The term sexually transmitted disease is used to cover the more than 25-30 infectious organisms that are spread through sexual activity. Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs) are almost always spread from person to person by sexual activity. These infections are most easily spread by vaginal or anal intercourse, and sometimes by oral sex. Some STIs can also be spread through blood, particularly among intravenous (IV) drug users who may be sharing drug equipment (needles, syringes, or "works"). In addition, pregnant women with STIs may pass their infection to infants in the uterus (womb), during birth, or through breast-feeding.
Most people with STIs have no symptoms. Without treatment these diseases can lead to major health problems such as not being able to get pregnant (infertility), permanent brain damage, heart disease, cancer, and even death. If you think you have been exposed to a sexually transmitted disease, you and your sex partner(s) should visit a health clinic, hospital or doctor for testing and treatment.
Most STIs affect both men and women, but in many cases the health problems they cause can be more severe for women. If a pregnant woman has an STI, it can cause serious health problems for the baby.
If you have an STI caused by bacteria or parasites, your health care provider can treat it with antibiotics or other medicines. If you have an STI caused by a virus, there is no cure. Sometimes medicines can keep the disease under control. Correct usage of latex condoms greatly reduces, but does not completely eliminate, the risk of catching or spreading STIs.
Could I have a Sexually Transmitted Infection (STI)?
Sexually Transmitted Infections:
- If you have had oral, vaginal or anal sex without a condom you could have an STI.
- You may not know if you have an STI. Most STIs occur without symptoms.
- The only way to know for sure is to get tested.
Where do I go to get tested?
- Testing is available at Yavapai County Community Health Services at our 3 clinics.
- Free HIV testing is available through our HIV/AIDS programs.
How much does it cost?
- STI testing at Yavapai County Community Health Services clinics cost is based on a sliding scale.
- HIV testing is available through our HIV/AIDS program and through outreach events and is billed to your insurance or on our sliding fee scale based on your income.
Who do I contact for more information?
Sexually Transmitted Disease Information
Prescott: (928) 771-3134