Young Adults

Image of two young adultsCurious about STDs? We have answers for you! We’ve dedicated this site to the eradication of wondering, second-guessing, and general puzzlement when it comes to chlamydia and gonorrhea. It’s not a popular subject, but talking about sexual infections is the best way to prevent them. The more you know about the diseases – the risks, the symptoms, the prevention techniques – the better you’ll know how to avoid encountering one.

Youth Have Unique Risk Factors

Did you know that 15-24 year olds account for half of all new STD infections?  It’s true.  Much of this is due to unique factors that place youth at risk:

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Things To Consider Before Having Sex

There are many things to consider before having sex.  Although you may be curious about sex, or have a strong attraction to someone, it is important to understand the risks of having sex without taking the proper precautions.  Abstinence is the only way to fully prevent against STDs and unplanned pregnancy.  If you do decide to have sex, you and your partner should both be tested for STDs beforehand.  Then ensure that you and your partner both know how to use a condom properly from start to finish.

Who To Talk To

If ever you have any questions, reach out and talk to either a parent or another trusted adult.  It is worth it to be honest and voice your questions and concerns.  You will be glad you did. It is also important to be open and honest with your healthcare providers to ensure your health and safety.

Where To Get Tested

There are many places throughout Utah that offer friendly, confidential low/no cost STD tests. To find a testing location near you, please see the Resource Guide below.

Testing and Treatment Resource Guide

Utah’s Minor Consent Law Concerning Confidentiality of Treatment and Investigations of STDs

  • Utah Code Section 26-6-18 allows a minor to consent to medical care or other services by a hospital or clinic under a licensed physician if they are infected with an STD or suspected to be in need of testing or treatment for an STD.  This CAN be done without the consent of the parent.
  • All chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis, and HIV cases are reportable.  These investigations are done at a Local Health Department.  These investigators legally CANNOT tell parents about their child’s STD without the child’s permission.

 

 

 

 

Can I get chlamydia from kissing?

Chlamydia and gonorrhea can be transmitted in bodily fluids during vaginal, anal, or oral sex; any sexually active person can be infected. They can also be passed from an infected mother to her baby during vaginal childbirth. Both chlamydia and gonorrhea can infect the throat; however, they cannot be transmitted from one infected throat to another through kissing. To learn more about how chlamydia and gonorrhea are transmitted go to the “Risks” link on the homepage.

How do I know if I have chlamydia or gonorrhea?

A person who has chlamydia and/or gonorrhea may not know that they are infected. Getting tested is the best way to know whether or not you have a sexually transmitted disease (STD). Chlamydia is a sexually transmitted infection that will either give someone symptoms or not give them symptoms when they are infected; symptoms also vary depending on what part of the body is infected. So even if you can’t see or feel the symptoms of chlamydia and/or gonorrhea, the infection could still be there. Only 25% of women and 50% of men who become infected develop symptoms; that is only 1 out of 4 girls and 1 out of 2 boys actually experience symptoms.

Chlamydia and gonorrhea can still be transmitted from an infected person to a partner(s) during oral, anal, or vaginal sex even when no symptoms are present. If you are among those few who develop symptoms (such as painful urination, odd or smelly discharge, or abdominal pain), you will start to notice them between 1 to 3 weeks after you were infected. Therefore, men and women can be infected for a very long period of time and not know it until the infection results in health problems. Chlamydia and gonorrhea are both easily tested for and treated. To learn more visit “the symptoms” link on the homepage. A list of public testing locations is also available on this website.  Simply go to the “Testing Location” link on the homepage under the “Resources” tab and select your county.

What are the signs/symptoms of chlamydia?

Chlamydia is a sexually transmitted infection that will either give someone symptoms or not give them symptoms when they are infected; symptoms also vary depending on what part of the body is infected. So even if you can’t see or feel the symptoms of chlamydia and/or gonorrhea, the infection could still be there. Only 25% of women and 50% of men who become infected develop symptoms; that is only 1 out of 4 girls and 1 out of 2 boys actually experience symptoms.

