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STIs and STDs

Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and diseases (STDs) are spread through intimate sexual activity: vaginal, anal, and oral sex. Many can be cured. Others cannot. But all STIs and STDs can be treated. These include Herpes, Trichomoniasis, Gonorrhea, Chlamydia and HIV/AIDS.    

The only way to know if you have an STI or STD is to get tested. Both men and women, of all ages and gender identities, can get tested at CHOICES. Early diagnosis and treatment are essential to prevent serious health problems. 

Only properly used LATEX condoms and barriers provide protection against STIs, STDs, and HIV/AIDS.

STI testing

Testing and Treatment

If you think you have been exposed to a sexually transmitted disease or have symptoms like unusual discharge, itching, a rash, or anything that doesn’t feel normal, contact CHOICES immediately. A CHOICES medical professional will answer all your questions, get you any needed treatment and advise you on making responsible decisions about your sexual health.

We offer testing and treatment of the following STDs and STIs:

BV is the most common vaginal infection in women of reproductive age. It can be spread through sexual contact, but women can also get this infection unrelated to sexual activity. 

One of the most common STIs. Symptoms usually appear about 1-3 weeks after infection and include discharge from your penis or vagina, period pain, pain during intercourse, and burning while urinating. Chancroid can be cured by antibiotics, but pelvic inflammatory disease or infertility still can occur. 

One of the most common STIs. Symptoms usually appear about 1-3 weeks after infection and include discharge from your penis or vagina, period pain, pain during intercourse, and burning while urinating. Chlamydia can be cured by antibiotics, but pelvic inflammatory disease or infertility still can occur. 

Symptoms usually appear about 2-10 days after infection including itching, burning, pain in your legs, buttocks or genital area, vaginal discharge, pressure in your abdomen or small red bumps that crust over and heal. There is NO CURE, but medication helps. 

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Symptoms appear about 3 months or more after infection. Symptoms include small, hard, painless bumps inside or around the vagina, penis, anus or mouth, that may develop tops that look like cauliflower tops. The warts are removed by using surface medications or by freezing or laser, but THERE IS NO CURE. 

Symptoms usually appear about 10 days after infection, including discharge from the penis, vagina or rectum; painful or difficult urination; and, in women, abdominal pain and bleeding. Antibiotics can cure Gonorrhea. 

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There are three different kinds of hepatitis, some of which are spread more easily than others. Hepatitis A, B and C can all be transmitted sexually, however hepatitis B is the type most likely to be sexually transmitted. All types of hepatitis affect the liver. Hepatitis B and C are the leading cause of liver cancer. 

The Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) causes Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS), transmitted by blood and body fluids. If HIV leads to AIDS, serious symptoms can develop and can ultimately lead to death.

Learn More About HIV/AIDS

Human Papillomavirus (HPV) is the most common STD, and at least 50% of sexually active people will get it at some time in their lives. HPV usually clears on its own without any problems, but can lead to cancer. 

Learn More About HPV 

Lymphogranuloma Venereum (LGV) is not very common in the United States and is most often seen in individuals who have had unprotected receptive anal sex. Stiffness and aching in the groin, as well as swollen lymph nodes are the most common sign and usually appear a week to month after infection. 

Molluscum contagiosum is caused by a virus that can be spread sexually and by non-sexual contact through contaminated objects like towels, clothing or sex toys. Symptoms include shiny, smooth, white, dimpled bumps, with a curd-like core and itching on the genitals and trunk area. 

Mucopurulent Cervicitis (MPC) is caused by Chlamydia, gonorrhea or other STIs, and can lead to PID if left untreated. It can cause bleeding during or after sex, unusual vaginal discharge, spotting between periods, lower abdominal pain or pain during sex. There are several different antibiotics that might be prescribed. 

Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID) can be caused by different bacteria, including Chlamydia and gonorrhea. It occurs when these bacteria move up from the vagina or cervix into the uterus and reproductive organs. 

