In 2021, there were 2.5 million new reports of chlamydia, syphilis, and gonorrhea in the United States. But that’s just part of the picture when it comes to sexually transmitted infections (STIs). In 2018, 26 million new STIs were reported, half of them among youth aged 15-24.
If you’re sexually active, even if you practice safer sex, you’re at risk for an STI and the symptoms associated with sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). And if you’re sexually active but do not practice safer sex (i.e., using condoms for every act of intercourse), your risk is higher.
The good news among all this bad news is that STD testing and treatment gives you both the answers and the care you need to feel like yourself again. All STDs are able to be managed when caught early, and a few can even be cured.
At Florida Woman Care of Jacksonville, our expert and understanding OB/GYNs Daniel McDyer, MD, FACOG, and Julian Stephen Suhrer, MD, never want you to feel embarrassed when you suspect you have an STD or an STI. Instead, we encourage you to come to one of our two locations in Jacksonville, Florida, for testing and treatment.
First, we give you answers
Even though you may be tempted to ignore your symptoms, the longer you delay getting tested and treated for STDs, the longer you suffer from the anguish of not knowing and the more time your possible disease has to progress. Once you have a clear answers, you can take action with the expert guidance of your OB/GYN.
Contact us immediately if you notice symptoms such as:
- Pain or burning when urinating
- Sores or bumps on genitalia or rectum
- Unusual smelling or looking vaginal discharge
- Discharge from penis
- Unusual vaginal bleeding
- Painful sex
- Lower abdominal pain
- Swollen groin
- Swollen lymph nodes
- Rash on hands, feet, or trunk
Our STD tests look for signs of 10 of the most common STIs. Once we determine the cause of your symptoms, we then prescribe an appropriate treatment or recommend a management plan.
Human papillomavirus (HPV)
Human papillomavirus (HPV) is the most common STI, affecting about 43 million people per year. Even though there’s no cure for HPV, in 9 of 10 cases, it clears on its own within 1-2 years.
When HPV doesn’t clear, however, it can cause complications such as genital warts. It also raises the risk of cervical cancer for women. In addition, HPV is highly contagious, so you could spread it to someone else simply through intimate touch, even if you don’t have intercourse.
If you’re between the ages of 9-26, you can get an HPV vaccine to prevent this STI. If you do get HPV, you can take steps to avoid passing the infection on to others. Women should also get more frequent Pap tests to reduce their risk for cervical cancer.
The herpes simplex virus is another viral STI that can’t be cured. However, you can take antiviral medications that manage your outbreaks. While on antivirals, you should have fewer outbreaks and a reduced risk of passing on your infection.
Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)
As with all of the viral STIs, there’s no cure for HIV. However, you can take antiretroviral drugs that help slow disease progression. If you don’t yet have HIV but are at risk, you can get vaccinated against this STI to reduce your chances of catching it.
Your best bet against hepatitis B is a vaccine that reduces your risk of contracting it. Because hepatitis is a viral STI, we can’t cure it. However, five drugs, including interferon, prevent hepatitis from spreading and damaging your organs, including your liver.
Unlike the viral STIs, most of the bacterial STIs can be cured. Of course, the earlier you find them and treat them, the better your chances are of a cure without complications. Bacterial STIs include:
Some strains of gonorrhea are resistant to antibiotics, so you may have to take more than one kind. Early detection and treatment are key to the best outcome.
Don’t delay STD testing and treatment if you have symptoms. Your health, comfort, and reduced risk of transmitting the STI to others depends on the earliest testing and treatment possible. Even if you’ve had symptoms for a while, call us ASAP.
Regular STD testing when you’re sexually active, whether or not you have symptoms, helps keep you safe. If you have symptoms or simply want STD testing, contact our supportive team at either of our two Jacksonville, Florida, locations nearest you. You can also use our online appointment form.