Sexually transmitted diseases affect billions of people across the world. Some sexually transmitted diseases, also called STDs, can cause uncomfortable symptoms. Others may be deadly if left untreated. However, a good number of STDs are treatable in an urgent care clinic setting. Our urgent care clinic can treat common STD symptoms. Continue reading to learn more about some of the most common STDs and their symptoms.
Gonorrhea is caused by the Neisseria gonorrhoeae bacterium and can cause symptoms that include a painful or burning sensation when urinating. Discharge is also possible. However, as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) notes, many people with gonorrhea are asymptomatic. This means they do not have symptoms.
Chlamydia is a bacterial infection that affects the genital tract. According to the Mayo Clinic, symptoms of chlamydia may occur in the weeks after the initial exposure. Chlamydia symptoms may include:
- Painful urination
- Pain during intercourse
- Testicular pain in men
- Lower abdominal pain
Herpes is a viral infection caused by the herpes simplex virus. You can contract herpes during sex or other general exposure.
Unfortunately, many people with herpes do not know they have it and may spread it to others. For others with this condition, the symptoms are so mild they are not noticeable. When herpes is noticeable, small red bumps and blisters are the most common symptom. Pain and itching are additional possible symptoms.
The human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) is a potentially life-threatening viral infection. Fortunately, modern medications have made HIV manageable for many people in the U.S. AIDS, also called acquired immunodeficiency syndrome, is the condition that occurs when HIV has destroyed a sufficient number of CD4 T lymphocytes (a CD4 count less than 200 cells/mm3). Also called “helper T cells”, CD4 lymphocytes are a type of white blood cell that facilitates immune system function. A person with a compromised immune system can suffer from any number of ailments and symptoms, some of which must be treated in a traditional hospital setting.
Some people may develop a “flu-like illness” when the body first begins to produce HIV antibodies. This HIV seroconversion illness can occur in the days, weeks or months after the initial infection occurs.
If you are sexually active or use illicit drugs, the CDC recommends getting tested for HIV at least once per year. Testing is the only surefire way to know whether you have HIV before it can develop into AIDS.
The CDC considers the human papillomavirus to be the most common STD in the United States. People can spread HPV during sexual activities. Some types of HPV can cause genital warts.
Fortunately, a vaccine exists for HPV. If you believe you were exposed to HPV, you should receive a test for confirmation. Certain types of HPV increase the risk of developing cancer.
Testing for STDs
The best way to determine whether you have an STD is to get a test. Share your concerns with your doctor and he or she can point you in the right direction. Waiting to schedule a test can be a big mistake, however. Depending on the type of STD involved, you could be putting your health at serious risk.
You can treat some STDs with antibiotics and antivirals. An urgent care clinic or doctor’s office can likely treat STD symptoms caused by a minor infection.