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Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs)

Things you should know:

Sexually Transmitted Diseases Facts
  • Pre​ve​nting the spread of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) is everyone's responsibility.
  • Some of the more commonly known STDs are gonorrhea, chlamydia, syphilis, herpes, ​and HIV. If you think that you or your partner may have been exposed, don't wait to get ​tested and ​treated.​​
  • C​​​​​​onfidential treatment is available to anyone by calling the Sexually Transmitted ​Disease Control Program at 301-583-3150. Parental consent for STD testing or treatment is NOT required for those age 13 years and older.​
  • ​STDs will NOT go away if left untreated.

What Are STDs?

Sexually Transmitted Diseases

STDs, or sexually transmitted diseases, are passed from person to person through unprotected sex (sex without a condom) with an infected partner. They are caused by viruses or bacteria and include syphilis, gonorrhea, Chlamydia, genital warts, herpes, HIV/AIDS, and others.

How do I know if

I Have an STD?

Anyone can get an STD. Many STDs have no symptoms, so you may not know you have one. And you can’t always tell if your partner has one, either. A common sign for some STDs is a sore or rash on the sex organs that may drip. But again, many STDs have no outward signs.

I am At-Risk for an STD?

Risk for an STD  You ​are at risk for an STD if:

  • you have ever engaged in unprotected sex, even oral sex.
  • you have more than one sexual partner.

The only way to know for sure if you have an STD is to get tested.

What Happens if I Have an STD?

People with STDs can spread them to their sex partners. STDs are serious. If left untreated, different STDs can:

  • cause blindness
  • cause infertility
  • give you painful and embarrassing sores
  • make it easier for you to get more serious diseases like HIV/AIDS
  • even cause death.

And they hurt more than just you and your partner. A woman can pass an STD on to her baby during childbirth.​

More Questions


For more detailed information about STD testing, counseling and treatment, visit the following websites:

​​Keeping it Sexually SafeCenters for Disease Control and PreventionMaryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene​ ​