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Got a sex question you can't ask your mom or health teacher? This week, Fred Wyand, director of communications at the American Sexual Health Association, explains everything you need to know about STDs.
has you covered in Sex & Body Talk, a regular column where we ask an expert a zillion questions and translate what it means.
Most doctors don't test for herpes automatically because it requires a separate blood test, so if you think you could be at risk — if you've slept with someone who has it, or if you're experiencing sores — you should specifically ask to be tested for it. People who have herpes do have to deal with annoying outbreaks every once in a blue moon, but that doesn't mean they can't have totally normal experiences with sex and dating.
An outbreak isn't that different from getting the flu: for a few days, you deal with symptoms and don't want to make out with anyone, but it's not something you worry about on a regular basis.
Some are curable: chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis can be cleared up with antibiotics. Actually, it's pretty common for STDs to not display any warning signs right away (or at all), which is why it's so important to get tested at least once a year — you could have something and not even know it.
Try this script: "Before we go any further, let's talk. The risk of passing it on is low, especially if we use a condom, but I just want to let you know." It's the same way you'd give your friend a heads up about sipping from your water bottle if you just had strep throat.Sexually transmitted diseases (also called sexually transmitted infections — STIs) are illnesses spread through sex (all the kinds!vaginal, oral, or anal penetration) or even just grinding up against a partner without your clothes on.Herpes, HPV, and HIV aren't curable, but there are tons of options for managing them so you can still live your best life. Look out for anything unusual down there: rashes, itches, bumps, sores, warts, odors, or discharge that looks different than normal. Unusual discharge could be chlamydia or a yeast infection, a red bump could be an ingrown hair, an itch could be a bug bite...it's even possible to just get a rogue zit down there. It's a virus that causes cold sores either on/around your mouth or genitals.The two most common strains are oral herpes (HSV-1) and genital herpes (HSV-2).