Half of all sexually active people will get an STD by they time they are 25 years old. But most won’t know it, because many sexually transmitted diseases and infections don’t come with visible symptoms. The only way to really know is to get yourself tested.
Know your status
Talking with a health care provider at Planned Parenthood of Illinois health centers is private, and personal. We can help you figure out which test to get, depending on your age and experiences. You can also find out about payment options if you don’t have health insurance.
It’s important to be honest with your health care provider about your sexual history. At Planned Parenthood, we care about your health. We believe everyone deserves high-quality, affordable health care, without judgment. Your parents don’t need to know, your teachers don’t need to know. Not even your friends.
Illinois has some of the highest numbers of gonorrhea, chlamydia and syphilis infections in the country. Nationwide, one in six people has herpes. So if you do find out that you have an STD, don’t panic. Most are curable, all of them are treatable, and you are definitely not alone.
Over 19 million people get an STD each year. That’s more than the population of Illinois! If you become infected, a health care provider at Planned Parenthood can help you get reliable and unbiased treatment.
Get yourself tested
Taking control of your health starts with getting yourself tested. But it’s more than that. Get tested after each sexual partner, and have a conversation about it with your boyfriend, girlfriend, friend-with-benefits, sexual partner - whomever.
Can we talk about something?
It doesn’t have to be awkward. Ok, well, it doesn’t have to be too awkward. Here are some tips about having the talk:
* Make some time to talk - Don’t wait until the clothes are coming off to talk to your partner about getting tested.
* Bring it up - Be honest about your feelings, and listen to theirs. It’s normal to feel nervous about having this conversation, but it’s your sex life. You have the right to take control of your health.
* Get yourself tested - It’s better to know what the deal is as soon as possible. That way you can get the treatments you need to protect your health, and prevent spreading an infection to others.
If you do have an STD, life will go on! People have healthy, sexually fulfilling lives even after an infection. Millions of people get them each year, and there are ways to prevent them in the future.
* Learn about the STD or STI so you can understand how it’s spread, and ways to lower the risks. Have all the facts so you can have a real conversation with your sex partners.
* Tell your partner or partners what’s going on. Hold off on sex until you’ve finished getting treated.
It all starts with knowing your STD status.
Visit a Planned Parenthood health center to get yourself tested, and talk with your partner about your STD health status today. To make an appointment, call 800-230-PLAN.
This post was created by Planned Parenthood of Illinois (PPIL). PPIL provides comprehensive reproductive healthcare services and education to more than 60,000 Illinoisans each year. Planned Parenthood Illinois Action (PPIA) is an independent, nonpartisan, not-for-profit organization formed as the advocacy and political arm of PPIL.
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