STD Testing and Counseling

Sexually transmitted diseases are not a topic anyone wants to talk about – but should.

If you’re sexually active, you face the risk of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), spread through semen or vaginal fluids, blood or skin-to-skin contact. Health Quarters provides confidential STD testing as part of your exam or at a separate visit. We also offer treatment for most infections, either here at HQ or by giving you a prescription or referral. Since it is important that your partner(s) also get treatment, we offer appointments and treatment to them, as well.

Condoms are a great method of both birth control and can prevent the transmission of STDs. Condoms can also be safely used in conjunction with other forms of birth control for an extra layer of protection.

 

Common STDs

Chlamydia (Bacteria)
Most people have no symptoms at all. Treatment can prevent the infection from harming your ability to get pregnant in the future. It is treated with antibiotic pills.

Gonorrhea (Bacteria)
Not as common as chlamydia. It, too, needs treatment to prevent it affecting your fertility. It is treated with an antibiotic injection, plus antibiotic pills.

Hepatitis A (Virus)
It is spread by getting something that has feces (stool) on it in your mouth. Ask about the Hepatitis A vaccine at HQ.

Hepatitis B (Virus)
Most people under 30 have been vaccinated against this virus. If you haven’t, talk to us at HQ.

Hepatitis C (Virus)
This is spread by dirty needles. There is no vaccine to protect you.

Herpes (Virus)
A virus that may cause sores around the mouth or blisters on the genitals, but most people have no symptoms. Herpes is spread through close skin-to-skin contact, kissing or by having vaginal, anal, or oral sex. There is no cure for herpes, but medication is available to reduce symptoms and make it less likely that you will spread the infection to your partner.

HIV (Virus)
It is spread by blood, vaginal fluids, semen (cum) or breast milk. There is no vaccine but there is treatment.

Human Papillomavirus (HPV) / Genital Warts (Virus)
The most common STD, at least 50% of sexually active people get it at some point in their lives. Most often it goes away without causing harm, but it can cause genital warts and some cancers (cervical, throat, rectal) if not treated. There is a vaccine for people of all gender expressions and identities aged 11 to 27.

There is a vaccine that is recommended for adolescents ages 11 or 12 years old, and catch-up vaccines that are recommended for people identifying as males through age 21 and for people identifying as females through age 26, if they did not get vaccinated when they were younger.

The vaccine is also recommended for gay and bisexual people through age 26. Health Quarters offers vaccination against HPV. Ask a clinician if the vaccine is right for you.

Syphilis (Bacteria)
A treatable infection that is more common in men who have male partners. It has serious effects if not treated. It is treated with antibiotic injections. Health Quarters treats for syphilis.

Trichomoniasis (Parasite)
Can cause an irritating vaginal discharge, irritation in the penis, or no symptoms at all. It is treated with pills.

Health Quarters can test you for some or all of these infections. At your exam we will talk with you about your risk for any of these to determine which tests you need. The test may be collected from urine, blood or vaginal swabs, depending on the infection.

1 in 2 Americans will have contracted an STD by the time they reach the age of 25

 

HPV Vaccine

The HPV vaccine, Gardasil, protects against cervical cancer. It also gives men and women excellent protection against genital warts and throat and anal cancers. The younger you are when you get the vaccine, the better the protection. We offer the Gardasil vaccine to anyone up to age 27 who hasn’t already had the 3 shots. Insurance usually covers the cost, and we have access to free vaccines if you do not have insurance. We encourage you to ask your Health Quarters clinician about the vaccine.

Damage caused by Untreated STDs led to infertility/sterility in 15% of People Identifying as Women and 12% of People Identifying as Men in America, Get Tested.

 

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