Sexually Transmitted Infections

Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs) are spread through sexual contact including oral, anal and vaginal sex. The best way to prevent STIs is to use consistent and correct condom use.

The only way to know your status is to get tested!

Since many STIs don’t have obvious symptoms and can have harmful long-term consequences, it is important to have a periodic STI check. Testing is painless, fast and easy.

Clinics offering STI testing in Gallatin County:

Free, rapid HIV testing: AIDS Outreach

STI Frequently Asked Questions:

According to the CDC, everyone between the ages of 13 and 25 should be tested annually. Additionally, it is recommended to test:

  • When there is a change in sexual partners
  • Anytime there are symptoms that could be an STI while a person is sexually active
  • Anytime there is a risk of exposure
  • During prenatal care

It’s recommended that a full panel is run, including tests for chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis, and HIV. It is also recommended that HPV testing be done at the time of a regular Pap smear.

  • Condoms (both external and internal)
  • Dental dams (also known as an oral condom)
  • Lube (this helps reduce friction and helps prevent tearing)
  • PrEP and PEP (HIV prevention only)
  • HPV vaccine (HPV prevention only)
  • Cleaning an items used in sexual acts between partners and uses
  • The age of consent in Montana is 16 years old. This means until this age, teens cannot give consent to have any kind of sex.
  • The age of majority in Montana is 18 years old. This means that teens must have their parent or guardian’s approval to make certain legal choices including many medical and financial decisions. Teens are considered minors until this age.
  • However, under the Montana Code 41-1-402, minors can consent to treatment and testing of communicable diseases (including STIs) and pregnancy. The code also includes a responsibility for the provider to determine if there is any chance of interpersonal violence or abuse and make the appropriate referrals if needed when treating teens under this code. This is not to act as a barrier to teen testing, but rather to ensure that teens are safe.
  • First your provider will notify you with your results and a treatment plan will be created.
  • Then, either a staff member at the clinic or a health department employee will call you to go through some follow up questions and provide you with information.
  • Finally, you will complete your treatment and any follow-up appointments.

Resources for Parents:

Parents, talking to your children about sex can seem daunting. However, not having these critical conversations can leave your child without the information they need to make safe, healthy choices that are in alignment with their beliefs. Below are a few links about how to start this conversation with your children and what conversations are developmentally appropriate.

There is a vaccine that can help prevent 9 strains of the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV). These strains are those that are most associated with cancer and genital warts. Below is the CDC’s vaccine handout which gives more information about how this vaccine can help prevent your child from developing multiple types of cancer including cervical, anal, and throat!

Vaccine Information Statement: HPV (Human Papillomavirus) Vaccine (

Resources for Providers:

The National Network for STI Clinical Prevention Training Centers offers a clinical consultation network for those challenging cases. Click this link to learn more: STDCCN Ask Your Question

The health department is here to help! Our Disease Intervention Specialist can help you and your patients connect with resources. Our DIS direct line is: 406-582-3109.