The end of July, 2019 First Step will begin offering free testing and treatment for some STDs.

What are STDs?

Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) are diseases passed from person to person during sexual activity (e.g., vaginal, oral and anal sex, outercourse or mutual masturbation). STDs can be transmitted through bodily fluids and, in some cases, skin-to-skin contact.

With that said, it is important to realize that not every STD comes with obvious symptoms. This means that the transmission of a particular disease between partners can occur without either party’s knowledge. If you are aware of an STD you have, it’s important to remember that you are still contagious and can spread the disease at any time, even if you are not displaying symptoms.

What’s the difference between STDs and STIs?

Contrary to popular belief, the terms STD (sexually transmitted disease) and STI (sexually transmitted infection) are not interchangeable.

STI refers to the presence of an infection in the body, which may or may not be accompanied by symptoms. In comparison, STD describes an infection that has caused damage to an individual’s health. However, like STIs, STDs may or may not be accompanied by symptoms.

In general, an STI is the broader of the two terms. All STDs are STIs, though not all STIs become STDs.

Prevention

Using a condom during sex can reduce the risk of spreading or contracting certain STIs, but a condom never eliminates the risk entirely. And while some vaccinations are available for certain STIs, not every STI has a treatment. The only certain way to avoid any STI is to abstain from sexual activity altogether.

Treatment

Early detection is crucial when it comes to treating STIs and STDs effectively. While some STIs/STDs are treatable with medications, for others there is no known cure. For those incurable infections or diseases, symptoms can still be managed with other drugs and treatments. However, taking an STD test is an easy and painless process which can ultimately make a great difference in your long-term health.

If you’ve recently had unprotected sex and want to be tested, schedule an appointment with us today for the end of July.