There are two different types of STDs: bacterial and viral. Bacterial STDs can typically be cured quickly with cured with antibiotics if treatment begins early enough. Viral STDs, however, cannot be cured and can last for a lifetime. It’s possible to manage viral STD symptoms with medications, though.
Learn more about STDs from our AFC Urgent Care South Charlotte team below, including why it’s important to be tested.
How Can You Get an STD?
STDs are most often transmitted by having sex with someone who has an infection. These infections are usually passed from person to person through vaginal intercourse, and can also be passed through anal sex, oral sex or skin-to-skin contact.
Additionally, many STDs don’t even cause symptoms, so it’s possible to have an STD without knowing it. We’ve listed some of the most common STD risk-factors below.
STD Risk Factors
- Having unprotected sex. Vaginal or anal penetration by an infected partner who isn’t wearing a latex condom significantly increases the risk of getting an STD. Improper or inconsistent use of condoms can also increase your risk.
- Having sexual contact with multiple partners. The more people you have sexual contact with, the greater your risk. This is true for concurrent partners as well as consecutive monogamous relationships.
- Having a history of STDs. Having one STD makes it much easier for another STD to take hold.
- Injecting drugs. Needle sharing spreads many serious infections, including HIV, hepatitis B and hepatitis C.
- Being young. Half the STDs occur in people between the ages of 15 and 24.
Should I Get Tested for STDs?
If you are sexually active, then yes, you should get regular STD tests. In fact, you should be tested at least once a year if you are sexually active.
If you are sexually active with more than one partner or share IV needles, the CDC states that you should get STD tested at least once every three to six months. When left undetected or untreated, STDs can cause many long-term health problems, and we’ve listed some of them below.
Long-Term Medical Problems Caused By STDs
- Male and female sterility
- Damage to major organs
- Cervical cancer
- Cancer of the vagina, penis, anus or throat
- Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), which can damage a woman’s fallopian tubes, leading to pelvic pain and sterility.
- Pain during urination or intercourse
Our AFC Urgent Care South Charlotte team offers testing for STDs, as well as treatment. Don’t hesitate to stop by today.