Basic STD Info

Condoms are a great tool to prevent STD’s, but nothing is full proof. Here is some basic STD info to help you understand what they are, how they spread, and identify symptoms. To find a place where you can get tested, visit http://gettested.cdc.gov

Chlamydia

What is it?

  • Most common sexually transmitted disease caused by a bacteria (Chlamydia trachomatis).
  • Most common among youth ages 20-40 years across the United States
  • Has been on the rise in LA County for the past decade

How it is spread?

  • Chlamydia can be spread whether you have symptoms or not.
  • Transmitted through sexual Fluids – pre-cum, semen, vaginal fluid, and from mother to baby through birth fluids

How long after infection would I see symptoms?

  • 7 – 21 days

What are the symptoms?

  • Most common symptom is NOTHING
  • Can infect urethra (pee hole), vagina, butt, eye, throat
    • A white, yellow, green, or clear drip/discharge from the vagina or butt
    • Burning or pain when you pee
    • Pain in the lower belly or back, sometimes with a fever
    • Pain during sex
    • Women: Bleeding after sex or between periods

How often should I be tested?

  • For people with anonymous sex partners, multiple sex partners, involved in sex work, or who have had a sexually transmitted infection in the past, testing is recommended every 3 – 6 months.
  • For men, testing is done by collecting pee sample, and by swabbing your butt and throat.
  • For women, testing is done by swabbing your butt, throat, and vagina.

Where can I get tested?

Find a place where you can get tested on website:
http://gettested.cdc.gov/

What is the treatment?

  • Antibiotics

How to prevent?

  • Abstinence
  • Harm reduction
    • Monogamous relationship
    • Using barriers such as:
      • Male condom
      • Female condom
      • Dental dams
      • Finger condom or cot
      • Lubricants

Where can I get more information?

For more information, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website
https://www.cdc.gov/std/chlamydia/stdfact-chlamydia.htm

Gonorrhea

What is it?

  • Sexually transmitted disease caused by bacteria (Neisseria Gonorrhea)
  • Most common among young adults aged 20-24 years across the United States
  • Rates have been increasing yearly since 2009 in LAC

How is it spread?

  • Gonorrhea can be spread whether you have symptoms or not.
  • Transmitted through sexual fluids – infected yellowish green discharge from penis or vagina (pus), pre-cum, semen, vaginal fluid, and from mother to baby through birth fluids

How long after infection would I see symptoms?

  • In men, 2 – 5 days for urethral (pee hole) infection
  • In women, up to 10 days for vaginal infection
  • Women are more likely to NEVER have symptoms than men. Most men will develop pus from penis. 

What are the symptoms?

Women

  • Burning or pain when peeing;
  • Vaginal discharge;
  • Vaginal bleeding between periods.

Rectal infections may include:

  • Discharge;
  • Anal itching;
  • Soreness;
  • Bleeding;
  • Pain when pooping

Men

  • Burning or pain when peeing;
  • A white, yellow, or green discharge (pus) from penis;
  • Painful or swollen testicles (less common).

What is the treatment?

  • Antibiotics

How often should I be tested?

  • For people with anonymous sex partners, multiple sex partners, involved in sex work, or who have had a sexually transmitted infection in the past, testing is recommended every 3 – 6 months.
  • For men, testing is done by collecting pee or pus sample, and by swabbing your butt and throat.
  • For women, testing is done by swabbing your butt, throat, and vagina.

Where can I get tested?

Find a place where you can get tested on website:
http://gettested.cdc.gov/

How to prevent?

  • Abstinence
  • Harm reduction
    • Monogamous relationship
    • Using barriers such as:
      • Male condom
      • Female condom
      • Dental dams
      • Finger condom or cot
      • Lubricants

Where can I get more information?

For more information, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website
https://www.cdc.gov/std/gonorrhea/stdfact-gonorrhea.htm

Syphilis

What is it?

  • Sexually transmitted infection caused by bacteria (Treponema pallidum).
  • Can spread to all organs of the body after it enters the blood.

How is it spread?

  • “Skin-to-skin contact” from sores/ulcers or infected skin that looks normal during oral, vaginal or butt sex.
  • Because syphilis is passed through skin-to-skin contact, it can also be passed through foreplay, rubbing, masturbation (self or with partner) or touching.
  • Penetration is not necessary to transmit syphilis.
  • Can be transmitted from a pregnant woman to her unborn child (congenital syphilis) at any stage of syphilis.

How long after infection would I see symptoms?

