Here is what you need to know and do next . . .
Being sexually active is healthy and normal. Many
sexually active people will get an STD at some point
in their lives. Finding out that you have an STD or
HIV can leave you feeling scared, angry, and/or
confused, but there is help. Help starts by taking
quick action to deal with your infection. HIV and
STD experts are available to answer questions
regarding where to get immediate low, or no-cost
treatment, how to avoid re-infection for certain
STDs, and how to cope with your particular
situation. If you have questions and would like to
talk to an expert about how to proceed, what to do
next, call one of the hotlines listed below.
HIV Hotline - (800) 367-AIDS
(2437) or go to
STD Hotline - (800) 758-0880 or
go to Don't
This is important! If
you think you may have been exposed to HIV in the
last couple of days, don't delay -
Click here for help.
The following information may also help you make some decisions...
If you have the following
symptoms, it is very important to go to the doctor
as soon as possible.
Signs of HIV include flu-like
symptoms, fever, body aches, and swollen glands.
You may have night sweats, weight loss,
diarrhea, swollen lymph nodes, oral thrush
(white fungus patches in your mouth), and
recurrent vaginal yeast infections. As HIV
slowly weakens your immune system, these
symptoms will increase over time.
Some signs of STDs may be a
watery, white-ish, or bloody discharge from the
penis, vagina or anus. Other signs may be little
bumps with or without pain that show up in those
same areas or in your mouth.
HIV and STDs can easily be passed
from one person to another because people do not
always know they have them. Even if a person does
not know they have HIV or an STD, you can still get
HIV and STDs from vaginal, anal, and oral sex;
foreplay; or sharing personal items with blood on
them, such as needles and razors.
If you are sexually active, have a new partner,
or more than one partner, it is important to get
tested. If you ignore your sexual health, you might develop other health problems later. These problems can include heart, brain, or liver damage; infertility; cancers in your reproductive organs; and even death.
Having an STD also makes it easier for you to become
infected with HIV.
The best way to know if you have HIV or an STD is to go to a doctor and get tested. If you live in Los Angeles County and are at least 12 years old or older, you can call the
HIV or STD Hotline to find out where you can get tested and treated for free. The hotline can also help you with
telling your partner(s).