The Cole County Health Department offers Sexually Transmitted Infections (STI) assessment, treatment, education and prevention information to those clients presenting with concerns. The Cole County Health Department will also provide health education sessions related to STIs as requested to community organizations, businesses, schools, religious and governmental agencies serving the residents of Cole County.
Symptoms of STIs
There are a variety of symptoms that may be present from STIs. These include, but are not limited to: discharge from the genitals, abdominal or groin pain, burning or painful urination, sores, bumps or blisters in the genital region. It is important to remember that many people with STIs may not have any symptoms at all.
Consequences of Contracting a STI
Sexually transmitted diseases can be damaging to your health. Some STI's cause inflammation and breaks in the skin which make it easier for you to contract HIV. Some STIs can put you at higher risk for infertility. Other STIs, such as Herpes can cause painful sores that often come back again and again. The virus that causes genital warts (HPV) can lead to cervical cancer in women, penile cancer in men, but also anal and esophageal cancer in both men and women. Consider being fully vaccinated with Gardasil 9 to help protect you from HPV disease.
Abstinence, or not having sex (oral, vaginal, anal), is the only way to truly protect yourself and your partner from STIs. A "safer sex" is to use a barrier when having sex, such as a latex condom or dental dam.