If you are sexually active, getting tested for sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) is one of the most important things you can do to protect your health and the health of others. At Panorama Urgent Care Family Medicine, located in Panorama City, California, we offer confidential testing and treatment for STDs and screening for HIV. Qualifying patients may take advantage of the benefits offered through California’s Family Planning, Access, Care and Treatment (Family PACT) Program. To learn more about how we can help you, call the office today or request an appointment online.
HIV/STD Screening & Treatment Q & A
Which STDs can I be tested and treated for?
Panorama Urgent Care Family Medicine tests for most STDs (also called STIs, or sexually-transmitted infections) including:
- Gonorrhea and chlamydia
- Human papillomavirus
- Genital herpes
STDs are passed from one person to another through sexual activity including vaginal, oral, and anal sex. It is uncommon for them to be passed from one person to another through intimate physical contact, such as heavy petting, but it can happen. The good news is that STDs are preventable.
STDs don’t always create symptoms, so it is possible to have an infection and not know it. That is why we encourage you to get tested if you are sexually active. While not all STDs can be cured, we can help you manage your symptoms with the right treatments.
Who should be tested for STDs and HIV?
According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC):
- All adults and adolescents from ages 13 to 64 should be tested at least once for HIV.
- All sexually active women younger than 25 years should be tested for gonorrhea and chlamydia every year. Women 25 years and older with risk factors such as new or multiple sex partners or a sex partner who has an STD should also be tested for gonorrhea and chlamydia every year.
- All pregnant women should be tested for syphilis, HIV, and hepatitis B starting early in pregnancy. At-risk pregnant women should also be tested for chlamydia and gonorrhea starting early in pregnancy. Testing should be repeated as needed to protect the health of mothers and their infants.
- All sexually active gay and bisexual men should be tested at least once a year for syphilis, chlamydia, and gonorrhea. Those who have multiple or anonymous partners should be tested more frequently for STDs (i.e., at 3- to 6-month intervals).
- Sexually active gay and bisexual men may benefit from more frequent HIV testing (e.g., every 3 to 6 months).
- Anyone who has unsafe sex or shares injection drug equipment should get tested for HIV at least once a year.
STD testing is especially important for women because, without proper treatment, an STD can affect your fertility or lead to serious health issues such as cervical cancer.
Why should I be screened for HIV?
Knowing your HIV status can help keep you—and others—safe. HIV testing shows whether a person has HIV ( human immunodeficiency virus). HIV is the virus that causes AIDS (acquired immunodeficiency syndrome). AIDS is the most advanced stage of HIV infection. HIV testing can detect HIV infection, but it can’t tell how long a person has been infected with HIV or if the person has AIDS. At Panorama Urgent Care Family Medicine, we screen for HIV and provide referrals if treatment is required.
What is Family PACT?
The Family PACT Program is administered by the Office of Family Planning, a branch of the California Department of Health Care Services, and is designed to help qualifying, low-income men and women get the medical care, counseling, and family planning services they need to stay in charge of their reproductive health. Family PACT benefits include all FDA approved contraceptive methods and supplies, family planning counseling and education, STD testing & treatment, HIV screening, cervical cancer screening, male and female permanent contraception, and limited infertility services. The program also provides access to prescriptions that can be filled at any pharmacy that accepts Medi-Cal.
Regular screenings for STDs puts you in charge of your overall health, and helps protect others as well. To learn more about our HIV/STD screening and treatment services at Panorama Urgent Care Family Medicine, call the office today or book an appointment online.