Sexually Transmitted Diseases or Infections (STDs/STIs)

What is an STDs/STIs and How is it Spread?

STDs/STIs are diseases or infections that are passed from one person to another through sexual contact. These include chlamydia, gonorrhea, genital herpes, human papillomavirus (HPV), syphilis, and HIV. You can get an STD by having vaginal, anal, or oral sex with someone who has an STD. Anyone who is sexually active can get an STD. STDs are common, especially among young people ages 15 to 24.

Where Can I Get Tested or Get Free Condoms?

At the Duplin County Health Department. Monday – Friday 8 am – 4:30 pm, Call to make an appointment or if you have any questions about STDs/STIs!

  • FREE & Confidential:
    • HIV Testing
    • STI Exam + Testing
    • Counseling
  • Provided by:
    • Registered nurses
    • Family Nurse Practitioner/ Physician Assistant
    • Physician

*Visit includes medical history, risk assessment, physical exam, lab test, education, and treatment.*

What Puts You at Higher Risk for STDs/STIs:

  • Having anal, vaginal, or oral sex without a condom
  • Having multiple sex partners
  • Having anonymous sex partners
  • Having sex while under the influence of drugs or alcohol can lower inhibitions and result in greater sexual risk-taking.

Ways to Prevent and Protect Yourself Against STDs/STIs:

  • Abstinence (not having vaginal, anal, or oral sex)
  • If you do decide to have sex, you and your partner should get tested for STDs beforehand
  • Use a new condom, consistently and correctly, for every act of vaginal, anal, and oral sex throughout the entire sex act (start to finish)
  • Reduce the number of people with whom you have sex
  • Limit or eliminate drug and alcohol use before and during sex
  • Have an honest and open talk with your healthcare provider and ask whether you should be tested for STDs or HIV

Signs and Symptoms of an STD/STI?

Many STDs don’t cause any symptoms that you would notice, this is why it is important to get tested for STDS.

Some Common Signs and Symptoms are:

  • Unusual discharge from the vagina, penis, or anus
  • Pain when peeing
  • Lumps, blisters, or sores around the genitals or anus
  • A rash
  • Itchy genitals or anus
  • Warts in your mouth or throat (this is rare)

What Happens if I Don’t Treat and STD/STI?

If left untreated, some STDs can make it difficult -or even impossible- for a woman to get pregnant. A person with an untreated STD has a higher chance of getting HIV. HIV can be fatal if left untreated.

Facts About STDs/STIs:

  • Diseases are spread during sexual activities.
  • Many people have no symptoms but can infect others without knowing it.
  • People can develop infections again and again if exposed to new infections.
  • Pregnant women can pass infections to their unborn child.
  • Having testing and early treatment can limit problems and keep the disease from spreading.
  • Most infections can be cured by the right medicine but all sex partners need evaluations and
ChlamydiaIs often asymptomatic in both males and females and most cases are detected through screening.  Untreated 10-15% of women will develop pelvic inflammatory disease and possible infertility. Recommended annual screening of sexually active women younger than 25 years and older women with risk factors such as new or multiple sex partners or a partner who has a STD.
Genital HerpesYou can get herpes from an infected partner even if they have no symptoms. Caused by the herpes simplex viruses type 1 and type 2. There is no cure but medication is available to reduce symptoms and less likely to spread to partner.
GonorrheaIs often symptomatic in males and less in females. Most cases are detected through screening. Recommended annual screening of sexually active women younger than 25 years and older women with risk factors such as new or multiple sex partners or a partner who has a STI.
HIVIf you have a STI you are more likely to get HIV than someone who has not had an STI.  Having a break in the skin may allow HIV to move easily into your body.
SyphilisCan have very serious complications when left untreated, but it is simple to cure with the right treatment.
For other STDs and more information click here.

For information about STD in Pregnancy. Spanish


Current communicable disease reports are complied annually and quarterly by the NC DHHS Communicable Disease Branch. The current data is available on the Communicable Disease website under the Facts and Figures tab. There will also be historical data from previous years on the site.