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Often, people who have STIs (sexually transmitted infections), commonly known as an STDs (sexually transmitted diseases) don't even know they have one. The most common symptom of an STI is no symptom at all. That's why getting tested for STIs at least once a year and between partners is so important.

An STI stands for sexually transmitted infection, but no matter which acronym is used, it refers to infections that get passed from one person to another, often during sexual contact. Health educators and healthcare professionals use STI because "infection" is more accurate and less stigmatizing than "disease."

Infections are caused by a virus, bacteria, or parasite that enters the body, and the immune system works to try to fight it. Diseases happen when an infection causes symptoms that damage parts of the body and cause illness when left untreated. Infections do not often develop into diseases because they are treated or cured with medicine before causing long-term damage.

Getting tested for STIs regularly is part of safer sex, even if you always use barriers like condoms and feel fine. Because most people with STIs don't have symptoms and aren't aware they're infected, STIs can easily be passed to partners. So, testing and open communication with your partner(s) is the only way to know for sure whether or not someone has an STI.

Sexual health care is self-care, so start having conversations about safer sex, get tested for STIs, and get treated if needed so you can enjoy a fun and pleasurable sex life. Planned Parenthood is here for you and your partner(s) to provide non judgemental, confidential, high-quality health care, including STI testing and treatment. 

[I had a] great experience! It was fast and easy. My boyfriend and I went in for a routine STD check and received the help we needed. Thank you!

Patient Yelp Review


As a male looking for prompt and quality STI testing Planned Parenthood was my first option. I got an appointment the same day and the office staff were helpful and quick. My doctor was knowledgeable about my healthcare needs.

Patient Yelp Review


Knowing your status is vital to taking control of your sexual health and maintaining a healthy sex life. If you think you have an STI or have been exposed to an STI, or it’s been more than a year since you’ve been tested, make an appointment at your local Planned Parenthood. And remember, STIs are normal, common, and most are easily treatable! Call (714) 922-4100 to make an appointment today.