It’s STD Awareness Month: Know Your Rights

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Did you know that 50% of sexually active teens will get a sexually transmitted disease (STD) before they turn 25? STDs such as chlamydia, gonorrhea, and HPV are VERY common and can often show no symptoms at all. Without protection, you can get infected and not even know! Luckily most STDs are easy to treat, but if left undetected, they can harm your health and can be passed to other people. That is why it is SO important to get tested – not just this month but any month. Sometimes it’s the only way to know if you have an STD.

So what exactly do people get tested for?

To avoid any long-term health problems, it’s important to get checked. There are different tests for various types of STDs including chlamydia, HPV, genital warts, gonorrhea, hepatitis B, herpes, HIV, syphilis, and trichomoniasis. To learn more about each of these STDs and how you get tested, check out this page.

Get tested – it’s 100% confidential!!!

As a teen in California, you have rights! Those rights grant you CONFIDENTIAL and AFFORDABLE health care – and that includes STD testing and treatment. This means you DO NOT need permission to get tested or treated for STDs, but it’s always a good idea to include a family member or other trusted adult in your health, if possible.

Teens can also visit a clinic during school hours without their parents being notified or contacted, if going to a clinic after school or on the weekend would be a challenge. Find a clinic near you for STD prevention, testing, and treatment here.

Wondering how to pay for testing?

Good news! You can get tested and treated for FREE.

Here’s how:

  1. If you are covered by your parent’s health insurance plan you can use it to get STD testing for FREE.  PRO TIP: Make sure you fill out this CONFIDENTIAL COMMUNICATIONS REQUEST form to tell your insurance plan to send all of the information regarding sensitive health care services directly to you.
  1. If you have Medi-Cal, or qualify for the program, you can use your Medi-Cal coverage to get both STD testing AND treatment for FREE. Check to see if you are eligible for Medi-Cal.
  2. If you don’t have Medi-Cal or are worried about using your health insurance – or don’t have your health insurance information, you can go to a clinic and they can help you get services for FREE through California’s Family PACT program to help get you access to STD testing and treatment. The services provided under Family PACT are confidential!

Use our clinic finder to find a clinic near you that can help you get the care you need at no cost.

IMPORTANT! Prevention is key. Not having any kind of sex is the only sure way to protect yourself from getting an STD or giving it to someone else. But, if you do plan to have sex, always use barrier methods, like internal and external condoms, to help prevent STDs! You can find FREE condoms here.

Not sure if you need to get tested? Take this quiz to find out your STD risk.

Curious about what going to a clinic is like? View one of our clinic tours.