Sexually Transmitted Infections




A sexually transmitted infection is an infection that is contracted by sexual contact. Per the World Health Organization (WHO) more than 1 million STIs are contracted every day.



This virus attacks the body’s immune system. It damages and destroys white blood cells (CD4 T cells). It has been in existence in the United States since the mid to late 1970’s. HIV, if left untreated, can lead to AIDS. HIV can be transmitted through sexual (anal, vaginal and oral) contact, donated blood, injected drug use and from mother to baby during fetal development and breast feeding. There is currently no cure for HIV/AIDS, but there are advanced medications that can prevent sexually active at-risk groups from contracting the virus. When the virus is undetectable in the blood there is no risk of transmission. Undetectable = Untransmittable or U=U. Although the levels are low, they are still carriers of the virus.

In the discovery of HIV/AIDS between June 1, 1981, and September 15, 1982, CDC received reports of 593 cases of acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS).* Death occurred in 243 cases (41%). Per the CDC, reported AIDS cases can be classified into groups based on the following risk factors:
75% Homosexual or bisexual males
13% Intravenous drug abusers with no history of male homosexual activity
6% Haitians with neither a history of homosexuality nor a history of intravenous drug abuse 0.3% of persons with Hemophilia A who were not Haitians, homosexuals, or intravenous drug abusers.
5% of persons in none of the other groups

June 5, 1981, was the first reported case of what we now know as AIDS from a healthy gay male in LA. males.

July 3, 1981, findings of Kaposi’s Sarcoma and Pneumocystis pneumonia in 26 homosexual men in New York and California were reported.

December 10, 1982, reports of AIDS being transmitted through blood transfusions.

December 17, 1980, report of AIDS via perinatal transmission.

July 13, 1984, Needle sharing and Intravenous drug use is identified as a mode of HIV/AIDS transmission.

January 11, 1985, Blood Screening guidelines are issued in efforts to prevent transmission via blood transfusions.

October 22, 1986, the Surgeon General C. Everett Koop submits a report defining ways in which HIV/AIDS is contracted. He calls for an increase in education regarding HIV/AIDS, increased use of condoms and voluntary HIV testing.

1987 the first public service announcement is made regarding HIV/AIDS

1988 a brochure, Understanding Aids is sent to every household in the United States; 170 million copies.

1989 CDC releases guidelines regarding preventing the transmission of HIV and Hepatitis B to healthcare and public safety workers.

1990-1994 HIV transmission from a health care worker was reported. A dentist passes HIV to a patient via a dental procedure. CDC issues recommendations for healthcare workers who have HIV. AIDS deaths are increasing and the CDC expands prevention into community organizations, businesses and labor. Guidelines are issued to prevent transmission of HIV through donations of tissue and organs.

1992 AIDS becomes the number one cause of death for men living in the United States ages 25 to 44.

1995 Guidelines are issued to prevent opportunistic infections and use for antiretroviral therapy. Highly Active Antiretroviral Therapy also known as HAART was introduced in the fight against HIV/AIDS. Deaths from the disease starts to decline.

1998 In light of HAART, the CDC issues the first treatment guidelines for the use of antiretroviral therapy in adults and teens with HIV.

January 21, 2005, guidelines are released to prevent HIV/AIDS after non-occupational exposure to the virus. This involves antiretroviral drugs maybe a benefit in preventing HIV after exposure through sexual contact or intravenous drug use within 72 hours.

September 22, 2006, new guidelines are released for HIV testing recommendations in healthcare settings. All adults and teens aged 13-64 should be testing at least once. Those who are at higher risk should be screened yearly.

2007 CDC reports greater then 562,000 people have died of AIDS in the United States since 1981.

2008 There is an estimated 56, 300 new HIV cases every year in the U.S.

April 7, 2009, Act Against AIDS is initiated. This campaign is aimed to reduce HIV infections in the U.S.

2010 U.S lifts VISA restrictions to HIV positive foreigners and removes HIV from the list of diseases that prevents non-US citizens from gaining access into the country.

November 2011, CDCs reports that 1.2 million people living with HIV. 1 in 5 do not know their status and does not know they are living with HIV/AIDS. 1 in 4 are taking antiretrovirals regularly and have the virus under control.

March 2012 CDC initiates the Take Charge campaign. Take the Test is an HIV testing and awareness campaign for African American women. Know your status.

June 2012 CDC pilots a program that trains pharmacist and retail store clinical staff to deliver confidential rapid HIV testing.

June 14, 2013, the CDC issues guidance for people who inject drugs; noting PrEP ) Pre-exposure prophylaxis) can reduce the risk of HIV amongst intravenous drug users by 49% in people who follow the regimen.

