Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STD)
Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STD) are the most common communicable diseases reported in Washington State. Many are curable, others are treatable, all are preventable.
Most people with STDs don’t have obvious symptoms, but without treatment they can spread disease and possibly develop serious complications.
Anyone who is under the age of 25 and is sexually active should get tested annually. At any age, if you think you may have been exposed to a sexually transmitted disease, you and your sex partner(s) should visit a health clinic, hospital or doctor for testing and treatment. Testing locations in Chelan and Douglas Counties from Washington State Department of Health.
Questions? Our Communical Disease Staff can help!
What is an STD?
Sexually Transmitted Diseases are commonly referred to as “STDs”, which is a disease that is spread through sexual behavior like vaginal intercourse, oral sex, anal sex or sometimes intimate skin-to-skin contact. Some common types of STDs are Chlamydia, Gonorrhea, Syphilis, Herpes, HPV (Human Papilloma Virus) and HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus).
How do I know if I have an STD?
There is no way to know for sure without being tested. Many STDs don’t have obvious symptoms. STD tests should be part of your regular check-up. But, if you have any concerns at all that you may have been exposed to an STD, see a doctor and ask to be tested.
What are symptoms of STDs?
Many STDs may have no symptoms at all or the signs are so mild that you may not notice. However, if you have any of the symptoms described below, you should seek care right away because they may be signs that you have an STD.
- Discharge or unusual fluid that may be white or yellow that comes out of the vagina or penis (not semen).
- An unexplained rash
- A burning sensation when urinating (peeing), going to the bathroom.
- Bumps, sores, blisters, or warts on the genital area – in women this includes the outer and inner lips, vagina and clitoris. In men this includes the penis and testicles.
Is there a cure for STDs?
Some STDs are curable while others have no cure. No cure means it may stay with you for the rest of your life.
How many people have STDs?
The easiest answer is about 1 in 4 young adults have an STD. It could be even more because many people who are infected don’t realize it.
How can I avoid getting an STD?
There are many things you can do to reduce your chances of getting an STD.
- Be faithful. Have sex with only one other person whom you trust. Having sexual contact only with someone who is not infected means that you won’t get an STD from them and they won’t get one from you.
- Use condoms. Used correctly every time you have sex, latex or polyurethane condoms can be very good protection against many STDs.
- Have fewer partners. The more people you have sex with, the greater your chances of getting an STD. Go with new partners to get tested.
- Don’t mix drugs and alcohol with sex. Getting drunk or high can affect your ability to make smart decisions about sex.
- Don’t use IV street drugs and never share needles. Many STDs are transmitted through blood.
- Don’t have sex. Abstinence is the surest way to avoid getting an STD.