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As your health department, we offer a variety of wellness and
environmental health services to all Winnebago County residents.
For your good health and that of our community, we provide numerous programs focused
on wellness promotion throughout each life stage, injury and violence prevention,
disease prevention, disaster preparedness and response and environmental safety.

HEALTH DEPARTMENT NEWS


Sexually Transmitted Diseases

Q: What is a Sexually Transmitted Disease (STD)?

A: A Sexually Transmitted Disease (STD) is a serious, sometimes painful, disease, which can cause extensive damage to your body. Some STDs infect only your sexual and reproductive organs. Others (HIV, hepatitis B, syphilis) cause general body infections.

Q: How are STDs spread?

A: STDs are spread through sexual activity, including vaginal, anal and oral sex. Some STDs (HIV and hepatitis B) are also spread by contact with infected blood.

Q: Are there signs or symptoms of a STD?

A: Sometimes you can have a STD with no signs or symptoms. Other times, the symptoms go away on their own. Either way, you will still have the STD until you get treated.

Q: As a woman, what are some symptoms I can watch for?

A:

  • An unusual discharge or smell from your vagina.
  • Pain in your pelvic area (the area between your belly button and sex organs).
  • Burning or itching around your vagina.
  • Bleeding from your vagina that is not your regular period.
  • Pain deep inside your vagina when you have sex.
  • 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 (pee) often.
  • Itching around your sex organs.
  • A swelling or redness in your throat.
  • Flu-like symptoms, including fever, chills and aches.
  • Swelling in your groin (the area around your sex organs).

Q: As a man, what are some symptoms I can watch for?

A:

  • A drip or discharge from your penis.
  • 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 (pee) often.
  • Itching around your sex organs.
  • A swelling or redness in your throat.
  • Flu-like symptoms, including fever, chills and aches.
  • Swelling in your groin (the area around your sex organs).

Q: What should I do if I think I have an STD?

A: If you think you might have an STD, get checked out. Don't just hope the STD will go away. It won't!

Q: If I have symptoms of a STD, what should I do?

A: Stop having sex. Go to a STD clinic or your own health care provider. Whatever you do, DON'T PUT IT OFF - get checked out now!

Q: If I have a STD, do I have to get treatment?

A: Yes! The only way to get well is through treatment, even if it's a hard thing for you to do.

Q: Are STDs curable?

A: Most STDs can be cured if you get treated, although there are a few STDs that cannot be cured.

Q: Does the Health Department offer STD Clinics?

A: Yes! STD Clinics are held Wednesdays from 3:30 PM -5:30 PM and Fridays from 12:30 PM -3:00 PM.

Q: How much does it cost to be tested for a STD at the Health Department?

A: All services are provided on a sliding fee scale of $15 to $180 based on income. No one will be refused service due to inability to pay.

Q: When I'm tested for a STD, will everyone in the waiting room hear my name be called?

A: NO! The clinician will call you by your assigned number, not your name.

Q: Will anyone outside of the clinic staff know that I've been tested for a STD?

A: Absolutely not. When you come to a STD Clinic at the Health Department, you will fill out a "patient information form", which will be used to make up your medical record. Everything contained in your medical record is CONFIDENTIAL.

Q: Do I have to tell anyone that I have a STD?

A: You must tell your sexual partner(s). If they aren't treated, they can get sick. They can spread the STD and they may even give it to you again!

Q: What are some ways in the future to protect myself from getting a STD?

A:

  • Don't have sex - it's the best way to protect yourself from STDs.
  • If you choose to have sex, be sure it's with one uninfected partner ONLY, who has sex with you only.
  • Talk to your partner about past sex partners and about needle drug use.
  • Don't have sex with anyone you may think has a STD.
  • Before you have sex, look closely at your partner for any signs of STDs - a rash, a sore, or discharge. If you see anything suspicious, don't have sex!
  • Use a latex condom (rubber) for vaginal, anal and oral sex. Condoms will protect you from STDs much of the time. Both men and women should carry condoms.
  • If you are allergic to latex, use plastic (polyurethane) condoms. They come in both male and female styles.
  • Get checked for STDs regularly. Ask your health care provider to help you decide how often and which tests you should have.
  • Know the signs and symptoms of a STD. If you have a symptom that worries you, get checked out!
  • If you have a STD, your partner(s) must get tested and treated too.
  • If you have a STD, don't have sex until your treatment is complete.