Sexually Transmitted Diseases
Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), also known as sexually transmitted infections (STIs), are very common.
Millions of new infections occur every year in the United States. STDs are passed from one person to another
through sexual activity including vaginal, oral, and anal sex. While less common, STDs can also be passed
through any intimate physical contact.
STDs don’t always cause symptoms or may only cause mild symptoms, so it is possible to have an infection and not know it. That is why it is important to get tested if you are having sex. If you are diagnosed with an STD, know that all can be treated with medicine and some can be cured entirely. You have to be vigilant about STD prevention. If you're sexually active, it is important to have only one partner, and to talk about your plans to remain exclusive with each other. Barrier methods of birth control, such as condoms, may help reduce your risk of getting most STDs (Mayo Clinic).
STD & HIV Testing Recommendations
If you are sexually active, getting tested for STDs is one of the most important things you can do to protect
your health. Make sure you have an open and honest conversation about your sexual history and STD testing with
your health care provider and ask whether you should be tested for STDs. If you are not comfortable talking with
your regular health care provider about STDs, LaVie will provide confidential and free or low-cost testing.
Below is a brief overview of STD testing recommendations:
- All adults and adolescents from ages 13 to 64 should be tested at least once for HIV.
- Annual chlamydia and gonorrhea screenings of all sexually active women younger than 25 years, as well as older women with risk factors such as new or multiple sex partners, or a sex partner who has a sexually transmitted infection.
- Syphilis, HIV, and hepatitis B screening for all pregnant women, and chlamydia and gonorrhea screening for at-risk pregnant women starting early in pregnancy, with repeat testing as needed, to protect the health of mothers and their infants.
- Screening at least once a year for syphilis, chlamydia, and gonorrhea for all sexually active gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men (MSM). MSM who have multiple or anonymous partners should be screened more frequently for STDs (e.g., at 3-to-6 month intervals).
- Anyone who has unsafe sex or shares injection drug equipment should get tested for HIV at least once a year.
Information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)