The Kentucky Sexually Transmitted Disease (STD) Program
The primary goal of the Kentucky Sexually Transmitted Disease/Human Immunodeficiency Virus Counseling and Testing (STD/HIVCT) program is to prevent the spread and resulting effects of sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV infection.
||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.
||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).
||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.
||Symptoms To Watch For
- 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
- 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
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.
- View Information on different STD types - information on chlamydia or NGU, genital warts, gonorrhea, hepatitis B, herpes, HIV/AIDS, syphilis and vaginitis
- Other HPV Viruses - information on common vaginal infections, crabs and scabies, genital warts, herpes, prevention and treatment and subclinical HPV infections
- How to protect yourself from STDs
||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. A service fee may be charged, but no one will be refused testing or treatment because they are unable to pay. Patients with other STD infections will receive counseling about the infection and probably will be referred to a health care provider who can test for and treat these diseases.
All local health departments in Kentucky 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 Kentucky STD program at (502) 564-4804 for information and statistical data.