STD’s and STI’s
What Are the Most Common STDs?
- Human Papillomavirus (HPV): The most common STI in the U.S., this virus causes genital warts, although the lesions don’t appear in everyone who has HPV. It’s highly contagious and easily transmitted sexually or even by skin-to-skin contact. When genital warts are present, we can usually make a diagnosis from inspection, but additional testing is sometimes useful, and can include biopsy or colposcopy in women.
- Gonorrhea and Chlamydia: These infections are very common and are often grouped together because they’re screened for at the same time. The infection can be missed, particularly in women because the bacteria that cause them doesn’t always create symptoms. Infections are caused by oral, anal, or genital contact with someone else who has an infection.
- Syphilis: Syphilis is a bacterial infection passed from one person to another by oral, anal, or genital contact with infectious but painless sores that are present during the initial stages of the infection.
- Herpes: There are two strains of the herpes virus: type 1 and type 2. Type 1 has traditionally been associated with oral herpes (cold sores) and type 2 with genital herpes, but recent research has shown that most genital infections are also caused by type 1. A person may have either strain of the virus but never show any symptoms, or may have an “outbreak” with painful sores near his or her mouth, genitals, or anus. Herpes is most commonly transmitted via contact with infectious sores, but in some cases can be transmitted when the infected person has no symptoms at all. Because a person can be contagious even though no lesions are present, taking precautions only when there are visible lesions may not prevent spread of the infection to the partner.
- HIV: This viral infection is transmitted via blood (e.g, in intravenous drug abusers who share needles with infected persons) or sexually, by having unprotected anal or vaginal sex. Very rarely, it can be transmitted by contact with other body fluids.
- Hepatitis C: Hepatitis C is a viral infection that is transmitted most commonly through contact with blood or through skin exposure (e.g., sharing needles or coming into contact with an open wound or sore). Very uncommonly, hepatitis C can be contracted by having sex with someone who has hepatitis C; the risk is about 1 transmission per 190,000 sexual occurrences. This infection can cause chronic liver disease and liver cancer.
- Hepatitis B: Hepatitis B is also a viral infection, transmitted by blood or semen, that can cause liver disease.
What’s the Difference Between STDs and STIs?
STDs are sometimes referred to as sexually transmitted infections (STIs). Many providers use this term since there’s less stigma attached to the word infection. It’s possible to have an infection without symptoms, and the infection may cause disease (when you do experience symptoms) in the future. In the absence of symptoms, the only way to diagnose an STI is to screen for it.
How long does it take for an STD to show up on a test?
- 2 weeks: gonorrhea and chlamydia
- 1 week to 3 months: syphilis
- 6 weeks to 3 months: HIV, hepatitis C and B
How long does it take to get STI results back?
Usually takes 2 to 10 days to get the results.
What are three symptoms of common STDs?
Common STD symptoms in women:
- No symptoms.
- Discharge (thick or thin, milky white, yellow, or green leakage from the vagina)
- Vaginal itching.
- Vaginal blisters or blisters in the genital area (the region covered by underwear)
- Vaginal rash or rash in the genital area.
- Burning urination.
- Painful urination.
- Pain during intercourse.
Common STD symptoms in men:
- Being asymptomatic or experiencing no symptoms at all.
- Blisters on or around penis.
- Spots, bumps or lesions on the penis.
- Discharge (clear, white, or yellow)
- Oozing from the tip of the penis (thick or thin)
- Painful urination.
- Painful ejaculation.
- Itching on the tip of the penis.
- Rash on the penis, testicles, or groin.
Can STD be seen in blood test?
STDs-like herpes, hepatitis, HIV and syphilis, a small blood sample is all the STD testing center requires.