  • A syphilis sore shows up around 3 weeks after infection, but it can take anywhere from 10 and 90 days to appear.
  • Many people may not notice the initial sign or have no signs or symptoms at all.

What are the symptoms?

When syphilis is not treated, it can cause many symptoms and medical conditions in your body.

  • Primary Syphilis:
    • Painless sore (called a chancre) appears at the place where the bacteria entered the body.
    • Highly contagious by direct contact.
    • Will go away on its own (even without treatment) after several weeks but the infection will still progress.
  • Secondary Syphilis
    • Rash on the body, palms of the hands and soles of the feet;
    • hair loss;
    • sore throat;
    • wart-like growths on the genitals; and
    • lesions in the mouth or in other areas with a mucous membrane.
    • symptoms will go away on their own without treatment but the infection will still progress.
  • Latent Syphilis
    • Secondary syphilis symptoms may occur again.
    • Symptoms will go away without treatment but the infection will still progress.
  • Tertiary Syphilis
    • Can occur many years after signs of secondary syphilis.
    • Symptoms include: difficulty coordinating muscle movements, paralysis, numbness, blindness, dementia and death.
  • Complications of syphilis that can occur at any stage include:
    • Neurosyphilis: when syphilis infects the brain
    • Ocular syphilis: when syphilis infects the eyes causing trouble seeing or blindness
  • Congenital Syphilis:
    • Stillbirth (baby born dead)
    • Nasal discharge from baby’s nose (“snuffles”). This mucus contains the bacteria itself and is very contagious
    • Rashes and skin sores
    • Permanent brain and nerve damage, bone deformities

What’s the treatment?

  • Antibiotics

How often should I be tested?

  • When and how often to get tested is up to you. You may decide to get tested every 3 months, 6 months or 12 months.
  • Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and LA county recommend the following testing schedule for syphilis:
    • Pregnant women: at first prenatal visit, during their third trimester, and at delivery
    • Men who have sex with men (MSM): every year
      • For those with anonymous sex partners, multiple sex partners, or those who use drugs: every 3 – 6 months

Where can I get tested?

How to prevent?

  • Abstinence
  • Harm reduction
    • Monogamous relationship
    • Using barriers such as:
      • Male condom
      • Female condom
      • Dental dams
      • Finger condom or cot
      • Lubricants

Where can I find more information?

For more information, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website
https://www.cdc.gov/std/syphilis/stdfact-syphilis.htm

Herpes

What is it?

  • Sexually transmitted disease caused by a virus (Herpes Simplex Virus) which causes ulcers on the body.
  • 2 types:
    • Type 1 (HSV-1): commonly infects the mouth and lips (“fever blisters”, “cold sores”)
    • Type 2 (HSV-2): commonly infects the butt, vagina, and surrounding areas

How is it spread?

  • “Skin-to-skin” contact from sores/ulcers or infected skin that looks normal.
  • Can be transmitted by vaginal, butt or oral sex through direct contact with an ulcer or infected skin.
  • Know that you or your partner don’t have to see ulcers to spread it to each other. The virus may be present and can spread whether you have symptoms or not.
  • 70% of people are infected with herpes when the other partner does not have symptoms or ulcers on the skin.

How long after infection would I see symptoms?

  • 80% to 90% of infected people have no symptoms or extremely mild symptoms that they do not notice.
  • If symptoms occur, painful blisters appear 2 to 20 days after infection

What are the symptoms?

  • Blisters/Ulcers
  • Flu-like symptoms
  • Trouble peeing
  • Vaginal infection

What is the treatment?

  • There is no cure for herpes.
  • Antiviral medications

How often should I be tested?

  • Testing should only be done in a person who has symptoms or has had skin-to-skin contact with a person with herpes. Testing everyone for herpes is not recommended.
  • Testing requires a blood sample or swabbing a blister/ulcer on the skin.

Where can I get tested?

Find places where you can get tested at
http://gettested.cdc.gov/

How to prevent?

  • Abstinence
  • Harm reduction
    • Monogamous relationship
    • Using barriers such as:
      • Male condom
      • Female condom
      • Dental dams
      • Finger condom or cot
      • Lubricants

Where can I get more information?

For more information, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website
https://www.cdc.gov/std/herpes/default.htm

Genital Warts

What is it?

  • Sexually transmitted disease (STD) caused by a virus (human papillomavirus or HPV)
  • Causes sores on the skin (warts).

How is it spread?

