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Sexual Health

When it comes to getting information about STDs, it’s important to separate fact from myths. If you need to find reliable information all in one place, the RIghtTime App is where to turn. You’ll find detailed information about HIV and STDs, including causes, symptoms, and potential treatments for each disease. Have you heard of PrEP and PEP. RIghtTime has information on PrEP, a once daily pill that can help people at high risk avoid HIV, and PEP, a “morning after pill,” which you can take soon after risky sex to prevent HIV. Remember, though, that these medications do not prevent other STDs, so it’s important to use condoms, the right way, every time you have sex.

Do you suspect that you might have an STD?

We understand that you can find yourself confused, anxious, and embarrassed. The RIghtTime app makes it easy to find options for medical treatment, and you can even quickly and safely notify your partners if they need to get tested as well. For more information about sexual health, look at our FAQ below or download the RIghtTime app today.

Frequently Asked Questions

How can people who are sexually active protect themselves from getting HIV?

People who are sexually active can protect themselves from getting HIV primarily by using latex or polyurethane condoms. Free condoms can be found on the health services map. Hormonal birth control such as “the pill,” the NuvaRing and DepoProvera (the shot), do not prevent the spread of HIV. PrEP is another option to prevent HIV for those that may be at ongoing risk.

How can people who use injecting drugs protect themselves from getting HIV?

People who inject drugs should not share needles or their “works.” Contact the ENCORE program for more information about needle exchange programs in Rhode Island. 

What should a person do if they recently tested positive for HIV?

When a person has a “reactive” result from a rapid (same day) HIV test, that person should get a confirmatory blood test. If the confirmatory test is determined to be positive, that person should seek medical care from a doctor who specializes in the treatment of HIV.

What are the medications that people with HIV have to take?

A person with HIV needs to see a specialist regarding their medications. Many people can take a single pill once a day to treat HIV. These medications must be taken every day to be effective. Sometimes these medications may have side-effects, but you can work with your doctor to find medications that have the fewest side-effects and work for you. Medical treatment for people with HIV/AIDS is often referred to as HAART (Highly Active Antiretroviral Therapy.)

I recently found out I am HIV positive and I want the people I recently had sex with be informed that they should get an HIV test. Who can help me with this in Rhode Island?

The Rhode Island Department of Health provides services that help inform people that they should get an HIV test. Visit Rhode Island Department of Health Partner Services. Any information you provide is anonymous and confidential.

What happens when I get STD testing?

Depending on which STD you’re being tested for and what place on your body might be infected, you might be asked to urinate in a cup (that urine sample could be tested for gonorrhea, chlamydia, or trichomonas), or to give a sample of your blood (that blood could be tested for HIV infection, herpes, or syphilis). In some cases, your health care provider may swab your throat, mouth, tip of your penis, anus, or a rash/sore. The majority of screenings done generally require only a urine or blood sample.

Can I get an STD more than once?

Yes. Bacterial STDs like chlamydia and gonorrhea are curable, but you do not become immune once you have been through treatment.  Generally, if you cure an STD, and then have sex with a partner who is infected, you can get it again.

Can I get HIV or an STD if my partner is currently on their period?

Yes. In fact, HIV and some STDs may be more contagious when your partner is currently on their period.

RealTime User

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