Important: If you are experiencing an emergency, please call 911

Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs)

If you think saying “NO” to sex is tough, just wait ‘til you say “yes.”

About 1 out of 4 teens in Columbus, GA get an STD and a lot of them don’t know it because they don’t itch or burn or have ANYTHING at all wrong with them. So if you say “yes” to sex you might also be saying “yes” to STDs like chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis, herpes, genital warts, “trich”, and HIV.

Chlamydia (klah mid’ee ah)

  • FACT: Some people have NO symptoms
  • FACT: If you do have symptoms:

Males might have:

  • a discharge from their penis
  • burning with urination (peeing)
  • urinating more often than usual
  • burning or itching at the tip of their penis
  • swollen or tender testicles

Females might have:

  • vaginal discharge
  • burning with urination (peeing)
  • urinating more often than usual
  • bleeding between periods
  • pain in the lower abdomen, sometimes with fever and nausea

These symptoms will usually start 1 to 5 weeks after you get chlamydia.

The GOOD News

Chlamydia is curable with prescription antibiotics.

The BAD News

Repeat infections or infections that are not treated can cause permanent damage to your sex organs. You may have difficulty or not be able to get pregnant later on when you want to.

Gonorrhea (gone oh ree’ ah)

  • FACT: Some people have no symptoms.
  • FACT: If you do have symptoms:

Males might have:

  • milky or yellow discharge from their penis, anus, or eye
  • burning with urination (peeing)
  • sore throat

Females might have:

  • vaginal discharge
  • burning or pain with urination (peeing)

The GOOD News

Gonorrhea is curable with prescription antibiotics.

The BAD News

Repeat infections and infections that are not treated can cause permanent damage to your sex organs. You may have difficulty getting pregnant or not be able to get pregnant later on when you want to.

Syphilis (siff’ ah liss)

FACT: Syphilis has 3 stages and the symptoms are different in each stage.

  • 1st Stage
    • Usually starts 3-4 weeks after you get syphilis
    • painless sore in genital area that goes away in about 1 to 2 months
    • you still have syphilis even if the sore goes away
  • 2nd Stage
    • Usually starts 6 weeks to 6 months after you get syphilis
    • rash anywhere on the body
    • flu-like feelings (like fever, body aches,etc.)
    • hair loss
    • you still have syphilis even if the symptoms go away
  • 3rd Stage
    • usually starts about 2 to 10 years after you get syphilis
    • no symptoms, but you still have syphilis

The GOOD News

Syphilis is curable with prescriptions antibiotics.

The BAD News

If syphilis is not cured, you can have a heart attack, become blind, deaf, disabled, or you can die.

Herpes (hur’ peez)

  • FACT: Herpes is caused by a virus that cannot be cured.
  • FACT: You can have painful herpes blisters or sores on your mouth and on your sex organs
    • (Cold sores on your mouth are herpes)
  • FACT: Some people have the herpes virus in their body and don’t know it. They can still give it to other people.

The GOOD News

  • There are medicines that can make the blisters or sores go away faster.

The BAD News

  • Even if the blisters or sores go away, you still have the virus.
  • AND there is no cure.
  • AND you can give it to other people.

Genital Warts or HPV

  • FACT: Genital Warts are cause by the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) and it cannot be cured.
  • FACT: You can get small, bumpy warts on the sex organs, anus, and in the mouth.
  • FACT Some people have HPV and they don’t know it. They can still give it to other people.
  • FACT: In females, HPV can lead to cancer of CERVIX, and even death if it is not treated.
  • FACT: HPV Vaccine may help prevent cervical cancer – Call the center for more information.

The GOOD News

  • There are medicines that can cause the warts to fall off.

The BAD News

  • Even if the warts go away, you still have the virus.
  • AND there is no cure.
  • AND you can still give it to other people.

HPV vaccine may help prevent cervical cancer – call the center for more information.

Trichomoniasis (trik o ma neye’ a sis) or “Trich”

  • FACT: Some people have no symptoms.
  • FACT: If you do have symptoms:
    • Males might have itching, burning or pain on the penis.
    • Females might have vaginal itching, burning, or pain.
    • Females might have yellow vaginal discharge with a bad odor.

The GOOD News

  • Trich is curable with prescription antibiotics.

The BAD News

  • If it is not cured, Trich can cause more serious infections in the male sex organs.

Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV)

  • FACT: There is no cure for HIV.
  • FACT: You can have HIV for years and not have symptoms.
  • FACT: If you do have symptoms, males and females have:
    • flu-like feelings.
    • white spots in the mouth.
    • diarrhea.
    • purple bumps in the mouth, nose, anus, or on skin.
    • weight loss for no reason.

The GOOD News

  • There are medicines that can slow HIV down so your body is not damaged as fast.

The BAD News

  • There is no cure for HIV.
  • AND you can eventually die from it.

If you have any of the above symptoms or have any reason to believe you have contacted an STD, please come in immediately for testing. All visits are confidential.

For more information on these subjects you can visit the following web sites or call:

The Centers for Disease Control National STD Hotlines

1-800-227-8922 (English)
1-800-334-7432 (Spanish)
1-800-243-7889 (TTY)

The National Herpes Hotline

1-919-361-8488

HIV/AIDS Information

1-800-342-AIDS (2437)

ABSTINENCE, OR NOT HAVING SEX, IS THE BEST WAY TO PREVENT STDs!