Offering pregnancy testing, counseling, and sexual health information

STD Overview

theres always hope, even after STD

Sexually transmitted diseases, or STDs, are infections that can be transferred from one person to another through sexual contact. Most STDs are treatable. However, even the once easily cured gonorrhea has become resistant to many of the older traditional antibiotics. Other STDs, such as herpes, AIDS, and genital warts, all of which are caused by viruses, have no cure. Some of these infections are very uncomfortable, while others can be deadly. Syphilis, AIDS, genital warts, herpes, hepatitis, and even gonorrhea have all been known to cause death. Many STDs can lead to related conditions such as pelvic inflammatory disease, cervical cancer, and complications in pregnancy. Therefore, education about these diseases and prevention is important.

How do you get STDs?

It is important to recognize that sexual contact includes more than just intercourse. Sexual contact includes kissing, oral-genital contact, and the use of sexual "toys," such as vibrators. There really is no such thing as "safe" sex. The only truly safe sex is abstinence. Sex in the context of a monogamous relationship where neither party is infected with a STD is also considered "safe". Most people think that kissing is a safe activity. Unfortunately, syphilis, herpes, and other diseases can be contracted through this apparently harmless act. All other forms of sexual contact also carry some risk. Condoms are commonly thought to protect against STDs. Condoms are useful in helping to prevent certain diseases, such as HIV and gonorrhea. However, they are less effective protecting against herpes, trichomoniasis, and chlamydia. Condoms provide little protection against HPV, the cause of genital warts.

What are the Different STDs?

Partial listing of sexually transmitted diseases and consequences:

Most Common STD's

  • Chlamydia
  • Gonorrhea
  • Herpes
  • HIV/AIDS
  • Human Papalloma Virus
  • Syphllis
  • Pubic Lice
  • Trichomoniasis
  

Other STD's

  • Bacterial Vaginosis
  • Chancroid
  • Granuloma Inguinale
  • Lymphogranloma Venereum
  • Mucopurulent Cervicitis
  • Molluscum Contagiosum
  • Nongonococcal Urethritis
  • Hepatitis B
  

Results of STD's

  • Pelvic Inflammatory Disease
  • Ectopic Pregnancy
  • Skin Rash and/or Blisters
  • Cervical Cancer
  • Infertility
  • Chronic Pain
  • Death

What About Condoms?

Recommendations from the US Centers for Disease Control:

  • The most certain way to avoid transmission of sexually transmitted diseases is to abstain from sexual intercourse, or to be in a long-term mutually monogamous relationship (i.e. marriage) with a partner who has been tested and you know is uninfected .
  • Correct and consistent use of the male latex condom can reduce the risk of STD transmission. However, no protective method is 100 percent effective, and condom use cannot guarantee absolute protection against any STD.
  • Condoms lubricated with spermicides are no more effective than other lubricated condoms in protecting against the transmission of HIV and other STDs.
  • Incorrect use can lead to condom slippage or breakage, thus diminishing their protective effect. Inconsistent use can lead to STD transmission because transmission can occur with a single act of intercourse.

STDs in Color

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The HOPE Center
716 N. Broad Street
Philadelphia, PA 19130
Office: (267) 546-3600
After hours: (800) 712-4357
www.PhiladelphiaPregnancy.org

Center Hours:
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Sat, Sun: Closed

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