This weekly column addresses topics related to the health of our community.
Take this STD Test:
A. Always cause pain or discharge.
B. Are cured if symptoms disappear.
C. Often show no signs or symptoms.
Answer: 1) C
Most people who are infected with an STD show no signs or symptoms. That's why it's important to get tested regularly.
The CDC recommends testing at least once each year for anyone who is sexually active, or any time you have a new sexual partner. The only way to know for sure if you are infected with an STD is to get tested.
The most common reportable STD in Carson City (and elsewhere) is chlamydia. This bacterial infection is easily treated with a course of antibiotics, but since many people do not know they are infected, it is easy to spread chlamydia to a partner.
Once you have been treated, you can be re-infected if your partner was not treated, too.
Not all STDs are curable, but just knowing that you are infected can allow you to take steps to protect your health. Some STDs, like HIV/AIDS, are not curable, but treatment is available and can improve the quality of life for people with the disease. Again, the only way to know for sure if you are infected is to be tested.
Now that you know the facts, call Carson City Health and Human Services or your physician to schedule an STD test for yourself. Encourage your partner to get one, too. The test for chlamydia and gonorrhea is quick and easy, and you will get your results in only a few days. If you are infected with a bacterial STD, you can get treatment at CCHHS, too.
Free confidential HIV testing is offered at CCHHS as well on a walk-in basis. The test involves only a finger stick, and you can have your results in only 15 minutes.
Knowing your STD status is an important health decision. Get yourself tested.
For more information about Health Department services, check out our website at www.gethealthycarsoncity.org or visit us on Facebook at Carson City Health and Human Services.
WHERE: Carson City Health and Human Services, 900 East Long St., Carson City
GENERAL CLINICS: 9 a.m.-4 p.m., Monday-Wednesday and Friday by appointment
WELL CHILD VISITS: 8 a.m.-4 p.m. Mondays
MEN'S CLINIC: 4-6 p.m. Mondays. Call for an appointment.
IMMUNIZATION DAY: 8:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.; 1-4:30 p.m. Thursdays. No appointment needed.
Vaccination is the best defense against the flu. CCHHS offers flu injections for $10.
•Cortney Bloomer and Valerie Cauhape, Carson City Health and Human Services.