What Is A Sexually Transmitted Infection (STI)?

The terms sexually transmitted infection (STI) and sexually transmitted disease (STD) are used interchangeably. According to the Mayo Clinic, if you “have sex — oral, anal, or vaginal intercourse and genital touching — you can get an STD, also called an STI.”

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reported cases of STIs such as chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis all increased between 2020 and 2021 – reaching “a total of more than 2.5 million reported cases.” Syphilis cases are significantly on the rise in newborns.

Who Should Be Tested?

  • Young people aged 15 to 24.
  • Everyone from ages 13 to 64 should be tested at least once for HIV.
  • All sexually active women younger than 25 years should be tested for gonorrhea and chlamydia every year.
  • Women 25 years and older with risk factors such as new or multiple sex partners or a sex partner who has an STI should also be tested for gonorrhea and chlamydia every year.
  • Every pregnant woman should be tested for syphilis, chlamydia, gonorrhea, HIV, hepatitis B, and hepatitis C starting early in pregnancy.
  • People who have had oral or anal sex should consider throat and rectal testing.

How Do I Know If I Have an STI/STD?

Many STIs have no immediate signs or symptoms, which is why people put off getting tested. Even if someone has no symptoms, they can still pass an infection to a sexual partner.

Healthcare providers don’t regularly test for STIs. You usually must request testing. If left untreated, STIs can cause long-term pelvic and abdominal pain, an increased risk of getting or giving HIV, or an inability to get pregnant or pregnancy complications.

What Does Options Pregnancy Clinic Offer?

We understand how difficult STI/STD discussions are. That’s why we automatically offer no-cost and confidential testing for all women who visit the clinic. We test and treat two of the most common infections, chlamydia and gonorrhea. Men can receive STI testing on referral.