No-Cost and Confidential Women's Center
Pathways Clinic
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Pathways Clinic offers free STI testing so that you can prioritize your health.

What Are STIs?

Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) are contagious infections that can cause disease in the body. STIs can be passed between sexual partners or sometimes from mother to baby. STIs can be:

  • Bacterial- examples of bacterial STIs are chlamydia and gonorrhea
  • Viral- STIs caused by viruses include the human papillomavirus (HPV) and the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)
  • Parasitic- the STI trichomoniasis (trich) is caused by a parasite

STIs Can Be Asymptomatic

While some individuals might experience symptoms like painful genital sores, foul-smelling genital discharge, abdominal pain, or painful urination from STIs, some might have no symptoms. STIs can remain asymptomatic for years. This increases the chance of experiencing adverse side effects to your health or spreading the STI to a partner.

Most STIs Are Easily Treated

Bacterial STIs like chlamydia or gonorrhea are easily treated with a round of antibiotics. Your partner should also be tested if you test positive for an STI. Antibiotics can also cure trich.

Treatment does not offer immunity against STI exposure in the future, so you will likely contract the same STI again if exposed.

Viral STIs cannot be cured with medication. Still, they can be treated to lessen the severity of symptoms and reduce (but not eliminate) the chances of transmitting the infection to a partner.

Untreated STIs Can Lead to Complications

Whether or not an infected individual has STI symptoms, they are at risk of developing a host of complications. These complications can include the following:

  • Pelvic pain
  • Pregnancy complications
  • Eye inflammation
  • Arthritis
  • Pelvic inflammatory disease
  • Infertility
  • Heart disease
  • Certain cancers, such as HPV-associated cervical and rectal cancers

Get Tested

If you are sexually active, you should be tested yearly, more often if you have multiple partners. Contact us today to take advantage of free testing.

Confidence Comes With Choosing Courage Over Fear.