HIV/STI Basics

Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) can occur from both unprotected and protected sexual encounters between any two individuals. STIs include chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis and HIV among others. Here at Care2Prevent we are able to test you for: chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis, Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C and HIV.

Had an exposure?

If you’re concerned you’ve been exposed to HIV, there are treatment options that are very effective at preventing transmission. Non-occupational post-exposure prophylaxis, or nPEP is effective at preventing HIV when started within 72 hours of exposure. Don’t delay and don’t let cost prevent you from seeking treatment (there are payment assistance programs available for uninsured individuals). You can access nPEP at Care2Prevent by calling 773-702-5872 during business hours and you can also always go to an emergency department and report exposure and need for nPEP.

Thinking about PrEP for HIV prevention? Click here.

When should you get tested?

Different infections have different window periods. A window period is the time between infection and when a test can detect the infection. Below are guidelines for common STIs and when you can get tested with a reliable result:

Chlamydia: 7-21 days
Gonorrhea: 1-14 days
Syphilis: 1-12 weeks
HIV: 12 weeks for a rapid antibody test; <2 weeks for a blood test
Hepatitis B: 1-9 weeks
Hepatitis C: 4-10 weeks*

What are the symptoms?

Symptoms can range from burning, itching and discharge to sores, bumps and flu-like symptoms but some STIs take a long time for symptoms to develop, as in the case with HIV, and some people can be living with STIs like chlamydia, gonorrhea and syphilis and not have any symptoms. Check out this page from the Mayo Clinic for more information on STIs and their symptoms.

What do do?

If you’re concerned you may have have an STI, reach out to us at 773-702-5872 to speak with someone and schedule an appointment.


*Source: CDC and North Dakota Department of  Health.

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