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Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STD) Information
   
 

What are STD's?

Sexually transmitted diseases (STD's) are serious, sometimes painful diseases that can cause damage to your body if not treated. Some STD's infest only your sexual and/or reproductive organs. Others can damage throughout the body. When left untreated some STD's may cause life-threatening consequences. Don't let this happen to you…..get a check-up.

STD Can Be "Silent"

Sometimes you can be infected with an STD without having any signs or symptoms of illness. Sometimes you can have symptoms that go away by themselves without treatment. This doesn't mean that the STD has gone away. You still have the STD until you are treated.

Some STD's are Incurable

While most STD's can be cured with proper medical treatment, some cannot be cured at present time. Some like Herpes are lifelong infections.

How are STD's Spread?

STD's are spread during sexual activity (especially vaginal, oral and anal sex). Some STD's are also spread by contact with blood. Most STD germs live in warm moist areas of the body like the mouth, rectum and sex organs (vagina, vulva, penis and testes).

What Should I DO?

If you think that you might have as STD or have been exposed to one, get a check-up as soon as possible. Some STD's (like Herpes) can only be properly diagnosed while you have the symptoms. Although private doctors can treat STD's, The Health Department specializes in testing and treatment of these diseases. At the Health Department, the STD screening and treatment if FREE.

Treatment

Most STD'd can be treated with antibiotics, however it is very important that you get the correct medicine and follow the instructions carefully. Don't borrow a friend's medicine. It may not work. Don't stop taking medicine when you feel better or if your symptoms clear up. If you do not finish all of your medication, your STD could become a "super-bug" by becoming resistant to the medicine you quit taking. If this happens, it is very difficult to find a medication that will stop the "super-bug" and clear up the infection.

Don't Be Embarrassed

It is important to know that many people just like you get STD's. As many as 25% of the population are infected with some STD's. If you feel embarrassed, the most important thing to remember is that these diseases are very common among sexually active persons and that being treated is the most important thing to do about it. Otherwise, you may not get well and may become seriously ill in the future. It is also very important for your partner(s) to be treated. If not, the disease can spread to others, or back to you.

What are the Signs and Symptoms?

  • Remember that you may not have any symptoms. If you do, you might have the any or all of the following:
    Women
  • A discharge or smell from your vagina
  • Pain in your pelvic area (between your belly button and sex organs)
  • Burning or itching in or around your vagina
  • Bleeding from your vagina when you are not having your period
  • Pain deep inside you vagina when you have sex

Men

  • A drip or discharge from your penis

Men And Women

  • Sores, bumps, or blisters near your sex organs, rectum or mouth
  • Burning and pain when you urinate (pee) or have a bowel movement
  • Feeling like you need to urinate often or urgently
  • Itching around your sex organs
  • Feeling like you have the flu (fever, chills, feeling achy)
  • Swelling or pain in your groin (around your sex organs)

If you have any of these signs or symptoms, stop having sex and call the Health Department for an appointment or come to one of our Monday or Tuesday morning walk-in clinics.

How to Protect Yourself!

  • Don't have sex. Abstaining from sex is the best way to protect yourself from STD's
  • Stay with one partner. Having sex with only one person who only has sex with you (and who does not have an STD) is also safe.
  • Before you have sex with anyone you are entering a close relationship with, get a check-up together. Talking with your partner about past partners and STD's before you have sex will help your relationship. There will be no surprises!
    Take a good look at your partner before having sex. If you see anything unusual or abnormal, don't have sex!
  • Use a latex condom (rubber) for any type of sex (oral, anal or vaginal) every time.
  • If you and your partner both get checked for STD's first and are OK, using a condom is optional unless you are using the to prevent pregnancy.
  • It is important to know that condoms do not prevent all STD's. For example, condoms will not protect you from genital warts.
  • Condoms are now available for men and women. They are also available made from polyurethane (a type of plastic) for persons who are allergic to latex rubber.
  • The Health Department can give you condoms free of charge.
  • Get checked for STD's every time you switch sex partners (even if you don't have any symptoms)
  • If you have an STD, make sure that your partner gets treated the same time you do. Don't have sex until your treatment is complete.

To schedule an appointment for an STD check-up, please call the Health Department at 875-7200.

   
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