Think You Have an STD?
Here is what you need to know and do next . . .
Being sexually active is healthy and normal. Many sexually active people will get an STD at some point in their lives, even when they make responsible decisions. If you have an STD, you may feel scared, angry, sad, or bad, but you do not need to. You do need to take action, however. If you have any questions and would like to talk to a friendly STD expert about what to do or how to cope, call the STD Hotline at 1-800-758-0880. The following information may also help you make some decisions...
- It is possible to have an STD but not have any symptoms. However, if you notice anything different than what is normal for you in your genital area, it is very important to go to a doctor as soon as possible. Some signs of STDs may be a watery, white-ish, or bloody discharge from the penis, vagina or anus. Other signs may be little bumps with or without pain that show up in those same areas or in your mouth. You can get STDs from vaginal, anal, and oral sex; foreplay; or sharing personal items with blood on them, such as needles, razors, and toothbrushes.
- STDs can easily be passed from one person to another because often people do not know they have them.
- If you are sexually active, have a new partner, or more than one partner, it is important to get tested. If you ignore an STD, you might develop other health problems later. These problems can include heart, brain, or liver damage; infertility; cancers in your reproductive organs; and even death. Having an STD also makes it easier for you to become infected with HIV.
- The best way to know if you have an STD is to go to a doctor and get tested. If you live in Los Angeles County and are at least 12 years old or older, you can call the STD Hotline to find out where you can get tested and treated for free. The hotline can also help you with telling your partner(s). The number is 1-800-758-0880. For more information on free testing locations near you, see our clinics page.
To get answers to frequently asked questions about STDs, click here.
For information on free and low cost STD testing and treatment services in Los Angeles County, call the STD Hotline at 1-800-758-0880 or visit our STD Testing & Services section.