When we hear the term STD, we think of a serious health problem, but when we hear the term STI, we often don’t have the same reaction.  However, both of these terms are cause for concern, as they can lead to conditions that affect your well-being. South Carolina is one of the top states in the nation for STIs, so it’s important to get tested even if you don’t think you have one.  Keep reading for information and statistics on STIs, then call Lowcountry Pregnancy Center today at 843-553-3505 to schedule a free STI testing.

STDs vs STIs

You’ve probably heard of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) and sexually transmitted infections (STIs). They’re often used interchangeably, but they actually mean two different things.  An STD refers to a disease, which is a medical issue that normally has clear signs or symptoms. However, in the case of some STDs, the symptoms are either not felt or are small enough that they can be ignored.  Because of this, the term STI has started to become more popular, as it refers to a sexually transmitted pathogen that causes an “infection” that could later result in “disease.¹

Why Is STI Testing Important?

With almost every other physical illness we experience, there are always signs you can be on the lookout for.  When you feel that something in your body is off, you make a doctor’s appointment to get it checked on. However, with STIs and STDs, they often don’t present with noticeable symptoms, and when they do, it’s easy to mistake them for other common infections.  That’s why it’s important to get tested for STIs and STDs. Even if you don’t think you have one, the only way to know for sure is to get a test.

What STIs Are Most Common?

The two most common STIs in South Carolina are Chlamydia and Gonorrhea.  In fact, as of a 2017 CDC study, South Carolina is ranked 5th in the nation for Chlamydia cases (650 cases for every 100,000 residents) and 4th in the nation for Gonorrhea cases (254 cases for every 100,000 residents).  For both of these STIs, symptoms commonly present in men, but are much less likely to present in women.¹²  For example, for cases of Chlamydia, only 25% of women experience symptoms, compared to a 50% rate for men.³

What Does an STI Test Entail?

The good news is that getting an STI test is a quick and painless process.  Typically all that is required is a urine and blood sample, although in some cases where physical symptoms are present, a swab of the affected area may be needed.  

Contact Lowcountry Pregnancy Center

STIs and STDs, while common, can become a serious concern if they are left untreated, as they can grow in strength and leave you open to risk of other harmful diseases.  If you have been sexually active, it’s recommended that you get an STI test sooner rather than later. At Lowcountry Pregnancy Center, we offer free STI testing for Chlamydia and Gonorrhea.  All of our testing is confidential and we provide referrals for treatment as needed.  Our staff is also here to answer any questions you may have about your sexual health. Call us today at 843-553-3505, schedule an appointment online, or walk into our clinic at any time.