February 2014, the CDC releases reports indicating about one-third of African Americans living with HIV have their virus under control.

September 26, 2014, the CDC releases a new report finding gaps in care and treatment amongst Latinos and gay men diagnosed with the disease.

October 8, 2015, the CDC announces HIV diagnoses have increased sharply among gay and bisexual Latino men despite an overall decline in new HIV diagnoses among Latinos.

February 2016, CDC states an increase in PrEP (Pre-exposure prophylaxis) could avert almost 20% of estimated new HIV infections.

September 2017 the CDC announces a major milestone in the fight against HIV/AIDS. Individuals living with HIV who are on treatment and have undetectable viral loads have effectively no risk of transmitting the virus to sexual partners.

March 2018, The first study of PrEP use by race and risk group shows that African Americans and Latinos account for the smallest percentage of prescriptions, despite comprising two-thirds of people who could potentially benefit from the preventive medicines.

August 2018, the CDC releases Transforming Health, resources to address the HIV prevention and care needs of transgender individuals and releases estimates of cases amongst transgender people.

February 2019, the Federal government announces Ending the HIV Epidemic

March 2019, CDC’s Vital Signs shows that the vast majority of new HIV infections are transmitted from people who either didn’t know they had HIV or were not receiving HIV care.

October 2019, HHS and CDC awards $13.5 million for state and local planning and kick off community involvement for Ending the HIV Epidemic.

December 3, 2019, the CDC’s Vital Signs announces key initiatives to help end the HIV epidemic; preventing new HIV infections by using PrEP and other tools, Test for HIV and treat people who know they have HIV.

March 2020, the CDC publishes an article showing a relation between increased PrEP coverage and decreased HIV diagnosis rates in recent years.

At Rocket Labs & Testing we are committed to the fight against HIV/AIDS in our global community and will provide testing and support to anyone who needs testing. It is recommended if you are sexually active to get tested at least once a year or biannually if you have multiple partners. If you’re in need of testing secondary to a possible exposure or if you would like to monitor your levels schedule your office visit below.



(Herpes Simplex Virus)

It is a common infection that causes painful blisters or ulcers. These ulcers can appear around the mouth, vaginal or anus. It is spread through skin-to-skin contact. This virus is treatable, but not curable.

There are two types of Herpes Simples Viruses.
HSV1 is spread by oral contact and causes infections around the mouth. Oral herpes or cold sores as they are often referred to. HSV-1 can also cause genital herpes. Most adults have HSV-1. HSV-1 affects half of the U.S population by the time they reach their young adult years.

HSV-2 is spread by sexual contact and causes genital herpes.

The symptoms are recurrent for oral and genital herpes. Genital herpes may have an impact on sexual relationships, but adjustments are made while living with the infection. They symptoms are usually mild for some and most individuals are not aware they have the virus.

After the first “Outbreak” which usually last a 7 to 10 days, the recurrent episodes are shorter and less severe and last around 6 to 7 days.

Symptoms cold sores around their lips, mouth or tongue will resemble fluid filled blisters. The blisters will then burst and crust over or scab over. Before the blisters appear, the skin may tingle, itch and burn.

Like the chicken pox virus, Herpes is in the Varicella-Zoster family. It is most contagious when the blisters have erupted. The fluid inside of the blisters spread the virus.

There are two ways to determine if someone has Herpes. You can have labs drawn to detect antibodies or during a suspected outbreak, a sample of the fluids can be sent to the lab for testing.

At Rocket Labs & Testing, if you suspect you may have HSV 1 or HSV 2, we will support your efforts. Schedule your appointment.




The Hepatitis B Virus is an infection that involves the liver. The infection can be acute (short and severe) or chronic (long term). Hepatitis B places individuals at a higher risk for death from liver cirrhosis and liver cancer. The incubation period for Hepatitis B is an average of 90 to 150 days after exposure.

There is no cure for Hepatitis B. It is spread when blood, semen or other bodily fluids from an infected person enters the body of someone who does not have the infection. The virus is spread via sexual contact, sharing needles or during pregnancy or delivery.

Newly infected individuals can be asymptomatic, but for the ones who do show symptoms, symptoms include fatigue, poor appetite, nausea, jaundice, dark urine, joint pain, loss of appetite, fever and stomach pain. These symptoms can last from a few weeks to six months.

About 2,157 cases of acute Hepatitis B were reported to the CDC in 2020. There is an estimated 580,000 to 1.17 million people living with HBV in the United States.

The best way to prevent Hepatitis B is to get vaccinated against the Hep B Virus. Adults 18 and older should get screened at least once for the virus.

At Rocket Labs & Testing, if you suspect you may have been exposed to HBV we will support your efforts to get screened.

Schedule your appointment today! 

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