As we get ready to close out STI Awareness Month, we want to make sure you know your rights when it comes STI prevention and treatment. This information can help you take action to own your health when the stay at home orders are lifted.
Getting tested is 100% confidential!!!
If possible, it’s always a good idea to include a family member or other trusted adult in your health, but you DO NOT need permission to get tested or treated for STIs. You also don’t need permission to get the HPV Vaccine.
Once school is back in session, teens can also visit a clinic during school hours without parents being notified.
STD care in California is FREE for teens.
- If you are covered by your parent’s health insurance plan you can use it to get STI testing for FREE. Learn more about protecting your privacy if you have health insurance through your parents here.
- If you have Medi-Cal, or qualify for the program, you can use your Medi-Cal coverage to get both STI testing AND treatment for FREE. Check to see if you are eligible for Medi-Cal.
- If you don’t have Medi-Cal or are worried about using your health insurance – or don’t have your health insurance information, see if you’re eligible to get FREE + CONFIDENTIAL STD services through California’s Family PACT program. Use our clinic finder to find a clinic near you, and give them – during COVID-19, they will help you enroll over the phone. Once the Stay at Home orders are lifted, you can also go in person to sign up.
- HPV is the only STI that is currently preventable with a vaccine – and for most teens, the HPV vaccine is FREE! All health insurance plans are required to cover it, and if you are uninsured or unable to pay for the vaccine, there are programs to help you. Ask your doctor or the staff at your local clinic about your coverage.
What if I’m experiencing symptoms during the Stay at Home order?
If you are experiencing symptoms, you may still be able to get care from your doctor by scheduling a phone or video appointment. If they prescribe you medication, you may even be able to get medication for your partner through a program called Patient Delivered Partner Therapy (PDPT for short), even if they don’t make their own appointment. You can learn more about that here to see if it sounds right for you. Call your doctor or a provider at a clinic near you today!
STI Prevention is Key
Not having any kind of sex is the only sure way to protect yourself from getting an STI or giving one to someone else. If and when you do engage in sexual activity, internal and external condoms can help prevent STIs! FREE condoms here.