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What should I do if I think I have a sexually transmitted infection (STI)?

Angela Lowery
Family Medicine
If you think you have a sexually transmitted disease, seek medical care as soon as possible. You may contact your healthcare provider or the local health department. Do not have unprotected sex while seeking treatment or taking medications prescribed by your provider. Be sure to follow up with your provider as directed.

You may feel scared or shy about asking for information or help. Keep in mind, the sooner you seek treatment, the less likely the sexually transmitted infection (STI) will cause you severe harm. And the sooner you tell your sex partner(s) that you have an STI, the less likely they are to re-infect you or spread the disease to others.

If you think you may have an STI, see a doctor right away. Doctors, local health departments, and STI and family planning clinics have information about STIs and many offer testing. The American Social Health Association (ASHA) keeps lists of clinics and doctors who provide treatment for STIs.

This answer is based on source information from the National Women's Health Information Center.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.