STI Testing

Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) may sound scary, but they are common infections that are carried from one person to the other through intimate sexual contact. Some STIs do not have symptoms so it is important to get tested regularly.

STI Information

STIs is the term used for a group of common infections known as sexually transmitted infections. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 20 million new cases of STIs are diagnosed each year in the United States alone. Some of the better-known STIs are syphilis, gonorrhea, and chlamydia. STIs are primarily spread through heavy petting and sexual contact with the vagina, mouth, and anus. The only absolute method to prevent STIs is abstaining from sex. The next best method to prevent STIs is to use barrier protection such as condoms (both male and female condoms.) If you are sexually active, you may wish to be tested since some STIs do not have any symptoms.

Factors that may put you at risk for STIs include:

Having unprotected sex with a new partner or multiple partners
Being a man having sex with other men
Having been raped
Having human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)

STI Treatments

Most STIs can be treated with medications. Depending on the type you have it is possible to completely cure an STI. Sexually transmitted infections are generally treated by one of two categories of medicine:

Antiviral medications: Antivirals can lessen the occurrence of outbreaks; however, you can still spread the infection to your sexual partner.

Antibiotic drugs: Antibiotics are effective in curing many STIs, such as syphilis, gonorrhea, trichomoniasis, and chlamydia. The key to successful treatment with antibiotics is to take the medicine as directed by your doctor.

While taking your medication you should also abstain from sex until you have completed your treatment.


Is there a difference between an STD and an STI?
How often should I get tested for an STI?
Is it true some STDs have no symptoms at all?