SEXUALLY TRANSMITTED DISEASES/ INFECTIONS

You have the power to keep yourself and others safe from sexually transmitted diseases (STD) and sexually transmitted infections (STI). Get tested! Go to our Find a Clinic page to get information on local free and confidential clinics.

STD vs. STI

A sexually transmitted disease (STD) is a virus or bacteria spread through sexual contact.  Examples include gonorrhea, chlamydia, and HIV/AIDsHIV and STD testing sites

A sexually transmitted infection (STI) is the same thing as a STD expect an infected person may have no outward signs that they are infected.  For example, a person may be infected with gonorrhea but they don't show any symptoms of the infection.  They may not even know they have it.  This means they could pass it on to others without even knowing.  This is why it is important to get tested.

Could I Have an STI?

STDs/STIs are spread through all types of sex including oral, anal, and vaginal sex.  Most often STDs and STIs are spread through unprotected sex (no condom), but some STDs and STIs can spread even with condom use. 
  • Getting tested is the only way to know your status for sure.  Getting checked yearly is a great idea.
  • Some STIs might not have symptoms but can still cause serious problems if left untreated.  So make sure you get tested.  To get tested Find a clinic near you.
  • The only 100% effective method for preventing STIs is abstinence or not having sex.  This includes abstaining from oral sex. 

 

STI What does it feel like? How do I know for sure?  Prevention/Treatment What can happen? 

 

Chlamydia 

(The "Clap")

Many people have no symptoms.  You may have bleeding between periods, yellow/green vaginal or penile discharge (fluid), or a burning pain when you urinate.

Go to a Clinic.

Some clinics will test your urine; occasionally a pelvic exam is needed.

Preventable with condom use.

It is curable with antibiotics.

No sex until 1 week after both you & your partner receive treatment!

Without treatment, women may become infertile (unable to get pregnant)  and/or develop chronic pain.

It can be passed to the child during birth.

 

Gonorrhea

(The "Drip")

Some people have no symptoms.  You may have bleeding between periods, yellow or bloody vaginal discharge (fluid), yellow penile discharge (fluid), a burning pain when you urinate, and pain during sex.

Go to a Clinic.

Some clinics will test your urine; occasionally a pelvic exam is needed.

Preventable with condom use.

It is curable with antibiotics.

No sex until both you and your partner receive treatment!

Without treatment, women may become infertile (unable to get pregnant)  and/or develop chronic pain.

It can be passed to the child during birth.

 

Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID)

Caused by untreated gonorrhea or chlamydia

Lower belly/back pain, vomiting, fever, pain during sex, abnormal discharge (fluid) in between normal periods.

Go to a Clinic.

Pelvic exam and other tests are needed.

 

Preventable with condom use.

It is curable with antibiotics, BUT without treatment or with an infection, that you have for a long time, it can lead to infertility (inability to get pregnant).

No sex until both you and your partner receive treatment!

It can be very serious, and even require hospitalization.

Can cause infertility (not being able to get pregnant).

 

HIV/AIDS

Can take years for symptoms to appear. 

Eventually, symptoms may include: extreme fatigue (tiredness), rapid weight loss, frequent fevers, night sweats, frequent yeast infections, red, brown or purplish blotches under the skin or inside the mouth, nose or eyelids.

You can get HIV through oral, anal or vaginal sex, also by sharing needles.

Go to a Clinic.

You may receive a mouth swab or blood test.  Most tests only take a half hour.

A positive test will be re-checked with a 2nd test.

If you are having sex, you should get an HIV/AIDS test every year.

Condom use reduces the risk.  Regular testing of you and your partner can help you stop the spread.

There is no cure for HIV/AIDS, but infected people can live a long time by receiveing treatment.

Once you have HIV, you will have it the rest of your life.

You may need to take a lot of medication to keep yourself healthy and to prevent other serious infections. 

It can be passed on to your baby during birth and through breastfeeding.

 

Trichomononiasis ("TRICH")

Women: smelly, foamy yellow, green or gray vaginal discharge (fluid); pain during sex and urination;
iritation of the vagina; occasional abdominal pain.

