Materials may be considered controversial by some viewers.

The Vanderburgh County Health Department tests and treats for gonorrhea, chlamydia, and syphilis.  We do not perform Pap Smears, nor test or treat herpes or genital warts.  Click on the links below to learn more about these and other sexually transmitted infections.

Chlamydia Gonorrhea Syphilis HIV
Trichomoniasis Bacterial Vaginosis Herpes Hepatitis

 

Chlamydia 

What is it?  A bacterial infection of the genital area.

Symptoms?  Often there are no symptoms. For people who do have symptoms, there may be abnormal discharge from the penis or vagina and/or burning sensation when urinating. For women, abdominal pain or bleeding between periods.

How is it spread?  Through vaginal, oral, or anal sex. It can also be passed from mother to child during childbirth.

Treatment? Oral antibiotics cure the infection. Both partners must be treated at the same time to keep from passing the infection back and forth. Both partners should abstain from sex until the infection is gone.

Consequences?  If left untreated, chlamydia can cause sterility (inability to have children) in both men and women.

Find out more about Chlamydia.

Gonorrhea 

What is it?  A bacterial infection of the genital area.

Symptoms?  Most infected people have no symptoms. For those who do, it can cause a burning sensation while urinating, abnormal white, green and/or yelllowish vaginal or penile discharge.

How is it spread?  Through vaginal, oral, or anal sex. It can also be passed from mother to child during childbirth.

Treatment?  Oral antibiotics can cure the infection.  Both partners must be treated at the same time to prevent passing the infection back and forth.  Both partners should abstain from sex until the infection is gone.

Consequences?  Gonorrhea can cause damage to the fallopian tubes in women and to the sperm passageway in men.

Find out more about Gonorrhea.

Syphilis 

What is it?  A bacterial infection that can spread in the body.

Symptoms?  Symptoms can vary, beginning with a simple painless sore (called a chancre) on the mouth or sex organs.  Other symptoms can appear up to six months after the first sore has disappeared.

How is it spread?  Through vaginal, oral or anal sex. It can also be passed through kissing if a sore is present, and from mother to child during childbirth.

Treatment?  Antibiotics can cure syphilis if caught early, but medication cannot undo the damage already done. Both partners must be treated and avoid sexual contact until the sores are completely healed.

Consequences?  Increased risk for infection of other STDs, including HIV. If untreated, can cause damage to brain, heart and nervous system.

Find out more about Syphilis.

HIV 

What is it?  The virus that causes AIDS.

Symptoms? Many people who are infected with HIV do not have any symptoms and feel healthy.  Symptoms people get are usually related to infections and cancers due to a weakened immune system.

How is it spread?  Through vaginal, oral, or anal sex.  Also by sharing contaminated needles; from direct contact with infected blood; and from mother to child during pregnancy, child birth or breast feeding.

Treatment?  There is no cure for HIV or AIDS. Anti-retroviral treatment can slow the progression of HIV disease and delay the onset of AIDS.  Early diagnosis and treatment can improve a person’s chances of living a longer, healthier life.

Consequences?  Left untreated, AIDS is fatal.

Find out more about HIV.

Trichomoniasis 

What is it?  An infection of the genital area caused by a parasite called Trichomonas vaginalis.

Symptoms?  Most infected people do not have symptoms. When symptoms do appear, they range from mild irritation to severe inflammation. Men may feel itching or irritation inside the penis, burning after urination or ejaculation, or some discharge from the penis. Women may notice itching, burning, redness or soreness of the genitals, discomfort with urination, or a thin discharge with an unusual smell that can be clear, white, yellowish, or greenish.

How is it spread?  During sex, the parasite is usually transmitted from a penis to a vagina, or from a vagina to a penis, but it can also be passed from a vagina to another vagina. It is not common for the parasite to infect other body parts, like the hands, mouth, or anus. It is unclear why some people with the infection get symptoms while others do not, but it probably depends on factors like the person’s age and overall health. Infected people without symptoms can still pass the infection on to others.

Treatment?  Oral antibiotics can cure the infection. Both partners should abstain from sex until the infection is gone and symptoms go away.

Consequences?  Having trichomoniasis can make it feel unpleasant to have sex and increases the risk of getting or spreading other STDs.  Without treatment, the infection can last for months or even years.

Find out more about Trichomoniasis.

Bacterial Vaginosis (females only) 

What is it?   A bacterial infection of the vaginal area.

Symptoms?  Many women with Bacterial Vaginosis (BV) do not have symptoms. If you do have symptoms, you may notice a thin white or gray vaginal discharge, odor, pain, itching, or burning in the vagina. Some women have a strong fish-like odor, especially after sex. You may also have burning when urinating; itching around the outside of the vagina, or both.

How is it spread?  BV is linked to an imbalance of “good” and “harmful” bacteria that are normally found in a woman’s vagina.  BV is not considered an STD, but having BV can increase your chances of getting an STD.  BV may also affect women who have never had sex.

Treatment?  BV can be treated with antibiotics but will sometimes go away without treatment. Male sex partners of women diagnosed with BV generally do not need to be treated. However, BV may be transferred between female sex partners.

Consequences?  BV can cause serious health risks, including increasing your chance of getting HIV or other STDs such as chlamydia and gonorrhea.  The bacteria can sometimes cause pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), which can make it difficult or impossible for you to have children.

Find out more about Bacterial Vaginosis.

Hepatitis 

What is it?  A viral infection affecting the liver.

Symptoms?  Many people don’t have any symptoms.  People may experience tiredness, aches, nausea and vomiting, loss of appetite, yellowing of the skin and eyes (called jaundice).

How is it spread?  Through vaginal, oral, or anal sex.  Also through childbirth if the baby does not get vaccinated against Hep B; through sharing contaminated needles or razors; or exposure to the blood, bodily fluids or saliva of an infected person.

Treatment?  Most often, acute Hep B is treated with rest, eating well and lots of fluids. Chronic Hep B is treated through close monitoring by a doctor and anti-retroviral medications.  There is a vaccine available to prevent Hep B.

Consequences?  Increased risk of infection of other STDs, including HIV.  Can also lead to chronic liver problems and cirrhosis or cancer of the liver.

Find out more about Hepatitis.

Herpes 

What is it?  A viral infection of the genital area.

Symptoms?  Most people have no symptoms.  Herpes 1 can cause painful blisters or cold sores around the mouth. Herpes 2 can cause genital sores or blisters. Symptoms usually occur within the first month after exposure.

How is it spread?  Through vaginal, oral, or anal sex.  It can also be passed from mother to child during childbirth.

Treatment?  There is no cure for herpes.The virus stays in the body and may cause repeated outbreaks.  Medications can help treat symptoms, reduce the frequency of outbreaks, and reduce the likelihood of spreading it to sexual partners.

Consequences?   Increased risk of infection for other STDs, including HIV.

Find out more about Herpes.

 

Last updated: 9/29/2015 12:12:35 PM
http://www.vanderburghcounty.in.gov/index.aspx?page=1524