test 
  • HPV – Pap smear – Pathway Health Clinic does not provide HPV testing, but can provide testing referrals.

We also provide more in-depth information and resources, confidential consultations with a Pathway Health Clinic medical professional, and referrals when your need extends beyond the scope of our services.