STDs and STIs From Unprotected Sex: Know Your Risk Factors And How To Avoid Them

April 4, 2024

Couple scared of contracting STDs and STis from unprotected sex

In today's world, where discussions about sexual health are increasingly vital, distinguishing between Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs) and Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs) is crucial.  
AFC Urgent Care Malden is here to illuminate this topic and provide essential information for prioritizing your sexual health.

Understanding STDs and STIs:

STDs are infections typically transmitted through sexual contact, caused by bacteria, viruses, or parasites. STIs, on the other hand, refer to infections that can be transmitted through sexual activity but may not necessarily result in symptoms of disease. All STDs begin as STIs.

Common STDs and STIs:

  • Bacterial Vaginosis (BV): BV is a common vaginal condition that is treatable but can increase the risk of contracting an STD.
  • Chlamydia: Chlamydia is a common but treatable STD. If left untreated, it can lead to difficulties with fertility, particularly in women.
  • Gonorrhea: Gonorrhea is another common STD that can be effectively treated with medication. However, if left untreated, it can result in severe health complications.
  • Syphilis: Untreated syphilis can lead to serious health issues, but it is curable with the right treatment.
  • Herpes: Genital herpes is a common STD that is often asymptomatic but can be managed with medications to reduce outbreaks and transmission.
  • Hepatitis: Viral hepatitis is a leading cause of liver cancer and is the most common reason for liver transplants.

Signs and Symptoms of STDs and STIs:

STDs and STIs can present in various ways, including genital sores, unusual discharge, pain during urination, itching or burning sensations, and flu-like symptoms. However, many infected individuals may not experience any symptoms, underscoring the importance of regular testing, especially for sexually active individuals.

Prevention and Testing:

  • Abstinence: Not engaging in sexual activity is the most reliable way to avoid infection.
  • Use of Condoms: Correct and consistent use of condoms greatly reduces the risk of STD transmission. Non-latex condoms are available for those with latex allergies.
  • Vaccination: Vaccines are safe, effective, and recommended for preventing hepatitis B and HPV.
  • Reduce Number of Sex Partners: Limiting the number of sexual partners can decrease the risk of STD transmission.
  • Mutual Monogamy: Being sexually active with only one partner who agrees to mutual exclusivity can reduce the risk of STDs.
  • Avoid Sharing: Refrain from sharing sex toys, drinks, and other objects to minimize the risk of transmission.

Treatment and Care:

Prompt medical attention is essential if you suspect exposure to an STD or STI. Many are treatable with antibiotics or antiviral medications if caught early, though some, like HIV and herpes, may require lifelong management tailored to each individual.

The Importance of Awareness:

Raising awareness and understanding of STDs and STIs is critical in combating their spread. By destigmatizing conversations around sexual health and promoting regular testing and preventive measures, individuals can take control of their sexual well-being and reduce infection rates in their communities.

AFC Urgent Care Malden - Your Trusted STD Testing Center

AFC Urgent Care Malden is dedicated to providing comprehensive sexual health services and resources to keep you informed and protected. Take charge of your sexual health today for a healthier tomorrow.

We're open seven days a week, accepting walk-ins, and offering convenient appointment scheduling via phone. AFC Urgent Care Malden accepts most insurances and provides an easy-to-use online payment system for seamless check-in and check-out. We're here for you.


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