Learn More About PID

Pubic or “crab” lice are parasitic insects that survive by feeding on human blood. Pubic lice are different parasites than head or body lice and are usually found in the pubic hair. Pubic lice can cause itching, blue spots and sores. 

Learn More About Pubic Lice

Scabies are parasites that infect the skin and cause really intense itching. Scabies can be passed through sexual contact, but is usually passed through non-sexual skin-to-skin contact and can occur anywhere on the body. 

Learn More About Scabies

Symptoms appear about 2-6 weeks after infection and include painless sores on or near your genitals, anus, or mouth. About 3-6 weeks later, you may experience a rash on your hands, feet or other body parts. Syphilis can be cured with antibiotics. 

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Symptoms appear about 1-2 weeks or more after infection. Symptoms include discharge from the vagina; itching, swelling or redness in the vagina; pain during sex; burning while urinating. Males may not have any symptoms but can infect others. If untreated, this infection may cause serious problems, but can be cured with antibiotics. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Genital Herpes FAQ

Genital herpes is an STD caused by the herpes simplex virus. There are two types of the virus, type 1 and type 2. Herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV-2) is the usual culprit when the virus shows up genitally, because that’s the “environment” where it prefers to live. 

As for herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1), it infects most people orally, and shows up as cold sores around the mouth. The CDC states that more than half of people in the U.S. have HSV-1, and it’s typically contracted during childhood in a non-sexual way. 

Dedicated to the highest quality of patient care, Choices Women’s Medical Center serves women of all ages, cultures, nationalities, and gender identities with complete confidentiality. Regardless of the questions you have or the symptoms you may be experiencing, CHOICES can help. Our gynecologists provide services that are based on the most up-to-date medical information and treatment. Our same-day and walk-in appointment options make it easy for you to get all of your questions answered as quickly as possible. 

Both herpes type 1 and 2 can be spread by having vaginal, anal or oral sex with someone who’s infected. Using latex condoms does help reduce the chance of getting herpes, but since the virus often shows up in areas of the body not covered by a condom, it isn’t foolproof. 

Antiviral medications are the best treatment for herpes currently. These meds can prevent or shorten outbreaks while you’re taking them. There’s also daily medication that can be taken to reduce the chance of transmitting herpes to others. 

Because herpes is a virus, there is no cure, and it stays with you for life. The number of outbreaks you’ll experience decreases over the years though. 

In the Jamaica, NY area, we’ve got you covered. Herpes is generally diagnosed by looking at the symptoms, but a sample taken from a sore during an outbreak can also be tested. This is helpful in determining if you have HSV-1 or HSV-2. 

An STD clinic or healthcare provider like Choices Women’s Medical Center can also give you further info on genital herpes, as well as answer any questions you may have. While it’s normal to feel embarrassed or ashamed, we don’t judge. We’re here to support you and your health. 

Give us a call at 718-786-5000 to book an appointment, and we’ll help you get through this. 

Gonorrhea FAQ

There are often no obvious symptoms until a few days after exposure. Signs of infection may appear from two to five days, to up to a month, after sexual contact with someone who is infected. The incubation period of the bacteria varies. Symptoms in women may mimic a bladder or vaginal infection, or not appear until the infection has spread. Typically, the early symptoms include:

  • Painful urination 
  • Frequent urination 
  • Vaginal itching and/or abnormal discharge 
  • Abnormal vaginal bleeding 
  • Genital sores 
  • Anal itching, discomfort, or bleeding/discharge 
  • Irregular menstrual bleeding 
  • Pain during intercourse 
  • Lower abdominal pain 
  • Swollen/painful vaginal glands


Rare symptoms include a sore throat, or conjunctivitis or pink eye. When gonorrhea spreads beyond the genitals, it is called a disseminated gonococcal infection. One may experience a rash, joint pain, or inflamed tendons in the affected part of the body. The bacteria can spread to the joints, skin, blood, and even the heart. 

If a CHOICES’ doctor suspects an infection, he or she will ask about your medical history; for example, the doctor will ask if you’ve had unprotected sex or suspect any other causes of STDs and will likely conduct a pelvic exam. 

