STIs are common infections that affect most sexually-active people at least once in their life. Sometimes you or your partners may have an STI without showing any symptoms. You can’t always tell if you have an STI just by how you feel. However, if you notice any STI symptoms, such as sores or bumps on your genitals, unusual discharge, itching, and pain when urinating, you should get tested.
Getting tested regularly is an effective way to know whether you have an STI or not. Testing can feel intimidating. Not getting treated for an STI can lead to long-term health problems and you may transmit infections to your partners.
Even though STIs are common, sometimes testing positive for one can feel emotional. Most STIs can be treated and cured with medication in about a week or two. Others, like HIV, may require long-term treatment to stay undetectable and prevent transmitting them to your partners. Find out how to ask your health care provider for a complete STI test here.
After you receive your results and get treatment, be sure to tell any sex partners you have had since the last time you got tested and continue to talk with them about safer sex.
Find out more about what to expect when you get an STI test here.