If you are sexually active or thinking of becoming sexually active, it is important that you Talk. Test. Treat. to protect your health. These three small actions can have a big impact on your sexual health!
Talk openly and honestly to your partner(s) and your healthcare provider about sexual health and STDs.
Talk with your partner(s) BEFORE having sex. Not sure how? We have tips to help you start the conversation. Make sure your discussion covers several important ways to make sex safer:
- Talk about when you were last tested and suggest getting tested together.
- If you have an STD (like herpes or HIV), tell your partner.
- Agree to only have sex with each other.
- Use latex condoms from start to finish every time you have sex.
Talk with your healthcare provider about your sex life, and ask what STD tests you should be getting and how often.
- Not all medical checkups include STD testing, so don't assume that you've been tested unless you discuss it with your provider.
- Ask your healthcare provider whether certain vaccines, like the Hepatitis B vaccine or the HPV vaccine, are right for you.
Get tested. It's the only way to know for sure if you have an STD.
Many STDs don't cause any symptoms, so you could have one and not know. If you're having sex, getting tested is one of the most important things you can do to protect your health.
Find out which STD tests CDC recommends for you. Even if you're pregnant, you can still get an STD. If you're having sex, you're still at risk.
If you're not comfortable talking with your regular healthcare provider about STDs, view the list of STD testing sites in Butte County that provide confidential testing that's free or low cost:
- View the Oroville Testing Sites in the Resource Directory.
- View the Chico Testing Sites in the Resource Directory.
- View the Paradise Testing Sites in the Resource Directory.
- View Gridley Testing Sites in the Resource Directory.
- View the Magalia Testing Sites in the Resource Directory.
If you test positive for an STD, work with your healthcare provider to get the correct treatment.
Some STDs can be cured with the right medicine from your healthcare provider, and all STDs are treatable. Make sure your treatment works by doing these things:
- Take all of the medication your healthcare provider prescribes, even if you start feeling better or your symptoms go away.
- Don't share your medicine with anyone.
- Avoid having sex again until you and your sex partner(s) have all completed treatment.
Treat Yourself & Your Partner
If you are diagnosed with an STD ask your healthcare provider about the Patient Delivered Partner Therapy (PDPT) program. Through this program, patients diagnosed with a Chlamydia or Gonorrhea infection may be supplied with free medication to give to their exposed sex partners without the partners needing to be examined prior to treatment. This timely treatment can help to prevent repeat infections.
PDPT is an evidence-based alternative for treating sex partners who are unable or unlikely to visit a health center. This program is intended for uninsured or underinsured sex partners of patients diagnosed with a Chlamydia or Gonorrhea infection.
Butte County Public Health Clinics are pleased to offer PDPT. Funding for this program was made possible through California's Title X-funded Essential Access Health (EAH) Program.