Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs)

A Sexually Transmitted Infection (STI) is an infection you can get when you have unprotected sex with a person who has an STI such as bacterial vaginosis (BV), chlamydia, crabs, gonorrhea, herpes, HPV, syphilis and trichomoniasis (trich). People of all ages and all backgrounds can get an STI.

These all carry risks for the spread of infection to another person. So it’s really important that you know who you are having sex with and use protection against an infection.

Regardless of who you happen to be in bed with; whether you are a guy and a girl, two boys or two girls; people generally have sex in the same way:

  • Manual sex – using your hands
  • Oral sex – using your mouth
  • Penetrative sex – putting things inside someone
  • Rubbing your bodies together, either fully clothed or naked

STIs can be prevented

Anyone who has sex is at risk of getting an STI, but young people are especially vulnerable. 

  • Get vaccinated against HPV, Hepatitis A and Hepatitis B.
  • Know who you are having sex with.
  • Before you have sex, talk to your partner about any history of STIs, birth control methods and set boundaries on your comfort level with sex.
  • Talk to your healthcare provider about getting tested and make sure your partner gets tested before having sex. Find a testing site in suburban Cook County.
  • Use a condom.

Parental consent

Persons over the age of 12 do not need parental consent to be treated for an STI; however, it is in your best interest to talk with your parent or an adult you trust. 

Learn more about this law