Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs)

Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs) are caused by bacteria or viruses usually transmitted by sexual activity with an infected person. With the exception of viral infections, i.e. Genital Herpes, Genital Warts, Hepatitis, and HIV infection (AIDS), most STDs can be cured.

The key to treatment is the word PROMPT, since many STDs, if not immediately treated, can go on to cause serious medical problems.

How will you know if you have an STD?

You may notice the following signs or symptoms:

    For a Male:
  • discharge from the penis
  • burning on urination
  • sore(s) on or around the penis or anus
    For a Female:
  • unusual vaginal discharge
  • intense itching
  • stomach cramps, but not related to menstrual cycle
  • sore(s) on or around the vagina or anus

Most people with an STD have no signs or symptoms. If someone, such as your sex partner or local Health Department tells you that you have been exposed to an STD, it is very important that you get tested and treated immediately!

Clinics can offer testing and NYC Condoms. Find a free & confidential clinic in your borough.

How you can protect yourself from STDs, including HIV:

Abstinence is the only sure way to avoid getting an STD.

Having a monogamous relationship. Sex is considered safe if both you and your partner: are not infected, have never shot drugs, and have never had sex with anyone else.

If you're not in a monogamous relationship, be sure to:

  • always use latex condoms
  • limit the number of partners you have
  • have regular exams

Information on Specific STDs

For more information on AIDS/HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases, call 311.