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Common STI’s and FAQ’s


Chlamydia is a common STI which is caused by bacteria. It affects mostly younger, sexually active women, but can also affect men. Chlamydia can be contracted through vaginal, oral, or anal sex. Symptoms include

  • Painful urination 
  • Vaginal discharge in women 
  • Painful intercourse for women 
  • Vaginal bleeding between periods/after sex 

However, chlamydia can also have no signs or symptoms at all, and will be revealed only by a test: “a large number of cases are not reported because most people with chlamydia are asymptomatic and do not seek testing.” This makes it especially important for those assigned female at birth and who are sexually active to be tested, particularly before they engage in intercourse with a new partner. This allows the bacteria to be treated, and avoids its spread to others. 

Chlamydial infection can lead to grave conditions such as pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), ectopic pregnancies, infertility, chronic pelvic pain and infections in newborns. 

The good news is, chlamydia can be treated easily with antibiotics. If an STI test indicates the presence of a chlamydia infection, women will be referred to their health care provider to receive treatment.


Gonorrhea is a bacterial infection which is spread through vaginal, anal, and oral sex. Babies of infected mothers can also be affected, principally their eyes.

In many cases, an infection of gonorrhea causes no symptoms. However, it can be responsible for the following symptoms in women:

  • Increased vaginal discharge 
  • Pain in urination 
  • Bleeding in between periods, especially after intercourse
  • Pelvic or abdominal pain 

If the infection reaches other parts of the body, it can cause additional symptoms. But we would emphasize that there may be no symptoms of your having contracted gonorrhea – making regular and strategic testing vitally important. 

Left untreated, gonorrhea can cause infertility, complications in birth, and an increased risk of contracting HIV/AIDS. Adults with gonorrhea are treated with antibiotics. Antibiotic-resistant strains of gonorrhea are emerging, which may make it more difficult to treat in the future. 

Genital Herpes

Herpes is a very common STD caused by the herpes simplex virus (HSV). After the infection has taken hold, it lies dormant but can flare up several times a year. At this time, there is no cure for herpes, though the symptoms can be managed. Symptoms include sores, scabs, ulcers, pain, and itching in your genital area. Whether you have symptoms or not, realize that if you are infected, you are still contagious whether you engage in vaginal, anal, or oral sex.

Herpes must be tested for through a blood sample, PCR test, or viral culture. Here at Ava, we offer herpes testing. Please call to make an appointment if you would like to be tested. 


Syphilis is a bacterial infection spread through skin or mucous membrane contact with one of the sores of an infected person, most commonly through sexual activity. Syphilis can also be spread from mothers to unborn children. The disease goes through three stages (with some potential complications) if left untreated, and can be life-threatening. It is contagious in the first two phases, and sometimes in the early latent stage. Here at Ava, we offer Syphilis testing. Please call to make an appointment if you would like to be tested.


Primary –
About three weeks following infection, a small sore called a chancre appears at the spot where the bacteria entered the body. This sore is usually painless and may go unnoticed if it is hidden on or in the body, but it is the means through which the disease can spread to others. This sore will heal on its own after 3-6 weeks, which may lead those infected to think that the problem has resolved itself, but that is not the case. 

Secondary –
A rash may develop which covers the body, along with wart like sores in your mouth or genitals. Other symptoms may develop, which can go away after a few weeks or last for months.

Latent –
If you aren’t treated by the time the disease enters this phase, the disease becomes dormant and may remain that way for years. At this point, symptoms may never return (though the disease is not gone), or the disease may proceed to the tertiary phase. 

Tertiary –
Approximately 15-30% of those who have contracted syphilis will enter this phase of the disease, potentially years after the initial infection. In this stage, syphilis may damage your eyes, bones, heart, and more. 

At any stage, syphilis may spread and infect your brain or eyes. Syphilis is a very serious condition and needs to be treated as soon as possible. Even though you may not be experiencing symptoms, the disease can be active, nevertheless. In most cases – especially in its early stages – syphilis can be treated with a course of an antibiotic such as penicillin. If you think that you may have syphilis, arrange for an STI test with your doctor. 


Also called trich, trichomoniasis is caused by a parasite which travels between people during sex. There is an incubation period from 4 days to 4 weeks between exposure and infection. In the time immediately after the infection, most people don’t show symptoms. Women who do begin to show symptoms may display:

  • A foul-smelling discharged colored white, gray, yellow, or green 
  • Genital redness, itching, or burning 
  • Pain during urination
  • Pain during sex

Even if you’re not experiencing symptoms, if you believe you have trich you should be tested. Here at Ava, we offer Trichomoniasis testing. Please call to make an appointment if you would like to be tested.


Hepatitis A, B, and C viruses each affect the liver. Because they behave differently, treatment and inoculation for each of these infections vary in their availability and effectiveness. Here at Ava, we offer Hep B and Hep C testing. Please call to make an appointment if you would like to be tested. 


The human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) is a viral STI which attacks your immune system. If left untreated with antivirals, it will develop into acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS). Here at Ava, we offer HIV testing. Please call to make an appointment if you would like to be tested. 

If you have any questions chat with us online or schedule an appointment today.


Certain viral STIs such as hepatitis A, B, and HPV do have vaccines available. Many STIs are caused by bacterial infections and are therefore treatable by antibiotics.

Used properly, condoms can be effective in reducing the risk of spreading an STI. But even condoms are not 100% effective. The only surefire way to prevent the risk of you or a partner contracting an STI is to abstain from sexual activities. Please note that this includes all forms of sex: anal, oral, and vaginal.

That depends on the STI. Bacterial STIs and STIs caused by parasites are treatable and often curable, especially if caught early enough. Viral STIs such as herpes are trickier, currently, which is why vaccines have been and are being developed for many of them. The prevalence of STIs in our time and the treatment of them is beginning to result in the development of antibacterial resistant strains of certain STIs, which means that preventing the spread of STIs is essential for the health of future generations. 

Certain STDs may have home tests available, probably urine based. Be sure to do your research before trusting these methods – contact the staff at one of our centers if you’d like to talk through your options.

In most cases, no. And failing to treat a sexually transmitted infection will likely only cause greater harm down the road for yourself, as well as increasing the risk of spreading the disease to others.

Yes. It is important for people to realize that the key to STI spreading is contact with the more sensitive areas of the human body – the act of vaginal sex is not required for transmission. 

It is possible for certain STDs such as herpes to spread via kissing, though in general kissing is lower risk for spreading an STD. 

When dealing with something as potentially dangerous as an STI, it is essential that you don’t try to go it alone. Talk with your doctor or one of our staff to get started on the path to treating your STI properly

Tests for STDs cannot be performed online. The only thing you would be able to do via a computer would be to answer a questionnaire – which may lead you in the wrong direction. It is much better to get a formal, lab-grade test performed.

In practice, the terms sexually transmitted infection (STI) and sexually transmitted disease (STD) can be interchangeable. The difference is that not all diseases begin with infections, though many do. Infection begins when a bacteria, virus, or parasite enters the body and begins to grow/multiply. Disease occurs when the body’s normal processes are interrupted, which can take time. 

If you would like to get tested for STI’s, please schedule an appointment with us today and we can provide you with discreet and accurate testing.

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