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STI Testing & Treatment

What are STIs?

Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) or sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) are infectious diseases passed from person to person during sex. The term STI is often used interchangeably with STD, though infections are only considered diseases when symptoms are present—the term STD applies to both STIs and STDs.

In the U.S. alone, there are approximately 20 million new cases of STIs each year, half of which occur among people ages 15-24.

Seek medical care right away after possible exposure to a STI. Some STIs are easily curable in their early stages, and prompt treatment can lessen complications and stop the spread of STIs to others.

STDs are a serious health problem and can result in reproductive complications, damage to vital organs like the heart, kidneys and brain, and even death. Not all STDs are passed during sex; some STDs can be passed by sharing syringes or from an infected mother to her baby during pregnancy, childbirth or breast feeding. However, most STIs can be avoided if the proper steps are taken.

What are the symptoms of STIs?

STI symptoms differ based on the type of STI and the person, and some STIs have no symptoms. If not treated, STIs can cause major damage to your body, even if they don't have symptoms.

Common STI symptoms include:

  • Blisters and genital lesions
  • Burning when passing urine
  • Pain with sex
  • Pelvic or testicular pain
  • Pubic itching or rashes
  • Thick discharge from the penis
  • Unusual vaginal discharge

What is an STI evaluation at Healthcare Clinic?

At your appointment, a healthcare provider will ask about your STI risk, take an exposure history, discuss STI testing and education, and evaluate treatment options.

It's also important to contact your sexual partner(s) about any infection, no matter how hard it is to do so.

How are STIs tested?

Chlamydia

  • Test type: Swab of genital area or urine sample
  • Treatment: Prescription antibiotic, if necessary
  • FYI: Let your healthcare provider know if you have had oral or anal sex. These sites may be infected and need to be tested separately.

Gonorrhea

  • Test type: Swab of genital area or urine sample
  • Treatment: Prescription antibiotic, if necessary
  • FYI: Like with chlamydia, you should let your healthcare provider know if you have had oral or anal sex. These sites may be infected and need to be tested separately.

Hepatitis (A, B & C)

  • Test type: Blood test
  • Treatment: Referral to specialist
  • FYI: All tests and visit information are confidential

HIV

  • Test type: Blood test
  • Treatment: Referral to specialist
  • FYI: All tests and visit information are confidential

Genital herpes

  • Test type: Blood test or swab of affected area. A follow-up blood test may be given after a negative to confirm results.
  • Treatment: Prescription antiviral, if necessary
  • FYI: Be sure to ask for a type-specific IgG test (not an IgM test). The swab test must be done as soon as possible, because viral culture tests are less accurate after 48 hours. However, a negative culture does not mean that you do not have genital herpes.

Syphilis

  • Test type: Blood test or sample taken from a sore
  • Treatment: Referral to specialist
  • FYI: The CDC recommends all pregnant women be tested for syphilis, regardless of risk.

Trichomoniasis

  • Test type: Swab of infected area, physical exam or sample of discharge
  • Treatment: Prescription antibiotic, if necessary
  • FYI: Trichomoniasis is harder to detect in men than in women

HPV (genital warts)

  • Test type: Visual diagnosis
  • Pap tests detect cervical cell changes—not HPV. An abnormal test is often caused by HPV infection. No HPV test is available for men. You will be referred to your PCP or OBGYN if pap testing is necessary.

Most Walgreens Healthcare Clinic locations are open 7 days a week, and all tests are confidential.

Schedule an appointment at a Walgreens Healthcare Clinic to get tested.

Learn more about HIV PrEP and counseling ›

If you believe you have a medical emergency,  please call 911.

Patient care services provided by Take Care Health Services, an independently owned professional corporation whose licensed healthcare professionals are not employed by or agents of Walgreen Co. or its subsidiaries, including Take Care Health Systems, LLC. Privacy Practices
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