Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs) | Infectious Diseases

Infectious Diseases

Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs)

STIs are common and nothing to be embarrassed about. We provide prompt, confidential care to clear your symptoms and lower complication risks.

Medically reviewed by Dean Blumberg, M.D. on Aug. 25, 2023.

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STI Testing and Treatment Close to Home

If you think you have an STI, turn to the experts at UC Davis Health. We offer testing in clinics close to home. And if you need treatment, we prescribe the most appropriate medication — often antibiotics.

Our Division of Infectious Diseases is at the leading edge of STI treatment. Our research is advancing care for complex STIs, such as human immunodeficiency virus (HIV).

Our nationally recognized Antibiotic Stewardship Program helps protect the community against over-prescription of antibiotics. When these drugs are necessary, we provide the proper type and dose for your diagnosis.

Our Difference

A Local Leader

We collaborate with providers within UC Davis Health and the greater Sacramento region to prevent and treat infectious diseases, including STIs. Through infectious disease research, we evaluate innovative diagnostic methods and therapies. These efforts advance the field, improving care and quality of life for the people we serve.

Expertise in HIV/AIDS

UC Davis Health is home to infectious disease experts specializing in HIV/AIDS, which stays with you for life. We deliver trusted care to more than 1,800 HIV-infected people through our partnership with One Community Health. Our specialists recommend antiviral medications that keep virus levels low so that you feel your best.


Our primary care providers offer STI testing enabling you to get a diagnosis quickly and start treatment for common diseases. Many offices have same- and next-day appointments for urgent symptoms. For non-urgent symptoms, you can schedule an appointment online through MyUCDavisHealth.


What Are STIs?

Sexually transmitted infections are diseases that spread through sexual contact.

Common Sexually Transmitted Infections:


This STI stems from Chlamydia trachomatis, a type of bacteria. It’s easy to treat with antibiotics. Delaying care can cause reactive arthritis and permanent damage to your reproductive system.

Genital Herpes

This condition occurs when there is exposure to the herpes simplex virus. It causes open sores and blisters in your genital area. But not everyone experiences these symptoms.

Human Papillomavirus (HPV)

Genital HPV infections typically cause no symptoms and go away on their own. But in some cases, they cause genital warts and certain cancers.

Hepatitis B

This potentially serious liver infection stems from exposure to the hepatitis B virus. It spreads through sexual contact, blood and other bodily fluids.


What Causes STIs?

Sexually transmitted infections spread through intimate acts in which bodily fluid is exchanged. In addition to sexual intercourse, you can get an STI from: 

  • skin-to-skin contact without penetration 
  • sharing sex toys 
  • digital penetration, in some cases

Preventing Sexually Transmitted Infections

Practicing safe sex can lower the likelihood of an STI. You can use condoms, dental dams and other protective methods. There are also vaccines for certain STIs, such as HPV and hepatitis B.

PrEP (pre-exposure prophylaxis) is medicine that reduces your chances of getting HIV from sex. When taken as prescribed, PrEP is highly effective for preventing HIV. PrEP can be pills or shots.

Why STI Testing and Treatment Matter

STIs can happen to any sexually active person. Even if you do not have penetrative sex, you can still become infected. Prescription drugs are typically all that’s necessary to help your body clear the infection.

Viruses from HPV, HIV and hepatitis B can stay in your body. These conditions require ongoing monitoring to protect against complications that could harm your liver or reproductive system. HPV infections can lead to cancer of your cervix, anus, throat and other organs.

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