Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STD’s)
Anyone who is sexually active can get sexually-transmitted diseases (STDs), also called venereal diseases. The main way to get an STD is through sex or any other sexual contact with someone who already has the disease. STDs are diseases that, if not treated, can seriously damage your health.
Facts about STDs and AIDS
You cannot get STDs or the AIDS virus from toilet seats, door knobs, or through casual contact like a handshake. You can contract STDs or AIDS at any age. Most STDs are treatable, but AIDS and herpes are not curable. While AIDS can be treated and herpes can be controlled, there is no cure for either of these diseases at this time.
The only way to completely prevent STDs is not to have sexual contact at all. If you choose to have sex, there are ways to lessen your risk:
- Use a condom (also called a rubber) during sex
- Do not have sex with more than one partner
- Do not have sex with people who have sores, discharges, or blisters around their mouth or sex organs
- Do not have sex with someone you don’t know well---you can’t tell if someone has an STD just by looking at them
WARNING: If not treated, STDs can result in serious damage including sterility (inability to have children), heart disease, damage to an unborn baby, blindness, hearing loss, non-healing skin sores, paralysis, and even death.
STD tests are confidential---you do not need your parents’ permission. It is possible to have STDs without noticing changes in your body. If you are concerned or think you have an STD, don’t be embarrassed to get help---see a doctor or clinic and ask to be tested. The longer it goes untreated, the more damage it will do to your body. And remember---most STDs can be treated.
If you find out that you have an STD or AIDS, tell your sexual partners because they have been exposed to the disease as well. They deserve to know so they can seek the appropriate medical attention.
AIDS Alliance of the Bay Area, Inc.
HIV testing and counseling. AIDS education for individuals or groups including support groups for HIV- positive teens.
Amigos Volunteers in Education and Service
Free HIV/STD screening, also HIV/STD prevention education. Case management, psychotherapy, and other support services available for HIV-positive teens.
Baylor Teen Clinic
Services provided are no cost to teens at Baylor’s five locations. STD screening & treatment, HIV screening & counseling, social work services, and case management are available. These services are confidential and available to males and females 20 years old and younger.
Harris County Public Health and Environmental Services
Confidential services are available at five locations. Services include screening and treatment of STDs and HIV counseling and testing. Baytown, Humble, and Southeast Health Centers offer after-school teen clinics and counseling.
HIV/STD counseling and testing, also STD diagnosis and treatment are available. Services are confidential and anonymous.
Planned Parenthood of Houston and Southeast Texas - Teen Clinic
To find a clinic near you, call 1-800-230-PLAN
Offers services to teens 19 years old and younger. Free or low-cost exams for birth control, and treatment for sexually-transmitted infections. Day, evening, and Saturday appointments.
Confidential and anonymous hotline for teens available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.