Sexual Transmitted Diseases
STDs are infections you can catch through any type of sex, including oral sex. Recognizing the signs of an STD is important to prevent serious complications and help stop the infection from spreading.
Treatment is always necessary to help prevent the spread of sexually transmitted infections. Common STDs include chlamydia, gonorrhea, genital herpes and warts, hepatitis A, B, and C, syphilis, and HIV/AIDS.
What signs or symptoms should I look out for?
- Any genital itching, burning, or sores
- Pain when peeing
- Discharge from your vagina or penis
- Any rash or cut on your genitals, regardless of rather it is painful or not - painless does not mean harmless
- In women, severe lower abdominal or stomach pain
- In men, extremely sensitive and painful testicles
- Pubic lice
Where can I get treatment or be tested?
The Department of Health and community organizations like Planned Parenthood may provide free STI/STD testing and treatment. See our community resources section for a clinic near you or call 211 for information on community resources.
How do I protect myself against STDs?
- Wear a condom every time you have sex - community clinics often provide these for free.
- Know your partners - never be afraid to ask someone if they have an STD before having sex.
- Avoid sex with needle and other drugs users - they have a higher risk of hepatitis and HIV/AIDS.
- When in doubt, see a doctor and get tested.
Being diagnosed with HIV/AIDs can be very difficult but it is not a death sentence. Modern medicine can give infected individuals long, normal lives. These medications are often free so never hesitate to be tested. It can truly save your life.