If you are having sex, you may be at risk for getting a sexually transmitted disease (STD). STDs are infections that can be contracted through oral, anal, and vaginal sex. Bella Medical Clinic provides free testing and treatment for both men and women for these common STDs: chlamydia, gonorrhea, trichomoniasis and genital warts. We do not currently test for syphilis, HIV, herpes or hepatitis.
Many STDs can be cured or treated with medication. An untreated STD may cause other significant health problems. The testing process is quick and easy and is one of the most important things you can do to protect your reproductive health. Yearly STD testing is recommended for all sexually active people under the age of 25. Testing is also recommended if you have a new partner or multiple partners.
For additional information from the CDC, click here.
Chlamydia is the most common bacterial STD in men and women. Most infected people do not have symptoms – making it very important to get tested. If symptoms are present, women may have a change in vaginal discharge or unusual vaginal bleeding. Men can have painful urination, a penile discharge, or in men who have sex with men, rectal pain or discharge.
Chlamydia can be cured with treatment. Overtime, if chlamydia is not treated, it can cause serious damage to a woman’s reproductive system including making it more difficult to get pregnant and increasing the risk for a future ectopic pregnancy.
Gonorrhea is a common bacterial STD. Most infected people do not have symptoms – making it very important to get tested. If symptoms are present, women often have a vaginal discharge or unusual vaginal bleeding. Men can have painful urination, a penile discharge or in men who have had sex with men rectal pain or discharge. Gonorrhea can cause serious complications if left untreated. It can be cured with medication.
Hepatitis is a serious disease that can harm the liver. It is caused by a virus that can spread from person to person when their body fluids touch. This can happen in a few ways, like having sex or sharing needles. A blood test is needed to check for the infection.
Trichomoniasis is a common STD that affects men and women. Often people do not have any symptoms, but if they do, women can have vaginal irritation and discharge and men can have discharge from the penis or painful urination. It can be cured with medication.
Human Papillomavirus (HPV) is a virus that can cause skin warts, genital warts and some forms of cancer. People can get infected by having sex or genital to genital contact. Most people do not know they are infected and most infections resolve on their own without treatment. However, if an infection with a high-risk type persists, it can cause cancer of the cervix or vagina in women, penile cancer in men and cancer of the rectum, mouth and throat in both men and women.
When a pap test is done to detect cervical cancer, an HPV test can be done at the same time if needed. There is no test for genital HPV in men. There is also no test for HPV in the mouth or throat. There is a HPV vaccine to prevent most high-risk infections. Bella Medical Clinic does not offer this vaccine.
Herpes is a common STD caused by the herpes simplex virus. It can cause sores and blisters on the mouth and/ or genitals or it can be present with no symptoms at all. If sores are present, testing can be done from the fluid or a blood sample can show if a person has been exposed.
There is no cure for herpes, but medication can be used to suppress it. Bella Medical Clinic does not test for herpes; however, our provider can assess and treat an active sore.
Syphilis is a bacterial STD that is increasing in the United States. It is usually contracted after coming into direct contact with an infected sore during vaginal, anal, or oral sex. If untreated, it can cause serious health problems. A blood test can show if a person is infected and it can be cured with the right antibiotics. Bella Medical Clinic does not offer syphilis testing.
HIV stands for human immunodeficiency virus. It weakens a person’s immune system by destroying important cells that fight disease and infection. There is no effective cure but it can be managed with medications.
HIV is spread through blood, semen, or vaginal fluids from an infected person’s body, through sexual contact, needle sharing or from an infected mother to her baby during birth. It can be detected through a blood test. Bella Medical Clinic does not offer HIV testing.