Am I at risk for getting an STD?
Seriously Speaking and FAQs
- There are no proven safe effective vaccines that prevent STDs.
- Sexual abstinence is the only way to guarantee one will avoid STD infection 100%.
- The risk of acquiring - "getting" or transmitting an STD is directly associated to sexually active persons who have multiple sex partners.
- STDs are acquired or transmitted during intimate sexual activity.
- Not all persons infected with an STD show obvious symptoms.
- Inanimate objects do not transmit STDs - people transmit STDs during intimate sexual activity.
- A person can be infected with one or several different STDs at the same time.
- Undetected, untreated and/or inadequately treated STDs can lead to serious health problems that may ultimately result in permanent tissue damage, threaten one's life and/or result in loss of life.
- Unlike some other diseases, having an STD once or several times does not provide immunity from "getting" an STD in the future.
- In Wyoming "Persons under nineteen (19) years of age may give legal consent for examination and treatment for any sexually transmitted disease infection." -- Wyoming State Statute 35-4-131 (a).
- Persons who are advised by their health care professional they are infected with an STD should take rapid action to insure their sex partners are advised to seek medical assistance - evaluation.
- Persons who are sexually active with multiple sex partners should seek regular medical checkups to facilitate early detection and reduce the risk of medical complications from undetected - untreated infection.
- Prevention includes: abstinence; if sexually active, maintaining a mutually exclusive relationship for you and your partner; use of a quality latex prophylactic.
- Self treatment using left over or shared antibiotics does not insure adequate treatment - cure for an STD infection. Different STDs may require different antibiotics to affect a cure. Self treatment with inappropriate antibiotics can lead to resistant STDs and may lead to a need for extended medical care and/or medical complications.
- Chlamydia and gonorrhea are bacterial STDs usually localized to the initial site of infection.
- Most female patients with chlamydia infection have no symptoms and a significant portion of males infected with chlamydia fail to show symptoms also. If symptoms are present, they may be: Women - pain or dull aching from cervix, heavy feeling in pelvic area, pain with urination or intercourse, heavier menstrual flow, breakthrough bleeding, heavy cervical discharge. Men - urethral discharge, pain with urination, epididymitis.
- Symptoms with gonorrhea are very similar to those of chlamydia for both women and men.
- Syphilis is a systemic disease that is spread via the blood and/or lymphatic system and the organism that causes syphilis multiplies itself within the circulatory system.
- Syphilis can progress through four stages: Primary, Secondary, Early Latent and Late Latent.
- Antibiotics are available that affect a cure for chlamydia, gonorrhea and syphilis.
- Persons unable to tolerate penicillin can be prescribed alternate antibiotics to cure the STDs listed above.
- Undetected - untreated STDs can lead to medical complications requiring extended and costly medical care and may involve extended hospital care.
- STD infections can seriously impact one's social, educational and/or daily living environment.
"I was told I might have been exposed to an STD. What do I do?"
- Visit your family physician or other health care provider of your choice as soon as possible to seek testing and medical evaluation.
- Abstain from any sexual activity with your partner(s) until you know your health status related to STDs.
- Do not take left over antibiotics in hope of self treating - preventing infection.
- Remember, the absence of obvious symptoms does not rule out the presence of an STD infection.
- Undetected - untreated STD infection can lead to serious social and medical complications.
- Persons advised they have an STD should take action or seek assistance to notify their sex partner(s) they may have been exposed to an STD and need to seek medical evaluation.
- Medical complications associated to undetected - untreated STD can lead to sterility, arthritis, blindness, permanent tissue damage, mental health - threaten life.
Where do I go for help?
CDC National STD: (800) 227-8922
CDC National AIDS Hotline:
English: (800) 342-2437
Spanish: (800) 344-7432
TTY: (800) 243-7889
National Herpes Hotline: (919) 361-8499