Sexually Transmitted Diseases

Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) are on the rise.

STDs often show no or vague symptoms, making it hard to tell if you are infected. It’s important to get tested regularly and practice safe sex to protect yourself and your partners. Take control of your sexual health and stay informed.

Our sexually transmitted disease program includes a case management team of nurses and disease intervention specialists to assist in case management and treatment. The program also offers access to condoms.

Prevent STDs

Fortunately, there are ways to reduce your risk of getting a sexually transmitted disease:

  • Abstinence. The most reliable way to avoid STDs is to not have sex (oral, anal, or vaginal)
  • Use condoms. Correct and consistent use of condoms is highly effective in reducing STD transmission. Use a condom every time you have anal, vaginal, or oral sex. If you have latex allergies, synthetic condoms can be used. If you are having trouble accessing condoms, please fill out the form below.
  • Get vaccinated. Vaccines, a safe and effective prevention method, are available for Hepatitis B and Human Papillomavirus (HPV) and are a safe and effective prevention method.
  • Reduce your number of sex partners. Reducing the number of sex partners reduces the chances of being exposed to STDs.
  • Practice mutual monogamy. Mutual monogamy means only being with one sex partner, who is only sexually active with you. Getting testing and knowing you and your partner do not have STDs prior to engaging in sexual activity is important.
  • Get tested. If you know your STD status, you can seek treatment and reduce the chances of transmitting the STD to someone else

Click the following link for information on How to Use a Male Condom  |  CDC

Click the following link for information on How to Use a Female (Internal) Condom  |  CDC

Common STDs



Chlamydia often has no symptoms, but it can cause serious health problems, even without symptoms. If symptoms occur, they may not appear until several weeks after having sex with a partner who has chlamydia.

Symptoms in women
Even when chlamydia has no symptoms, it can damage a woman’s reproductive system. Women with symptoms may notice:

  • An abnormal vaginal discharge
  • A burning sensation when peeing

Symptoms in men
Men with symptoms may notice:

  • A discharge from their penis
  • A burning sensation when peeing

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Gonorrhea often has no symptoms, but it can cause serious health problems, even without symptoms.

Symptoms in women
Most women with gonorrhea do not have any symptoms. Even when a woman has symptoms, they are often mild and can be mistaken for a bladder or vaginal infection. Symptoms in women can include:

  • Painful or burning sensation when peeing
  • Increased vaginal discharge
  • Vaginal bleeding between periods

Symptoms in men
Men who do have symptoms may have:

  • A burning sensation when peeing
  • A white, yellow, or green discharge from the penis
  • Painful or swollen testicles (although this is less common)

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What is syphilis?
Syphilis is a sexually transmitted infection (STI) that can cause serious health problems without treatment. Infection develops in stages (primary, secondary, latent, and tertiary). Each stage can have different signs and symptoms.

Primary stage
During the first (primary) stage of syphilis, you may notice a single sore or multiple sores. The sore is the location where syphilis entered your body. These sores usually occur in, on, or around the penis, vagina, anus, rectum, lips or in the mouth. The sore usually lasts 3 to 6 weeks and heals regardless of whether you receive treatment. Even after the sore goes away, you must still receive treatment, or the infection will progress.

Secondary stage
During the secondary stage, you may have skin rashes and/or sores in your mouth, vagina, or anus. This stage usually starts with a rash on one or more areas of your body. The rash can show up when your primary sore is healing or several weeks after the sore has healed. The rash can be on the palms of your hands and/or the bottoms of your feet and look rough, red, or reddish-brown.

The symptoms from this stage will go away whether or not you receive treatment. Without the right treatment, your infection will move to the next stages of syphilis.

Latent stage
The latent stage of syphilis is a period when there are no visible signs or symptoms. Without treatment, you can continue to have syphilis in your body for years.

Tertiary stage
Most people with untreated syphilis do not develop tertiary syphilis. However, when it does happen, it can affect many different organ systems. These include the heart and blood vessels, and the brain and nervous system. Tertiary syphilis is very serious and would occur 10–30 years after your infection began. In tertiary syphilis, the disease damages your internal organs and can result in death. A healthcare provider can usually diagnose tertiary syphilis with the help of multiple tests.

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Sexually Transmitted Disease Symptoms & Testing

The following symptoms may be an indication of a Sexually Transmitted Disease (STD):

  • an unusual discharge from the vagina, penis, or anus
  • pain when urinating
  • lumps or skin growths around the genitals or bottom (anus)
  • a rash
  • unusual vaginal bleeding
  • itchy genitals or anus
  • blisters and sores around your genitals or anus
  • warts around your genitals or anus

But remember that not all STDs will have obvious symptoms. If you feel there is any chance you or a partner may have been exposed, it’s important to get tested.

If you are experiencing one of these symptoms or are concerned you may have been exposed to an STD, please contact your healthcare provider or one of the following agencies to schedule STD testing:

East Side Health District
East Side Health District Website 
Phone: (618) 874-4713


Mosaic Pregnancy & Health Centers
Mosaic Pregnancy & Health Centers Website 
Phone: (618) 355-9977


Planned Parenthood
Planned Parenthood Website
Phone: (618) 277-6668


SIHF Healthcare
SIHF Healthcare Website
Visit website and select a location to obtain the phone number for that location

Get Testing or Condoms Today