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Sexually Transmitted Infection (STI) rates are increasing in California. According to the Centers for Disease Control, chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis are all on the rise.

This sounds scary — but it doesn’t have to be. We have many tools to help you avoid contracting or transmitting an STI, and it all starts with testing: Once you know your status, you can take action.

Quick, Easy, and Painless

Many people believe they’ll know it if they get an STI. Unfortunately, that’s not always the case. Many STIs are asymptomatic, and the only way to find out for sure is to get tested.

Think of it as a gift to yourself and your partner. If you test negative, you can take precautions to keep from getting infected. And if you’re positive, know that all STIs — even HIV — are treatable, and many are curable. The sooner you know your status, the better you can protect your and your partner’s health.

STI tests are usually quick and painless; many need only a vaginal swab or urine sample. Rapid HIV tests require a finger prick and can provide results in 20 minutes.

Take Precautions

When used consistently and correctly, condoms provide excellent protection against STIs. As for HIV, condoms make sex up to 10,000 times safer.

Using a condom can take some worry out of sex. Around 80 percent of men use a condom the first time they have sex with a partner. Many couples who want to prevent both pregnancy and STIs use condoms, along with other forms of birth control.

Come into a Planned Parenthood health center — protect yourself and your partner and get tested! It’s inexpensive, confidential, and just so easy.


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