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What are Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs)

The term ‘sexually transmitted disease’ (STD) is relatively new and has replaced the term ‘venereal disease’ as there is more awareness of a greater number of infectious diseases transmitted through sexual contact. There are more than 20 STDs including:

  • AIDS
  • Chlamydia
  • Gonorrhea
  • Herpes
  • Syphilis
  • other organisms and syndromes

Every year millions of STDs are passed from person to person mainly through sexual contact. Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) are often impossible to detect initially. A checkup is essential if:

  • your partner is infected
  • you are promiscuous
  • you have a sexual relationship with someone who is promiscuous

 

Symptoms are likely to take the form of:

  • discharge from the vagina, penis or anus
  • itching or soreness around the genitals or anus
  • a lump or rash on the genitals, anus or mouth.

If you suspect you may have a sexually transmitted disease, you should see your doctor or clinic straight away. You can find the telephone number of your nearest clinic by looking up ‘special clinic’, ‘venereal disease’ or ‘VD’ in the telephone directory, or by phoning your local hospital. You will be tested as quickly as possible, and if the test is positive, you will be advised to contact your recent sexual partners, as they too may need treatment. Avoid sex until you are clear of the disease.

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