STDs (Sexually Transmitted Diseases)
What are the risks?
Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs) can be very serious. If you think you are at risk, contact your local family planning health center.
- Over half of people aged 15-25 in the United States have an STD.
- Having an STD can increase your chances of getting another STD or HIV/AIDS.
- An untreated STD can lead to the inability to have a baby for both women and men.
- 70% of people who have an STD show NO symptoms.
- Human Papilloma Virus is a leading cause of cervical cancer in women.
- STDs can lead to Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID) in women.
The best way to prevent STDs is to use condoms during sexual activity or to abstain from sex completely. You can pick up condoms at any Maine Family Planning clinic.
HIV and AIDS
HIV stands for Human Immunodeficiency Virus. HIV finds and destroys a type of white blood cell (T cells or CD4 cells) that our immune systems need in order to fight disease. AIDSstands for Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome. Having AIDS means that HIV has weakened the immune system so much that the body can not effectively fight infections.
Symptoms of HIV Infection
The only way to know whether you are infected is to be tested for HIV. You cannot rely on symptoms alone because many people who are infected with HIV do not have symptoms for many years. Maine Family Planning offers rapid, confidential HIV testing.
The most effective ways to prevent HIV are to use condoms during sexual activity and/or to abstain from sex and IV drug use completely. Maine Family Planning provides consultations and prescriptions for PrEP, a daily pill that significantly reduces the risk of HIV infection.
Modern treatment allows individuals with HIV to live longer, healthier lives than in the past. Treatment improves the health of people with HIV and lowers the risk of transmitting the virus to others. MFP can provide referrals for treatment.