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At least one in four Americans will get an STD during their lives. Your risk depends on your age, who you have sex with (men or women), what type of sex you have (see STD risk chart), and other behaviors. Women get more STDs than men because of biological differences, and they can have more serious complications. STDs often go untreated because many women don't even realize they have one. Women who have sex with men can be at risk for contracting both treatable bacterial STDs, like chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis, and viral STDs like herpes and HPV (genital warts). However, for most women over the age of 30, the greatest risks are

Behaviors that may increase your chances of getting an STD are:

  • Having sex without a condom
  • Having 3+ sex partners in one year
  • Drinking or doing drugs before sex (drugs and alcohol decrease inhibitions and increase the likelihood that you may make poor decisions- like not using condoms!)
  • Exchanging money or drugs for sex
  • Having an STD in the past year

Stay sexually healthy:

  • Use condoms, especially with new partners and in non-monogamous relationships;
  • Talk to your partners about birth control and STDs;
  • If you have unusual symptoms, see your health care provider or come in to be evaluated at City Clinic; and
  • If you are 30 or over and have had two consecutive, normal Pap smears in the past, you only need to get a Pap smear every two or three years.

Please note: during the visit process at City Clinic, you will have a careful risk assessment and will only be tested for infections for which you have risk.

Last modified on Thursday, June 23, 2016.
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