Information about ​STI and HIV

 

If you are currently sexually active or considering becoming sexually active, it’s important to know how to keep you and your partner(s) safe. Having oral, anal and/or vaginal sex can put you at risk of sexually transmitted infections/diseases (STI) and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). However, you can take action to reduce this risk and engage in safe sexual practices. 

If you are diagnosed with an STI, you can receive treatment at a Maryland Family Planning Program clinic and services are free or affordable. You can also use your insurance, including Medicaid, at all of the clinic locations. Insurance is not required and no one is ever turned away based on ability to pay. You can use the search tool below to find a clinic near you. You can also learn more about preventing STI and find additional information and resources.


Preventing the spread of STI and HIV

There are several ways to reduce the risk of spreading infection or disease to others. All of the below methods can be discussed and many are offered at Maryland Family Planning Program clinics. Services are free or affordable and insurance is accepted. No one is ever turned away based on ability to pay. 

  • Abstinence: not having sex is a reliable way to avoid infection and is a method some people may choose to use short-term, long-term, or not at all.
  • Vaccination: vaccines are safe and effective and are available to prevent hepatitis B and HPV. It is safe for children to receive these vaccines even years before they may become sexually active and also available to teenagers and adults.
  • Condoms: condoms are a birth control method that can effectively prevent STI, HIV, and pregnancy when used correctly. Learn how to use a condom and condom Dos and Don'ts
  • Get tested: knowing if you have an STI is an important step in stopping the spread of STI to your partners and additional people. It’s also important to get tested so you can receive treatment. Not all STI have symptoms, so it’s important to get tested to be sure. STI during pregnancy. can be harmful to the pregnant person, their partner, and their fetus, so it is important to talk to a provider about available screening and testing options.
  • Use PrEP​: Pre-exposure prophylaxis (or PrEP) is medicine that can be taken to prevent getting HIV and is highly effective when taken as prescribed. PrEP can reduce the risk of getting HIV from sex as well as from injection drug use. Women, men, trans, and nonbinary individuals can be infected by HIV regardless of sexual orientation. You can talk to a family planning provider to see if using PrEP might be right for you. ​

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2/8/2013 10:35 PM