Get tested for STDs

GET TESTED FOR STDs

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More than half of all people will have an STD at some point in their lifetime.

(Source: Koutsky L. (1997). Epidemiology of genital human papillomavirus infection. American Journal of Medicine, 102(5A), 3-8.)

There are many other sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) besides HIV. These include syphilis, gonorrhea, chlamydia, and hepatitis. The signs and symptoms of STDs can vary from nothing to potentially life-threatening. STDs can also increase your risk of getting HIV. Many of them are treatable and curable if diagnosed (CDC).

Confidential STD testing
Confidential STD testing (HIV, syphilis, gonorrhea, chlamydia, hepatitis C) is offered Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday 12:30-3:30pm at 1125 North Main Street through The Miriam Hospital. Walk-ins welcomed, no appointment necessary.

 

Chlamydia
Chlamydia is sexually transmitted (via anal, vaginal, and oral sex) and often causes few or no signs and symptoms. When signs and symptoms do occur, they usually start one to three weeks after you’ve been exposed and are often mild and passing, making them easy to overlook. Chlamydia is curable with antibiotics.

Signs and symptoms may include:
Pain when you pee
Stomach pain
Vaginal discharge in women
Discharge from the penis in men
Pain during sex
Testicular pain in men

Gonorrhea
Gonorrhea is sexually transmitted (via anal, vaginal, and oral sex) with symptoms generally appearing two to 10 days after exposure. Gonorrhea tends to have more symptoms than chlamydia but may also not be obvious. Gonorrhea is curable with antibiotics.

Signs and symptoms may include:
Thick, cloudy or bloody fluid from the penis or vagina
Pain or burning sensation when peeing
Abnormal menstrual bleeding
Painful, swollen testicles
Pain when pooping
Itching around the butt or rectum
Throat pain

It is important to be tested routinely for chlamydia and gonorrhea. These infections are common and easily spread. Repeated infections can also cause women to become infertile, losing the ability to have children.

Syphilis
Syphilis is a sexually transmitted infection which can commonly be transmitted through anal, vaginal and oral sex. The first sign of syphilis is usually a painless sore that is often missed. People may then develop a rash on the palms of the hands and soles of the feet. Syphilis is easily cured by penicillin. If untreated, syphilis may lead to severe brain and heart disease.

Hepatitis C
Hepatitis C is a liver infection that is often spread through contact with infected blood. Most of the time hepatitis C is spread through the sharing of needles, syringes, or other equipment to inject drugs — and even tattoos when proper cleaning methods are not taken. It can also be spread ​via anal sex– the risk increasing for those who have multiple sex partners, men who have sex with men, people who already ​have a sexually transmitted disease, or are infected with HIV. Most people infected with hepatitis C do not have any signs or symptoms. If untreated, hepatitis C can eventually cause liver failure.

For more information on Hepatitis C in Rhode Island, visit RIDefeatsHepC.com

Sources: CDC and Mayo Clinic