Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs)
Most people avoid talking about STIs, but STIs are a health issue needing attention. The Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) estimates 20 million new STIs occur every year in the U.S. They pose a risk to immediate and long-term health and well-being.
UCare wants you to know about STIs: what they are, how they can be treated and how to prevent them.
- STIs are infections passed between people through intimate physical contact and sexual activity. STIs are very common – and easily prevented.
- It’s possible to have an STI and not know it, because symptoms aren’t always present.
- It is important for people having sex to get tested for STIs. These infections can be treated with medicine and some can be cured entirely.
- Learn about general symptoms and STIs.
- Printable basic and detailed fact sheets to learn about STIs.
STIs can risk your immediate and long-term health and well-being. Untreated infections can increase your chances of giving or getting human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), experiencing long-term pelvic/abdominal pain, affect your ability to get pregnant, or lead to pregnancy complications.
Anyone can contract an STI. If you’re sexually active, you could have an infection and not know it. Learn about STI risks and prevention.
STIs can be prevented! Follow these simple steps to reduce your chances of contracting one:
- Get tested
- Know your options
- Talk with partners
- Use protection
- Prevention measures to avoid STIs
Getting tested: Talk-Test-Treat
- Talk openly about STIs with your partner and health care providers
- Get tested, because it's the only way to know you have an STI
- If you have an STI, work with your provider for effective treatment
Ways to get tested
STI testing has become easier and painless in the past few years. Testing may include a sample sent to the lab or urine sample depending on what your doctor recommends.
Learn about the different STI testing methods
Worried about privacy? Know your rights!
If you’re seeking care for sexual health, your information is confidential if you are age 13 or older -- even if you are on your parent's UCare health plan. Here's how it works:
- If you receive a Summary of Care statement in the mail from UCare, the test will be labeled "lab test."
- Individuals on Medical Assistance (Medicaid) don’t receive a Summary of Care statement from UCare (e.g., test results) in the mail.
- You may be able to have your follow-up information sent to you in a secure online account. Call the number on the back of your UCare member ID card to find out your options.
Learn to protect yourself with these quizzes and information about health education and sexual health.
- What birth control is right for me?
This quiz about birth control methods is provided for information purposes only. It doesn’t constitute medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. If you have a medical problem, please make an appointment with your clinic or a Planned Parenthood health center.
- Safe Sex and Teens Quiz: How much do you know?
This interactive quiz tests your knowledge about safe sex. It provides basic information about protecting your sexual health.
General sexual health information
- Birth control methods Learn more about birth control options.
- Sexual health information
Read about vital reproductive health care and sex education.
- Teens and Sex: Protecting your teen’s sexual health
Teens and sex can be a risky combination. Learn how to talk to your teen about abstinence and contraception.
Prevent cancer with the HPV vaccine
The human papillomaviruses (HPV) vaccine is given to girls and boys at age 11 or 12 to protect them from six different types of cancer later in life. That means one vaccine can provide a lifetime of protection.
The truth about HPV
- HPV is a very common virus that can lead to cancer-causing infection.
- Each year more than 31,500 men and women in the U.S. are diagnosed with cancer caused by HPV.
- HPV vaccination is expected to prevent 90% of HPV cancers when given before your child is exposed to the virus.
The HPV vaccine
The HPV vaccine can protect your child by preventing several kinds of cancer later in life. The vaccination is:
- recommended at age 11 or 12, for both boys and girls;
- one of three vaccines all children need at this age.
|Vaccination Schedule by age|
|9 - 10 years||
|The vaccine is recommended for children with certain health or lifestyle conditions that put them at an increased risk for serious diseases. See vaccine-specific recommendations from the CDC.|
|Not at risk||Children not at increased risk may get the vaccine if they wish after speaking to a provider.|
|11 - 12 years||Recommended||The vaccine is recommended for all children unless your doctor tells you that your child cannot safely receive the vaccine.|
|13 - 15 years||Catch-up||The vaccine should be given if a child is catching-up on missed vaccines.|
|16 - 18 years||Catch-up||The vaccine should be given if a child is catching-up on missed vaccines.|
|19 - 21 years||Adult: Recommended||This vaccine is recommended for you unless your doctor tells you that you do not need it or should not get it.|
|22 - 26 years||Adult: Recommended (Women)||This vaccine is recommended for you unless your doctor tells you that you do not need it or should not get it.|
|May be recommended (Men)||This vaccine is recommended for you if you have certain risk factors due to your health condition. Talk to your doctor to see if you need this vaccine.|
Cervical cancer: know your risks
The American Cancer Society reports that cervical cancer is one of the most common causes of cancer death for American women. Greater use of the Pap test has helped reduce this death rate significantly.
Cervical cancer in the U.S. (2018 estimates):
- 13,240 cases / 4,170 deaths per year
- 92% five-year localized survival rate / 67% five-year overall survival rate
Learn about cervical cancer
No matter your age or health, it’s good to know the signs of cancer. Alone, they aren’t enough to diagnosis the disease. But they can provide clues so that you and your doctor can find and treat it quickly.
American Cancer Society
Testing and treatment
Cervical cancer can often be found early, and sometimes even prevented entirely, by having regular Pap tests. Screenings find changes in the cells of the cervix that could lead to cancer. If detected early, cervical cancer is one of the most successfully treatable cancers.
|Women age 21 to 29||Cervical cancer screening with cytology (Pap smear)||every 3 years|
|Women age 30 to 65||Cervical cancer screening with cytology alone; Or cervical cancer screening with high-risk HPV (hrHPV) testing alone or hrHPV testing in combination with cytology||every 5 years|
Protect yourself from sexually transmitted infections. You can stay healthy:
- Get tested
- Reduce risk behaviors
- Get vaccinated against HPV
- Be proud of taking care of your health
- Schedule an appointment today
- Search UCare's network
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- Check your coverage
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- Call UCare Customer Services
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