Engaging in sexual activity is a leading risk factor for acquiring a sexually transmitted disease (STD), including HIV.
Anyone who begins sexual activity should develop a personalized plan on how to prevent the transmission of STDs and remain sexually healthy.
The following options can help reduce your risk for acquiring an infection through sexual activity:
Up to 75% of people infected with an STD have no symptoms and do not know that they are infected.
Testing is the only way to know for sure.
When people do have symptoms, they vary by disease, though there are a few general symptoms listed below that warrant a clinical examination.
If you think you may have been exposed to an STD, if you have any of the symptoms below, or if you just want to get checked out and be sure, make an appointment at the STD Clinic.
Commons symptoms of an STD:
For disease-specific symptoms and information, visit the
CDC’s information page about sexually transmitted diseases.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that all pregnant women get routinely screened during the pregnancy for bacterial STDs in order to avoid maternal-to-child transmission during birth.
If a pregnant woman is infected with an STD, she can receive treatment to avoid infecting the baby.
If left untreated, the infection may be passed to the baby who may suffer from such consequences as low birth weight, eye infection, lung infection, developmental disorders, or premature death.
The consequences of an STD can occur at any time, however the longer an STD goes untreated the more likely it is to result in a long-term complication.
Consequences of having an STD include:
Sometimes talking to your regular health care provider about sexually transmitted diseases can be difficult. Testing and treatment at the health department STD Clinic is a safe, convenient option for people who would rather not discuss these topics with their family doctor.
However, if you’d like to talk to your family doctor about STDs, questions to consider asking include: