How to Get Treated
After you are diagnosed with a sexually transmitted infection (STI), it is important to get treated. Left untreated, STIs can cause a lot of harm to your overall health and well-being.
What happens after I test positive for an STI?
If you test positive through Violet, a Violet doctor will get in touch with you. If you have Chlamydia or Trich, you don't really need an in-person appointment. For Gonorrhea, the treatment is a shot, so you have to get that from a doctor or nurse - we will help you set up an appointment. If you think you might be pregnant, see a doctor in person. STIs are a lot more serious during pregnancy, and you have to be monitored much more carefully.
Where can I get the meds I need?
STI medication must be prescribed by a doctor. You can't get it over the counter.
If you test positive through Violet, we'll send the prescription to the pharmacy of your choice, or we will mail you your medication directly! It is your choice.
Outside of Violet, the doctor that treats you for the STI will ask what pharmacy you want your medication sent to. You can get it sent somewhere like Walmart or Harris Teeter for pick-up, or you can get it sent to an online pharmacy (like GoGo Meds, GeniusRx, Health Warehouse) that will mail you the medication.
Can I get meds without my parent knowing?
Yes! In Maryland, for STI treatment, you don't need your parent's consent to get the meds. This is different in other states thought, so check your state's policy if you don't live in Maryland.
What kind of medicine do I need?
This depends on what STI you have:
For chlamydia, you will need to take an antibiotic called doxycycline (dox-ee-sy-klin) to treat the infection.
For gonorrhea, you need to get a shot of ceftriaxone (sef-try-ax-own) to treat the infection.
For trichomoniasis ("trich"), you need to take metronidazole (meh-tru-nai-duh-zole) which is also known as "flagyl" to treat the infection.
How often do I take the medicine?
This will also depend on what STI you have and which medication you are given:
Doxycycline for chlamydia takes 7 days to work – you will take one pill in the morning and one pill at night, for 7 days.
Ceftriaxone for gonorrhea is just one shot of ceftriaxone. A healthcare provider will inject it into your shoulder, just like a flu shot.
Metronidazole for trichomoniasis, the medicine takes 7 days to work – you will take one pill in the morning and one pill at night, for 7 days.
How can I pay for the meds?
If you want your insurance to help pay for the meds, they might send an EOB (basically a statement of charges) to your parent. More information on EOBs can be found here.
If you don't want to use insurance, we recommend you take a coupon with you to pick up your meds! Find a coupon on GoodRx by searching the name of your medication! For example, at the Johns Hopkins Arcade Pharmacy, Chlamydia meds are $28 without using insurance or coupons. With a GoodRx coupon, it's only $10! You also can then pay the $10 in cash so that your parents don't see a credit card charge.
What happens if I don't/can't get treated?
If you don't get your STI treated, it can progress to much worse outcomes, like preterm birth, pregnancy complications, Pelvic Inflammatory Disease, and more. It also makes your body more susceptible to HIV.
What happens if I can't afford treatment?
Reach out to Violet. We can help connect you with some resources to afford your treatment.
For other questions, see your provider or use our "Ask Nellie" blog section.