Did you know that most people don't even know that they have an STD or STI? (1)
Most Sexually Transmitted Infections don't have any signs or symptoms, so you can't tell if someone is infected just by looking at them.
What is the difference between an STD and STI?
STIs are one of the most common types of infections in the U.S. today. (2)
We most commonly use the term STD, but the term STI is becoming more popular. What's the difference?
Many people are often confused about STIs and STDs and what’s the difference between the terms. Sometimes the term sexually transmitted infections (STIs) is used rather than sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). STIs are infections that are passed on through sexual activity of any kind, including skin-to-skin contact. These infections have no symptoms. But you do not need symptoms in order to pass the infection on to your partner or have your partner pass it on to you. STIs become STDs once symptoms appear. All STDs are caused by STIs.
STDs are one of the most common types of infections and one of the most under recognized health threats in the U.S. today. Despite the fact that STDs are extremely widespread and have severe and sometimes deadly consequences, most Americans remain unaware of the scope of all but the most prominent STDs. The epidemics of STDs in the United States are often called “silent” or “hidden” epidemics.
What's the risk?
You are not only exposed to a person you have sexual contact with, but anyone that they have had sexual contact with in the past. Check out the numbers:
Risk Reduction vs. Risk Avoidance
The only way to avoid STDs is to not have vaginal, anal, or oral sex. Abstinence is 100% effective!
Risk Reduction: using condoms as an attempt to decrease your chances of suffering from one of the many consequences of STIs
Risk Avoidance: practicing abstinence eliminates your chance of suffering from the consequences of STIs
Some Stats and Facts:
-- 50% of sexually active high school girls has an STD. --
-- Most people infected with an STD do not know that they have it. --
-- Many STDs have no cure: HIV, HPV, Genital Herpes --
--“There are about 20 million new cases of STDs each year in the U.S., and about 1/2 of these are in people between the ages of 15 - 24.” –CDC --
-- You cannot tell if someone has an STD just by looking at them. --
-- STIs can be transmitted to a baby. --
-- You can get a STI the first time you have sexual contact of any kind. --
Where can I get tested?
There are many clinics in the area that test for both STDs and STIs.
At First Choice Health Services, we do FREE urine tests for Chlamydia and Gonorrhea, the two most common STIs in our area. Good news? Those are both treatable!
Here is a bit more about each of those:
Chlamydia is a common STD in our area that can infect both men and women. It is a bacterial infection that can cause serious, permanent damage to a woman's reproductive system, making it difficult or impossible for her to get pregnant later on. Chlamydia can also cause a potentially fatal ectopic pregnancy (pregnancy that occurs outside the womb). It can cause infertility in men as well.
Chlamydia is spread through vaginal, anal, or oral sex with an infected person. Most people who have Chlamydia have no signs or symptoms. If you do have symptoms, they may not appear until several weeks after you have sex with an infected person. Even when Chlamydia causes no symptoms, it can still damage your reproductive system.
Chlamydia can be cured with the right treatment. When medication to treat the infection is taken properly, it will stop the infection and could decrease your chances of having further complications later on.
Gonorrhea is a STD that can infect both men and women. It can cause infections in the genitals, rectum, and throat. It is a very common infection, especially among young people ages 1—5-24 years. Untreated gonorrhea can cause serious health problems in both men and women. In women, it can lead to pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) which includes formation of scar tissue that blocks fallopian tubes, ectopic pregnancy, infertility, and long-term pelvic/abdominal pain. In men, it can cause a painful condition in the tubes attached to the testicles. This could result in infertility.
Gonorrhea is spread through vaginal, anal, or oral sex with an infected person. Some men and most women have no symptoms of gonorrhea. Women often have mild symptoms in which they mistake for a bladder or vaginal infection.
Gonorrhea can be cured with the right treatment. Medication can stop the infection but it cannot undo damage that may have been done by the disease. It is becoming harder to treat some gonorrhea, as drug-resistant strains of gonorrhea are increasing. If your symptoms continue for more than a few days after receiving treatment, you should return to a health care provider to be checked again.
Give us a call at 209-353-FCHS or click "appointment" to schedule your appointment today!
(1) Center for Disease Control- http://www.cdc.gov/std/stats/sti-estimates-fact-sheet-feb-2013.pdf
(2) Center for Disease Control- http://www.cdc.gov/std/stats/sti-estimates-fact-sheet-feb-2013.pdf
Non-quoted facts are taken from: http://www.cdc.gov/std/?s_cid=cdc_homepage_topmenu_001