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Sexually Transmitted Disease
Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) are common infections, passed from one person to another through sexual activity including vaginal, oral and anal sex. All sexually active people are at risk. You can lower your risk by using condoms and being in a monogamous relationship with someone who does not have an STD. It is important to get tested, because STDs do not always cause symptoms. If you are diagnosed with an STD, it can be treated and most likely cured. Click on one of the images below for more information on a specific STD.
2018 Report: Surveillance Snapshot - Gonorrhea in Montana
What If I've Been Exposed to an STD?
Chlamydia is the most commonly reported STD in the United States. While it often has no symptoms, it can eventually cause serious reproductive damage, particularly in women.
Where to find out if you have chlamydia.
Gonorrhea is a common infection, and if left untreated, can cause serious and permanent health problems. Often, women don’t have symptoms, and spread the infection to others unknowingly.
Find out if you are at risk for gonorrhea.
Syphilis is another serious STD that is easy to miss in the earliest stage, but is easy to cure with the right medication. While early stage symptoms come and go, the infection continues to cause serious damage throughout the body.
Learn more about the stages of syphilis.
There are many ways to protect yourself from HIV, even if your partner is HIV+. Abstinence, condoms and daily medication are just a few. Pre-exposure prophylaxis or PrEP is a daily pill you can take to greatly lower your risk of contracting HIV.
Learn more about preventing HIV.
STD & HIV Screening Recommendations
If you are sexually active, getting tested for STDs is one of the most important things you can do to protect your health. Have an open and honest conversation about your sexual history and STD testing with your doctor and ask whether you should be tested for STDs. If you are not comfortable talking with your regular health care provider, there are clinics throughout Montana that offer confidential and free or low-cost testing. Find one near you at GetTested.MT.gov.
- All adults and adolescents from ages 13 to 64 should be tested at least once for HIV.
- Annual chlamydia screening of all sexually active women younger than 25 years, as well as older women with risk factors such as new or multiple sex partners, or a sex partner who has a sexually transmitted infection
- Annual gonorrhea screening for all sexually active women younger than 25 years, as well as older women with risk factors such as new or multiple sex partners, or a sex partner who has a sexually transmitted infection.
- Syphilis, HIV, and hepatitis B screening for all pregnant women, and chlamydia and gonorrhea screening for at-risk pregnant women starting early in pregnancy, with repeat testing as needed, to protect the health of mothers and their infants.
- Screening at least once a year for syphilis, chlamydia, and gonorrhea for all sexually active gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men (MSM). MSM who have multiple or anonymous partners should be screened more frequently for STDs (e.g., at 3-to-6 month intervals).
Anyone who has unsafe sex or shares injection drug equipment should get tested for HIV at least once a year.
But I don’t have any symptoms.
It’s good you don’t have symptoms. But it doesn’t mean you are free from infection. Many people who are infected have no idea anything is wrong. Meanwhile they can pass the STD on to others and can suffer serious damage to their reproductive system. Click on one of the specific STDs above, for more information.
3 Ways to Talk With Your Partner(s) About STDs
1. Have the conversation
2. Let us do it.
If you are diagnosed with syphilis, gonorrhea or chlamydia (and some other communicable diseases), your county health department is required to ask for the names and contact information of sexual partners. Without using your name, experienced staff will contact them to offer testing and treatment. Your name and medical information is private and confidential, even if you see the same provider.
Partner Services Quick Guide
STD and HIV Screening Recommendations
CDC Partner Services Quick Guide
CDC Partner Services Guidelines
CDC’s 2015 STD Treatment Guidelines
Montana Annotated Codes (MCA) STD Statutes
STD Reporting Forms
Instructions for Case Reporting in Montana