STD Awareness Month - Get Yourself Tested
If you are sexually active, getting tested for STDs is needs one of the most important things you can do to protect your health. Make sure to have an open and honest conversation with your doctor about your sexual history and STD testing. Enter your zip code for testing sites in your area.
- What is an STD?
- STD stands for sexually transmitted disease. STDs can be passed from one person to another during oral, anal or vaginal sex. Sharing drug injection equipment can also transmit some STDs such as human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and Hepatitis B and C. Many different types of sexually transmitted diseases have been identified. Common STDs include: Bacterial Vaginosis, Chlamydia, Genital Warts, Gonorrhea (GC), Hepatitis A and B, Herpes, HIV, Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID), Syphilis, and Trichomoniasis.
- What are the consequences of STDs?
- Some STDs are easily treated and some STDs stay with you for life. There are four serious health consequences of some STDs which include:
- Infertility in both males and females;
- Blockage of the fallopian tubes which can lead to tubal pregnancy;
- Miscarriage and increased newborn deaths caused by the infection being passed to the infant during pregnancy and childbirth;
- Genital cancers; and
- Enhanced transmission of HIV
- What are the symptoms of an STD?
- Often there are no symptoms of an STD. Many symptoms can appear weeks or months after becoming infected, but half of men and women infected with and STD will not have any noticeable symptoms.
- For females: symptoms may include burning or itching around the vulva or vagina, vaginal discharge, bleeding from the vagina other than during the regular menstrual cycle, pain in the pelvic area, or pain during intercourse.
- For males: a drip or discharge from the penis or pain or burning while urinating
- For both males and females: swelling in the groin, sores, bumps, or warts in or near sex organs or mouth, and burning or pain during urinating or during a bowel movement.
- What is "Partner Referral"?
- Sex and/or drug-sharing partners of people who have an STD are likely to get that STD. To prevent more disease, the partner needs to be told that he/she may have an STD and be offered services to prevent, cure, or manage the infection. People can contact and inform their partners by themselves or, depending on the disease, they can use a free service called Partner Services (PS). Specially trained staff will locate, interview and counsel people without disclosing any information about who had the STD. To find out more about Partner Services, talk to your health care provider or call the STD Prevention Program at (603) 271-4502 or (800) 852-3345, ext. 4502 (toll-free from within NH).
- How Can I Be Tested for an STD?
- For testing services, people are advised to see their healthcare professional; visit their local community health center; or, in an emergency, go to the nearest urgent care center or hospital.
- Doesn't the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services fund STD clinics?
- The STD Prevention Program used to oversee a network of STD/HIV clinics staffed by trained health professionals in community agencies throughout the State. During passage of the State Fiscal Year 2012-2013 budget, funding for such services was eliminated. Funding for the program beyond State Fiscal Year 2013 will be contingent upon decision making during the next budget cycle.