Gonorrhea tests involve collecting body fluid or urine samples to detect the presence of the bacteria Neisseria gonorrhoeae. Test results are usually available in a few days. However, testing for chlamydia, syphilis, hepatitis B, and HIV may be recommended. Individuals at risk for STDs should be tested more frequently; a quick diagnosis means treatment can begin promptly, which can avoid serious complications. 

Sexual health clinics are equipped to treat the infection. If treated early, gonorrhea does not cause any long-term issues. It is typically treated with antibiotics, prescribed if you have tested positive or had sexual contact with an infected person within the last 60 days. 

Antibiotics, taken as directed, will cure a gonorrhea infection. However, it might not go away if you miss doses or stop taking the medication before directed to by your Queens treatment specialist. Sometimes a single dose of antibiotic is all that’s needed, but sexual contact should be avoided for at least 7 days after taking it. 

There are antibiotic-resistant strains of gonorrhea. Therefore, symptoms may not go away with treatment. In these cases, a different antibiotic will be provided. 

Syphilis FAQ

The disease presents in four stages, but symptoms may not present for years. Plus, symptoms typical of each stage do not always occur in the same order. Syphilis is transmissible via unprotected sex, even if the carrier does not have any symptoms. 

Primary syphilis:  Small, painless skin sores, often inside the vagina or rectum, form and heal within 3 to 6 weeks. 

Secondary syphilis: The second stage begins 2 to 10 weeks after you see the first sore. 

The symptoms include: 

  • Skin rash with small, reddish-brown sores 
  • Oral, vaginal, or anal sores 
  • Swollen glands 
  • Fever 
  • Weight loss 
  • Hair loss 
  • Muscle aches 
  • Headache 
  • Extreme fatigue 

The symptoms will eventually go away on their own. However, if you don’t seek treatment, they will continue to come back, perhaps for up to a year. You will remain infectious whether symptoms are present or not. 

Latent syphilis:  Individuals with the disease may or may not go through this “hidden” phase. Symptoms may not reemerge again for several years, and sometimes they never return. 

Tertiary syphilis:  The final and most severe stage, this can involve a variety of severe complications, which may not occur for 10 to 30 years after you’re first infected. 

  • Neurological problems 
  • Stroke 
  • Infection of brain/spinal cord membranes 
  • Blindness or visual impairment 
  • Deafness 
  • Numbness 
  • Heart valve disease 
  • Inflamed blood vessels 
  • Aneurysm 
  • Personality changes 
  • Dementia 
  • Death 

Testing for the disease involves a physical exam. A doctor will check for rashes on your skin or sores called chancres. Another dependable means of STD testing is a blood test. To diagnose syphilis, a medical laboratory will check for antibodies that fight the syphilis bacteria, or it might also test fluid drawn from a sore. 

At any stage, syphilis can be successfully treated with penicillin, an antibiotic. Our health clinic provides a single dose if the initial infection occurred less than a year ago. Specialists at our women’s health center will recommend additional doses if it’s been over a year. 

Other than antibiotics, there are no other cures. Syphilis cannot be treated with home remedies or over-the-counter medications. There are women’s health concerns for those who are pregnant because the STD can be deadly to an unborn child. 

Otherwise, treatment is usually simple. Side effects may include fever, headaches, joint or muscle pain, and sometimes nausea and chills. Most of the time, these don’t last more than a day. Additional blood tests and exams may be conducted by doctors at our Queens women’s healthcare clinic. Follow-up tests help confirm you’re responding to the treatment and can determine whether you are cured or not. 

For more information on syphilis diagnosis and treatment, and our general women’s health services in Queens, NY, book an appointmentwith Choices Women’s Medical Center online or call 718-786-5000. 

Schedule Your Appointment

Our team of board-certified medical professionals and support staff offer safe, trusted, comprehensive care and services at the highest level. Our state-of-the-art facility is located in the heart of Jamaica Queens, NY.

Schedule an appointment with CHOICES today.