WV.gov

FacebookTwitter DHHR | BPH | Text size A A A

Sexually Transmitted Diseases

The primary goal of the West Virginia Sexually Transmitted Disease Program is to prevent the spread and resulting effects of sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV infection.

What Are STDs?
How are STDs Spread?
What To Do If You Think You Have An STD
Symptoms To Watch For
Who To Contact For Help

What Are STDs?
Sexually Transmitted Diseases are serious, sometimes painful illnesses that can cause damage to the human body. Initially, STDs infect your sexual and reproductive organs and later can destroy other organs. Other STDs such as HIV, hepatitis B and syphilis can cause general body infections.

Sometimes you can have an STD with no signs or symptoms. Other times, the symptoms go away on their own. Either way, you still will have the STD until you get treated. A few STDs cannot be cured, but most STDs can be cured if you get treated.
Back to Top

How are STDs Spread?
STDs are spread during close, sexual activity and during vaginal, anal and oral sex. Some STDs (HIV and hepatitis B) are also spread by contact with infected blood.

Most STD germs need to live in warm, moist areas. That's why they infect the mouth, rectum and sex organs (vaginal vulva, penis and scrotum).
Back to Top

What To Do If You Think You Have An STD
If you think you might have an STD, get checked out. Don't just hope the STD will go away. Chances are it won't. All county health departments test for and treat STDs. Private doctors also treat STDs. If you don't know where to get help, call your local health department or private health care provider for information.All information you give will be private and confidential.

You may feel embarrassed about having an STD, but you must get treatment. That's the only way you will get well. So, no matter how difficult it may be, see a health care professional for treatment.

Most STDs can be treated with antibiotics. Follow your doctor's instructions and be sure to take all of your medicine. You also must tell your sexual partner(s). If they aren't treated, they can spread the STD and they might even reinfect you.
Back to Top

Symptoms To Watch For

Women:

  • Unusual vaginal discharge or odor
  • Pain in your pelvic area - the area between your belly button and sex organs
  • Vaginal area burning or itching
  • Bleeding from your vagina that is not your regular period
  • Pain deep inside your vagina when you have sex

Men:

  • A drip or discharge from your penis.

Women and Men:

  • Sores, bumps or blisters near your sex organs, rectum or mouth
  • Burning and pain when you urinate (pee) or have a bowel movement
  • Need to urinate often
  • Itching around your sex organs
  • Swelling or redness in your throat
  • Flu-like feelings with fever, chills and aches
  • Swelling in your groin - the area around your sex organs

Back to Top

If you have any of these symptoms, go to an STD clinic or your health care provider. Don't put it off - get checked out right away.

Who To Contact For Help
Local health departments offer patients tests for gonorrhea, chlamydia and syphilis and provide treatment for patients diagnosed with, exposed to or suspected of having these diseases. Services received at local health departments are confidential. 

All local health departments in West Virginia offer free HIV counseling and testing. Patients can choose to be tested confidentially or anonymously. It is usually necessary to call the local health department for an appointment to be tested for HIV and to receive STD services.

Local Health Department Listing

Health providers and the general public are encouraged to call the West Virginia STD program at (800) 642-8244 for information and statistical data.

Back to Top




Privacy, Security and Accessibility | WV.gov | USA.gov | © 2014 State of West Virginia