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Sexually Transmitted Diseases in Adolescents

Medically reviewed by Last updated on Jul 7, 2024.

What is a sexually transmitted disease (STD)?

An STD means signs or symptoms of a sexually transmitted infection (STI) have developed. An STI happens when bacteria or a virus are spread through oral, genital, or anal sex. Some examples of STDs are HIV, chlamydia, syphilis, and gonorrhea.

What are the signs and symptoms of an STD?

One or more of the following may develop, depending on the STD:

What increases the risk for an STD?

How is an STD diagnosed?

Your adolescent's healthcare provider will examine him or her and ask about symptoms. He or she may ask about your adolescent's sex history or other medical conditions. He or she will ask if your adolescent ever had an STI or STD.

How is an STD treated?

Treatment depends on the STD. Antibiotics are given if the STD is caused by bacteria. Antivirals are given if it is caused by a virus. Antifungals may be given for a fungal infection, such as a yeast infection. Early treatment may decrease the risk for certain cancers. Early treatment can also help prevent infertility.

How can my adolescent prevent the spread of an infection?

You or a healthcare provider should tell him or her the following:

When should I seek immediate care for my adolescent?

When should I or my adolescent call the doctor?

Care Agreement

You have the right to help plan your child's care. Learn about your child's health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your child's healthcare providers to decide what care you want for your child. The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

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Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.