  • Direct skin-to-skin contact with the warts and/or infected skin that looks normal during oral, vaginal or anal sex.
  • Can also be passed through foreplay, rubbing, masturbation (self or with partner) or touching.
  • Penetration is not necessary to transmit.

How long after infection would I see symptoms?

  • Warts can appear anywhere from 3 weeks to 8 months to years after infection. Some people may never show symptoms of warts at all.

What are the symptoms?

  • Most people with HPV show no signs or symptoms at all.
  • Most common signs or symptoms: fleshy bumps that can be flat, round or shaped like cauliflower around the genital areas (vagina, penis, or butt)

What’s the treatment?

  • There is no cure for HPV, although most people with HPV infections resolve on their own within 2 years.
  • Treatments to remove visible warts and abnormal cell growths range from medication to surgery to freezing the warts off. Warts and abnormal Pap tests can come back even after treatment. 

How often should I be tested?

  • Women: Pap test to detect abnormal cell growth.
    • Recommended for women between 21 and 63 years of age.
    • Women with cervixes should get regular tests at 21 or three (3) years after becoming sexually active and every three years if the test comes back normal.
    • If abnormal tissue is found, they should come back every annually.
    • HPV co-testing is recommended for women over 30 years of age.
  • Men: There is currently no approved HPV test for men.
    • The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) does not recommend routine testing for HPV or HPV-related diseases before there are signs or symptoms.
    • May consider anal pap smears for those who may be at increased risk for anal cancer, including men with HIV or men who receive anal sex.

Where can I get tested?

https://gettested.cdc.gov/

How to prevent?

  • HPV vaccine (Gardasil 9) for the following:
  • Girls and boys between 11 and 15
  • Gay, bisexual, and men who have sex with men up to age 26
  • Men and women with compromised immune systems (including people living with HIV) through age 26
    • Harm reduction
      • Monogamous relationship
      • Using barriers such as:
        • Male condom
        • Female condom
        • Dental dams
        • Finger condom or cot
        • Lubricants

Where can I find more information?

For more information, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website
https://www.cdc.gov/std/hpv/stdfact-hpv.htm

HIV

What is it?

  • HIV stands for human immunodeficiency virus.
  • Virus that weakens the immune system by destroying important cells (T-Cells) that fight off disease and infection.
  • Untreated HIV may develop into AIDS (Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome)

How is it transmitted?

  • Unprotected vaginal or anal sex
  • Sharing unclean needles with a person who has HIV.
  • Certain body fluids – blood, pre-seminal fluid (pre-cum), semen (cum), rectal fluids, vaginal fluids and breastmilk – from a person who has HIV
  • HIV can also be passed from a woman to her unborn child during pregnancy, birth or breastfeeding.

How long after infection would I see symptoms?

  • Symptoms may appear within 2 to 4 weeks after exposure that last a few weeks.
  • Some people may not get signs and symptoms for many months or even years after infection.

What are the symptoms?

  • The most common signs and symptoms of early HIV infection are flu-like (fever, muscle aches, swollen glands, loss of appetite, etc.). Once these go away, a person may not experience other symptoms for many years.
  • Signs of untreated HIV infection may include: night sweats, fevers, fatigue, diarrhea
  • If HIV continues to go untreated, AIDS may develop. When a person has AIDS, their immune system is so weak that bacteria or viruses that wouldn’t normally cause illness can cause them to become very sick which can lead to being put in the hospital or death.

What’s the treatment?

  • There is no cure for HIV.
  • Treatment may include a variety of medications that stop or limit the virus’ ability to make copies of itself in the body.

How often should I be tested?

  • The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends the following testing schedule for HIV:
  • Everyone between the ages of 13 and 64 get tested for HIV at least once in their lifetime
  • Pregnant women: at first prenatal visit
  • Men who have sex with men (MSM): every year
    • For those with multiple sex partners or those who use illicit drugs: every 3-6 months

Where can I get tested?

https://gettested.cdc.gov/

How to prevent?

  • Safer sex and safer needle usage
    • Male condom
    • Female Condom
    • Cleaning needles/works
  • Harm Reduction:
    • Not having sex or using needles at all
    • Limiting the number of sex and needle-sharing partners
    • Being in a monogamous relationship
  • Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP)- medications an HIV-negative person can take to prevent HIV before exposure
  • Post-Exposure Prophylaxis (PEP)- medications an HIV-negative person can take to prevent HIV after exposure

Where can I find more information?

For more information, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website
https://www.cdc.gov/hiv/basics/index.html