Any infection primarily passed by the exchange of body fluids during a sexual act is classified as an STI. The infection may be bacterial, fungal or viral in nature. Although the usual method of transmission is through a sexual act, many STIs can be transmitted via other methods as well.
The most notorious STIs is HIV, which is the virus that causes AIDs. HIV is rare in the United States compared to other STIs. Other common STIs include genital warts, genital herpes, hepatitis B, HPV, and chlamydia. (This list is not comprehensive.)
The difference between sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) and STIs is mostly a difference in name only. STIs used to be primarily referred to as STDs, and the term is still used by many both in and outside the medical field. Recently, however, STI has become the preferred term because it’s more accurate. These infections sometimes cause diseases, but people can carry them without exhibiting any symptoms of an actual disease. Therefore, it’s more precise to call them infections, not diseases.
Since there are many different STIs, there are a number of tests used to screen for them. Tests that check for different STIs include:
Medical providers will suggest tests based on individual risk factors. Patients who are at risk of getting multiple STIs may need to undergo several tests.
By law, all medical appointments are kept confidential. This includes appointments for STI testing and treatment. No one besides a patient’s medical provider will know about the testing unless the patient grants permission to tell others. Some positive tests are reported in a protected and confidential manner to the state health department in insuring adequate treatment and prevention of disease spread.
We participate with most local and many national insurance plans. However, it is your responsibility to understand whether your insurance has limits on the doctors you can see or the services you can receive. If you provide complete and accurate information about your insurance, we will submit claims to your insurance carrier and receive payments for services. Depending on your insurance coverage, you may be responsible for co-payments, co-insurance, or other deductible amounts. Please contact our billing office or call your insurance carrier should you have any questions.
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