STDs & Safe Sex

| Gonorrhea | Hepatitis B | Syphilis | Genital Warts | Trich | Chlamydia | Crabs | HIV | Herpes |


What is it?
A common sexually transmitted bacterial infection. In addition to infecting the cervix or urethra, it can infect the throat or rectum. Sexually active individuals should be tested at least once a year.

How is it harmful?
It can cause pelvic inflammatory disease and infertility in women and severe inflammation of the urinary tract in men. It can cause severe arthritis (Reiter’s syndrome) in women and men; if the mother is infected at the time of delivery, it can cause blindness in newborns.

What are the symptoms?
For women, the early stages usually have no symptoms. Symptoms usually occur 2-3 weeks after infection and can include vaginal discharge or recurring irritation. For men, gonorrhea usually includes penile discharge and severe burning during urination.

What is the treatment?
Antibiotics; however, long-term complications (such as infertility) may not be reversible.


STDs: The Low Down

STDs are both common and sneaky. One in two sexually active young people will get an STD by age 25, and most of them won’t even know it. That’s because many STDs do not show any symptoms.

How can I protect against STDs?

Abstinence is the best way to protect against STDs. For those that choose to have sex, practice safe sex. That means that guys should use latex condoms during oral, vaginal and anal sex.

Should I get tested for STDs?

STDs are sneaky — often they don’t cause any symptoms, so many infected teens don’t know they’re infected. Click here to see if you should get tested.

Many Reproductive Health Centers throughout Pennsylvania offer free and confidential STD screenings for teens.

Find a teen-friendly health center near you