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Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) are a group of diseases that can be passed from one person to another through intimate contact.
STDs can cause serious health problems that don’t show any symptoms until the infection is advanced.
Screening tests are often used to catch the disease early. They’re important for avoiding serious complications.
Chlamydia is a very common infection that can be cured with antibiotics. It’s diagnosed by a simple test that uses a swab from your vagina, cervix, throat, anus or penis and sent to a lab for testing.
Getting tested for chlamydia is important for anyone who has had sex in the last 6 months or who has been in close contact with someone who has had sex. It is also recommended for pregnant women and people who live in places where the infection is higher, such as prisons.
Treatment is usually a short course of antibiotics that should be taken exactly as prescribed. It’s important to get a follow-up test about 3 months after treatment so that you can be sure the infection is cured.
Gonorrhea is caused by the bacteria Neisseria gonorrhoeae, and it can affect the genitals, rectum (where urine exits the body) and throat. It also affects the uterus and fallopian tubes in women.
The bacterium spreads from person to person during sexual contact, such as oral, vaginal or penile sex. Men can also get gonorrhea during anal sex or sharing sex toys that haven’t been cleaned or protected with a condom.
It’s important to get tested for gonorrhea even if you feel fine. There is a short time between exposure to the gonorrhea bacteria and when you will have symptoms of infection.
Syphilis is a sexually transmitted disease (STI) that can be passed from person to person. It usually affects the genital area, mouth, or anus of both men and women.
It’s important to get tested for syphilis if you have any symptoms. It’s also a good idea to test your partner(s) if you think they might have syphilis.
Your doctor will examine you and take a blood or swab sample. This sample is studied in a lab to find out if you have syphilis.
Hepatitis B is a virus that causes hepatitis (inflammation of the liver). It’s spread when blood, semen, or other body fluids from an infected person enters the body of someone who’s not infected. This can happen through sexual contact; sharing needles, syringes, or other drug-injection equipment; and from mother to baby at birth.
Hepatitis B can be diagnosed through blood tests and a physical exam. These test can identify whether a patient has an active hepatitis B infection, assess immunity, and monitor hepatitis B disease progress.
Hepatitis C is caused by the hepatitis C virus (HCV). It can range from a mild illness that lasts for a few weeks to a serious, lifelong infection.
The most common way to contract hepatitis C is from blood-to-blood contact with an infected person. This can happen through sharing needles, injecting drugs, or during childbirth.
If you have hepatitis C, you can get treatment to cure the disease. You can also avoid developing hepatitis C if you have regular screenings.
HIV is a virus that can be transmitted through sex. It can also be passed on by sharing needles or injection drug equipment or using needles that are not clean.
HIV can be diagnosed with a blood test or a saliva test. These tests can be done in a doctor’s office, clinic, community health center, hospital or substance use program.
Some HIV tests can detect infection within 18 to 45 days after exposure. These tests can detect HIV antibodies, which are proteins that your body makes in response to the virus.