Men: usually no symptoms.

  

Go to a Clinic.

May give you a pelvic exam or have you insert a swab into your vagina.

Trich can be seen under a microscope or diagnosed by special tests.

Preventable with condom use.

It is curable with antibiotics.

Uncomfortable symptoms will continue.

Men usually don’t have symptoms but can pass it on.

Bacterial Vaginosis 

 


 

Fishy smelling vaginal discharge (fluid), vaginal itching, pain when urinating.

Not always sexually transmitted

Go to a Clinic.

May do a pelvic exam or have you insert a swab into your vagina.

Can be diagnosed by examining the discharge from the swab under a microscope.

Preventable with condom use.

It is curable with antibiotics.

Will have continued vaginal irritation if not treated.

 Genital Herpes

 

 


 

No symptoms in between outbreaks.

During an outbreak:
small painful bumps, blisters, or open sores on sex organs,
vaginal discharge, fever, headache, muscle aches, itching or burning in genital area.

Symptoms will come and go

Go to a Clinic.

They may do a special test on the fluid from the blister.

Herpes is spread through skin and mouth contact.  Condoms and dental dams can help protect the covered areas.

If you have Herpes, it is important to abstain from sexual activity when you are having a break-out.

You can pass this to your partner without having an break-out.

There is NO cure.


Antivirals can decrease severity of outbreaks.

You CAN pass this to your partner without having an outbreak.

It can pass from genitals to the mouth with oral sex.

It can be passed to a child during birth.
 

 
Human Papillomavirus (HPV)


 

 

 


 

 

Warts: flat or raised, alone or in groups, small or large, cauliflower-shaped non-tender flesh colored bumps in genital area some forms can cause cervical cancer in women.

Go to a Clinic.

Have a pelvic exam, with PAP smear, 3 years after the onset of sexual activity (unless history of suspicious bumps occur earlier) and then every year to check for early signs of cervical cancer,

 An HPV vaccine is available for men and women. Gardasil is one of the vaccines.

Condom use can reduce the risk of HPV, though it is'nt as effective as it is against other STDs.

Warts or abnormal cervical cells may require surgical removal.

Certain types of HPV can cause changes in cervical cells that lead to cancer if not detected early, by obtaining a PAP smear.

Women may not be able to carry a baby to term, after the removal of abnormal cervical cells.

 Syphillis

 


 

 


 

Early stage: a single, painless sore usually in the genital area.

Next stage: skin rash on the hands & feet that usually doesn't itch and clears on its own.  Fever, swollen lymph glands, sore throat, patchy hair loss, headaches, weight loss, muscle aches, tiredness.

Hidden stage: symptoms listed above disappear, but can come back.

Late stage: damage to the brain, nerves, eyes, heart, blood vessels, liver, bones, and joints.

Go to a Clinic.

Through a blood test.
 

Don't have sex if you or your partner has an open sore.

Use a latext condom or female condom every time you have sex.

Early stages can be treated through medicine from your health care provider.

It is Curable with antibiotics if treated in time.

Without treatment, you can develop brain damage, blindness and death.

It can be passed to a baby during birth, causing serious birth defects.

 Hepatitis B 

 


 

Some have no symptoms.

 

Flu-like symptoms nausea or vomiting, diarrhea dark-colored urine and pale stool.  Also yellow skin and eyes.

Go to a Clinic.

Diagnosed through a blood test.
 

Condoms reduce but do not eliminate the risk of infection.  There is an effective vaccine available that is required by most schools.  

It sometimes can be cured.  For some it can cause permanent liver damage and death.

It can be passed to a baby during birth.

 

 

Pubic Lice
(“crabs”)

 

 

Severe itching of pubic hair.

Go to a Clinic.  Your health care provider will look at the problematic area.

Condoms may not prevent the spread.

Treat with over the counter medicine like RID or NIX.  Or get stronger medecine from your health care provider.

 

It is curable.

Without treatment, the uncomfortable symptoms will continue and you can give it to other people.
 

 

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