STD FAQ

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To wrap up STD (Sexually Transmitted Disease) Awareness Month, we’re tackling some important STD questions from our Instagram and the TeenSource Youth Advisory Board.

Remember: The best way to prevent STDs is abstinence, which should be easier in this age of social distancing. While we’re all following stay-at-home orders and not seeing people outside of our households, remember that any time you choose to have sex, using a condom is important to prevent STDs. Find free condoms near you.

How do you get an STD?

STDs can be spread through any type of sex- oral, vaginal, or anal sex. Some STDs, like herpes and HPV, can also be spread through skin to skin contact. Just remember, someone has to have an STD to in order to give it to someone else.

Who can get an STD?

Anyone. Anyone can get an STD. STDs effect all types of people. Having an STD does not mean that someone has had multiple sexual partners.

Is it common to STD but not have any symptoms?

YES! Most of the time STDs don’t have symptoms and sometimes when they do have symptoms, they are so mild or small that you might not notice them. If an STD has symptoms it could include things like changes in vaginal discharge, bumps or warts on the genitals, itching or burning, or painful urination. Because STDs might not have any symptoms, the only way to know if someone has one is to get tested. STD testing is free and confidential! If you aren’t experiencing any symptoms but want to know if you have an STD, you can find a clinic near you to get tested for STDs when the stay-at-home orders are lifted. If you notice any symptoms, contact your doctor or call a clinic near you to find out what testing options are available. Some doctors are able to do telemedicine visits over the phone or have safe ways for you to visit the clinic.

Can you tell if someone has an STD by looking at them/their genitals?

NO. You cannot tell if someone has an STD just by looking at them or their genitals. STDs sometimes have no symptoms and sometimes the symptoms are mild and hard to notice so there is no way to know if someone has an STD by looking. The only way to know if someone has an STD is to get tested.

Is it ever too late to get tested for STDs?

NO! It is never too late to get tested for STDs. But, if someone has an STD that goes untreated for a long time, it’s possible the STD can cause negative health outcomes like infertility and sometimes even death so it is important to get tested regularly if someone is having sex.

Are STDs curable?

SOME. STDs that are caused by a bacteria -- chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis -- are curable with medication. STDs caused by a virus -- HIV, Herpes, HPV -- are not curable, but are treatable and there is medication available to help you stay healthy. Learn more about STD treatment.

Do you have questions about STDs or other issues about your sexual health? Visit TeenSource to learn more. Follow us on Instagram at @teensourceorg for more AMAs, quizzes, and other activities!