Chlamydia and gonorrhea can still be transmitted from an infected person to a partner(s) during oral, anal, or vaginal sex even when no symptoms are present. If you are among those few who develop symptoms (such as painful urination, odd or smelly discharge, or abdominal pain), you will start to notice them between 1 to 3 weeks after you were infected.  With that being said, getting tested is the best way to know whether or not you have a sexually transmitted disease.

To learn more about the signs and symptoms of chlamydia and gonorrhea, go to the “Symptoms” link on the homepage. To learn about the symptoms of other sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), go to the “Resources” link also located on the homepage.

If your partner has gonorrhea or chlamydia, is it possible to have unprotected sex and not get these infections?

While it is possible to have vaginal, oral, or anal sex with an infected partner and not get infected, it’s unlikely. For more information, check out the “Prevention” link on the homepage.

Is sex the only way to get chlamydia?

Besides vaginal, oral, and anal sex, the only way chlamydia can be spread is through the birth process, from mother to baby during a vaginal birth.

Can I get chlamydia or gonorrhea from a toilet, or from sharing something like a bar of soap?

Chlamydia and gonorrhea can be transmitted in bodily fluids during vaginal, anal, or oral sex; any sexually active person can be infected. Bodily fluids containing chlamydia and/or gonorrhea must be transmitted from person to person in order for an infection to occur. Therefore, infected fluids on a toilet seat or a bar of soap cannot transmit chlamydia and/or gonorrhea to other toilet or soap users. To learn more go to the “Risks” link on the homepage.

Can I get chlamydia or gonorrhea from a swimming pool or hot tub?

Chlamydia and gonorrhea can be transmitted in bodily fluids during vaginal, anal, or oral sex; any sexually active person can be infected. Bodily fluids containing chlamydia and/or gonorrhea must be transmitted from person to person in order for an infection to occur. Therefore, infected fluids floating in a pool or hot tub cannot transmit chlamydia and/or gonorrhea to other swimmers. To learn more go to the “Risks” link on the homepage.

What does chlamydia look like?

Chlamydia is a common sexually transmitted disease (STD) caused by the bacterium, Chlamydia trachomatis.  It is important to know that chlamydia can be asymptomatic, meaning an infected individual may not develop any signs/symptoms and therefore not know that they are infected.  Some infected individuals may notice a yellow or milky white discharge, or a burning sensation while urinating. To see what chlamydia and gonorrhea look like up close, go to STD or Not? in the bottom left corner of the home page. To learn more about the symptoms of chlamydia and gonorrhea go to the “Symptoms” link on the homepage.

Can I get chlamydia or gonorrhea from sharing food and/or drinks with an infected individual?

No. Chlamydia and gonorrhea are transmitted in bodily fluids during vaginal, anal, or oral sex; any sexually active person can be infected with chlamydia and/or gonorrhea. It can also be passed from an infected mother to her baby during vaginal childbirth. Both chlamydia and gonorrhea can infect the throat; however, they cannot be transmitted from one infected throat to another through sharing food and beverages. To learn more go to the “Risks” link on the homepage.

If I have chlamydia, how can I prevent spreading it?

Chlamydia can be transmitted in bodily fluids during vaginal, anal, or oral sex; any sexually active person can be infected with chlamydia. Both chlamydia and gonorrhea can be easily treated and cured with antibiotics. A single pill, several pills, or a liquid medication are the most commonly used treatments. Abstinence should be continued until seven days after a single-dose regimen or after completion of a 7-day regimen. Persons with chlamydia and/or gonorrhea should abstain from sexual intercourse until they and their sex partner(s) have completed treatment, otherwise re-infection is possible.

 

If I can’t visibly see or feel gonorrhea, could I still be infected?

Both men and women may experience asymptomatic (without symptoms) infections; symptoms will vary depending on what part of the body is infected. Women are the most likely to experience an asymptomatic gonorrhea infection. Chlamydia is known as a “silent” disease because about three-quarters of infected women and about half of infected men have NO symptoms. So yes, even if you can’t see or feel the symptoms of chlamydia and/or gonorrhea, the infection could still be there. To learn more go to the “Symptoms” link on the homepage.