Sexually Transmitted Infections

An STI is an infection passed from one person to another through vaginal, anal, or oral contact. STIs can infect a person of any age or gender. Although the signs may vary, when an STI starts showing symptoms, it’s called a sexually transmitted disease (STD).

 

Ask to be tested

You may have questions about your risk of getting a sexually transmitted infection (STI). The only way to know for sure if you have contracted an STI is to get tested. If you want to be tested, you may need to ask. Not all healthcare professionals automatically test for STIs after a sexual assault.

Based on what happened, your healthcare provider will recommend which tests are important to have now and which may need to be repeated in the future. Many STIs can be prevented with antibiotics if treated soon after a sexual assault. If the exam provider feels this is necessary in your case, tests may be done, and antibiotics may be given to you.

Additional tests or treatments may be needed. For your protection, it is extremely important to carefully follow all instructions you are given. Talk with the nurse or doctor who conducts your exam about any questions you have about STIs.

 

If you are experiencing symptoms. . .

If you experience any of the following symptoms, contact your healthcare provider immediately:

• Burning, itching, unusual discharge

• Sores on your mouth, anal area or genitals

• Milky or bad smelling discharge from vagina or penis

• Bleeding with intercourse

• Burning or bleeding with urination

• Fever

 

Where to get tested

STIs are usually treated as part of the sexual assault medical forensic exam. You can also find a free or low-cost clinic that do STI testing near you by using MDHHS director of providers or the Center for Disease Control database.

 

Learn more

You can learn more about STIs and STDs including signs, symptoms, and possible treatments from the CDC or the National Institute of Health.