Starting Point provides free testing and treatment for the three most common STIs in the Knox County, OH region. Though sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) may not present with noticeable symptoms, they can still become a serious concern. Left untreated, infections can cause irreversible damage to your reproductive system. Both STIs and STDs can pass onto newborns during childbirth if the mother is infected and remains untreated. All of our services are free and confidential; get tested today!
STIs AND STDs… WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE?
The term “STI” (sexually transmitted infection) is used to describe the presence of an infection in the body, which may or may not be accompanied by symptoms.
The term “STD” (sexually transmitted diseases) on the other hand, describes an infection that has caused damage in a person’s body—though, like sexually transmitted infections, an STD may or may not be accompanied by symptoms.
STI is the broader of the two terms. All STDs are STIs, though not all STIs become STDs.
STI & STD TESTING INFORMATION
Sexually transmitted diseases 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.
It’s important to remember that not everyone infected with an STD will experience signs or symptoms. But STDs can still cause severe damage, and can be passed to your partner(s) without your knowledge. You don’t need to be experiencing symptoms to be contagious. You can spread the disease at any time.
Starting Point offers STI testing every Wednesday from 1pm to 5pm, as well as with all pregnancy tests administered at our center. We provide both testing and treatment for Chlamydia, Gonorrhea, and Trichonomas, the three most prevalent infections here in Knox County. Schedule an appointment online with us today.
Gonorrhea can be passed to both men and women by having sex and most commonly affects those in the 15-24 year age demographic. With this STI, women often show mild to no symptoms at all, making it hard to know if you have it without regular STI testing. Gonorrhea is both treatable and curable; If left untreated, complications can occur down the road. If you are sexually active and under the age of 25, the CDC recommends getting STI testing once each year.
Chlamydia is a common STI that can be passed to both men and women. If you are positive for chlamydia, you will not always have symptoms, but the infection is still present and will require treatment to avoid permanent damage. Severe repercussions such as Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID) in women, complications or complete inability to conceive, risk of contracting HIV, or in rare cases, sterility for men, can occur if the STD is not treated. In addition, even if you are cured of chlamydia, you are able to contract the disease again, so it is important to get STI testing regularly if you are sexually active.
Trichomonas (trich, for sort) is a very common STI that is also easily curable. Only about one in three people who contract this STI present with symptoms, making it difficult to know if you have it without getting tested. Trichomonas is most common among women, but it is possible for men to contract the infection as well. Trichomonas can stay alive in the body for years after being infected and can make you more susceptible to contract other STIs; you can also contract it again after being treated for it previously.
WHAT ABOUT ABORTION?
If not treated prior to an abortion, these infections may cause serious health problems. During an abortion these organisms can be carried from the vagina up into the uterus. When this occurs, a second condition called Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID) may develop.
Immediate symptoms of PID can be mild and even non-existent, but the effects are long lasting. According to the CDC, 1 in 8 women with a history of PID experience difficulty getting pregnant. PID is known to cause scarring of the fallopian tubes, increasing the risk of an ectopic pregnancy. This may result in serious maternal complications, even death.
The content on this page has been reviewed and approved by our Medical Director.