• 22 S. State St. Clearfield, UT 84015
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STD Questions & Answers

  • Davis County Health Department, Clearfield & Bountiful, 801-525-5020, $14.50/dose (18 & under)
  • Midtown Community Health Clinic, Clearfield, 801-393-5355, $6/dose, (18 & under)
  • Family Doctor/Other Clinics in your area
  • Davis County Health Department/Midtown Community Health Center - 801-393-5355
    Free screening and optional low cost provider visit and hepatitis testing
    Free testing & treatment for contacts
  • Planned Parenthood - 1-800-230-PLAN
    Free treatment for contacts
  • Family Doctor/Other Clinics in your area

If you are sexually active, getting tested for STDs is a good idea. Men and women should be tested for chlamydia and gonorrhea at least once a year if:

  • 25 or younger and sexually active
  • Older than 25 and having sex with more than one partner
  • Older than 25 and have a new sex partner
  • Pregnant

If you are experiencing symptoms of an STD, you should see a medical provider. If you do not participate in sexual activities (oral, vaginal, or anal sex or contact with sexual fluids), you do not need to be tested for STDs.

It is unknown exactly when and where all STDs originated from. Some, like syphilis, have been around for thousands of years. Some animal viruses can mutate to be able to infect and cause disease in humans. This is what scientists believe happened with HIV, which is similar to a virus found in primates. Environmental changes can also lead to the introduction of new viruses. Some bloodborne pathogens can be spread through exposure to infected blood and then can spread sexually from an infected person to another.
In order to get an STD, you have to engage in intimate sexual activity (including vaginal, anal, or oral sex) with an infected person. If you have an STD, you got it from someone who was infected. If your partner is not infected you will not get an STD from them.
Pubic lice, also called crab lice or “crabs,” are parasitic insects found primarily in the pubic or genital area of humans. Because infection is not very common, non-life threatening, and typically doesn’t cause health problems, we do not consider them a public health threat. The parasites are usually spread through sexual contact and are most common in adults. Occasionally, pubic lice may be spread by close personal contact or contact with articles such as clothing, bed linens, or towels that have been used by an infested person. A common misunderstanding is that pubic lice are spread easily by sitting on a toilet seat. This would be extremely rare because lice cannot live long away from a warm human body, and they do not have feet designed to hold onto or walk on smooth surfaces such as toilet seats. Additionally, pubic lice move by crawling; they cannot hop or fly. Both over-the-counter and prescription medications are available for the treatment of pubic lice infestations.
No, in almost all circumstances, sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) must be transmitted from person to person in order for infection to occur. Therefore, it is extremely unlikely for infected fluids on a toilet seat to transmit an STD. However, a good rule of thumb is: if the fluid is not yours, do not touch it.
Individuals can get re-infected with gonorrhea and/or chlamydia. People who have had gonorrhea or chlamydia and received treatment may become infected again if their sex partners have not been appropriately treated.
  • 80-95% effective if used correctly and consistently
  • Use latex or polyurethane condoms
  • Use only water based lubricants (KY Jelly)
  • Don’t use: baby oil, massage oil, cooking oil, lotions, vaseline, etc. They weaken condoms.

Used correctly and consistently, condoms are highly effective at preventing pregnancy and most STDs. Used correctly means following the directions on the package and consistently means every single time. If the STD is on the skin outside the area covered by a condom, it can still be passed between partners. For example, herpes and genital warts are often outside the area the condom covers, so you can still get them even if you use condoms. Condoms are excellent in helping prevent HIV, hepatitis, gonorrhea, and chlamydia. There are different types of condoms out there. Latex polyurethane is best for STD prevention. Some novelty condoms prevent sperm/pregnancy, but they don’t prevent viruses from getting through.

There is a three to six month window period while the body develops enough HIV antibodies to be detected in a blood test. If you’ve had an exposure to HIV (sex with a partner who is HIV positive or their HIV status is unknown, sex with someone who has other partners, shared needle/drug works), you need to get tested 3-6 months after that to see if you were infected with HIV.

PID occurs when bacteria move upward from a woman's vagina or cervix (opening to the uterus) into her reproductive organs. Many different organisms can cause PID, but many cases are associated with gonorrhea and chlamydia, two very common bacterial STDs.

A prior episode of PID increases the risk of another episode because the reproductive organs may be damaged during the first infection. Sexually active women in their childbearing years are most at risk, and those under age 25 are more likely to develop PID than those older than 25. This is partly because the cervix of teenage girls and young women is not fully matured, increasing their susceptibility to the STDs that are linked to PID. The more sex partners a woman has, the greater her risk of developing PID and a woman whose partner has more than one sex partner is at even greater risk of developing PID.

Women who douche may have a higher risk of developing PID compared with women who do not douche. Research has shown that douching changes the vaginal flora (organisms that live in the vagina) in harmful ways, and can also force bacteria into the upper reproductive organs from the vagina.

Genital herpes can cause recurrent painful genital sores in many adults. Herpes infection can be severe in people with suppressed immune systems. Regardless of severity of symptoms, genital herpes frequently causes psychological distress in people who know they are infected.

In addition, genital HSV can lead to fatal infections in babies. It is important that women avoid contracting herpes during pregnancy because a newly acquired infection during late pregnancy poses a greater risk of transmission to the baby. If a woman has active genital herpes at delivery, a cesarean delivery is usually performed. Fortunately, infection of a baby from a woman with herpes infection is rare. Herpes may play a role in the spread of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. Herpes can make people more susceptible to HIV infection - it can also make HIV-infected individuals more contagious.

The signs and symptoms associated with HSV-2 can vary greatly. Health care providers can diagnose genital herpes by visual inspection if the outbreak is typical, and by taking a sample from the sore(s) and testing it in a laboratory. HSV infections can be diagnosed between outbreaks by the use of a blood test. Blood tests, which detect antibodies to HSV-1 or HSV-2 infection, can be helpful, although the results are not always clear-cut. It can take up to 4 months after getting infected with HSV for the virus to be detected by a blood test.
The terms Sexually Transmitted Disease (STD) or Sexually Transmitted Infection (STI) are used interchangeably by public health and medical professionals. Some prefer STD because the word “disease” sounds more serious. Some prefer STI because it implies a broader meaning that includes all those infected who are not showing signs or symptoms. Neither is considered right or wrong. They mean the same thing.
In some states it is a crime to knowingly infect someone with HIV. Currently Utah does not have a law like that. One example from New York is a man named NuShawn Williams. He is in prison because he was convicted of infecting nine 7th-8th grade girls in one town after he found out he was HIV positive in the late 1990s.

Douching is washing or cleaning out the vagina (also called the birth canal) with water or other mixtures of fluids. Usually douches are prepackaged mixes of water and vinegar, baking soda, or iodine. Women can buy these products at drug and grocery stores. The mixtures usually come in a bottle and can be squirted into the vagina through a tube or nozzle.

Women douche because they mistakenly believe it gives many benefits. In reality, douching may do more harm than good. Douching can change the delicate balance of organisms in a healthy/normal vagina. This may make a woman more prone to vaginal infections. Douching can spread existing vaginal infections up into the uterus, fallopian tubes, and ovaries.

Most doctors recommend that women avoid douching completely. Douching does not prevent pregnancy and should never be used as a means of birth control. Actually, douching may make it easier to get pregnant by pushing the sperm further up into the vagina and cervix.