Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) are caused by a variety of bacteria, viruses and other organisms. Bacterial STDs, such as Chlamydia, Gonorrhea and Syphilis, can be cured with antibiotics. STDs caused by viruses, such as Genital Herpes, HPV Infection, Hepatitis B and HIV infection cannot be cured, but most can be treated to relieve symptoms and help prevent complications. If untreated, STDs can have consequences ranging from mild brief illness to serious complications such as infertility, tubal pregnancy, cancer, stroke, and death. Many STDs can cause serious health problems, including death, in infants born to infected mothers.
STDs are passed from one person to another through vaginal, anal or oral sex, but generally not by kissing. Most STDs cause no symptoms at first and persons do not know they are infected until they are tested or complications occur. A person has a much greater chance of catching HIV if he or she already has another STD. Similarly, HIV is more easily transmitted to others if the infected person also has another STD.
The STD Control Program strives to reduce the frequency of STDs and their complications, and ultimately to eliminate STD and HIV transmission in residents of Malheur County.
The STD Control Program undertakes an array of interventions and activities to prevent STDs and their complications. Most activities are mandated by Oregon state law.