STI/STD Information

What’s the difference between an STI and an STD?

The word “disease” makes you think of an illness with symptoms. But many STIs have no signs or symptoms! However, some STIs can progress into diseases: HPV can lead to cancer, HIV can lead to AIDS, Chlamydia can lead to Pelvic Inflammatory Disease, a Primary Stage Syphillis infection can lead to the deadly disease Neurosyphillis. Most sex educators and medical professionals are now referring to “STDs” as “STIs.”

Who gets STIs/STDs?

Anyone who has sex or engages in sexual activity is at risk for STIs/STDs.

Can I get an STI/STD if my partner and I have only ever had sex with each other?

If you and are your parter have never had any sexual contact before and continue to not have any sexual contact with any other people, the chance of getting an STI is almost 0. The exception is if either person were exposed to an STI through a non-sexual means, such as a family member kissing you when they had oral Herpes or being born to a mother who had an active infection which can be transmitted at birth, such as Herpes or HIV.

I have a specific question about STIs/STDs

Give us a call at 415-989-7374 or an email at and our sex educators can help you. All calls and emails are free and confidential.

Information on specific STIs

Organizations with information on STIs

American Sexual Health Association
The American Sexual Health Association promotes the sexual health of individuals, families and communities by advocating sound policies and practices and educating the public, professionals and policy makers, in order to foster healthy sexual behaviors and relationships and prevent adverse health outcomes.

American Society for Colposcopy and Cervical Pathology
Includes excellent info on HPV and colposcopies as well as yeast infections, trich, and pain during sex

American Social Health Association (ASHA)
Detailed information about STDs and a hotline. They can’t diagnose you over the phone, but they can give you information about STDs.
(800) 227-8922 (STD hotline: 9a.m.-6 p.m. EST, Mon-Fri)

CDC Info Line
General info line for the Center for Disease Control
Hours: 24 hours
(800) 232-4636 (English & Spanish)

California STD-HIV Prevention Center
(510) 625-6000

Hepatitis C Alert
(877) Help-4-Hep

Hepatitis C Helpline
Peer support line
(480) 522-HEPC

Herpes Support Groups
Nationwide and international listings for support groups
Maintained by an HSV+ doctor; also has good HPV information

I Wanna Know
Offers information on sexual health for for teens and young adults from the American Sexual Health Association

Internet notification service for partners or tricks. There’s an easy way to tell your sex partners you have an STD. Send them a free inSPOT e-card, ANONYMOUSLY or from your email address

San Francisco City Clinic
San Francisco City Clinic is not only a clinic that provides diagnosis and treatment of STIs, but they also have a great online STI risk chart.

Scarleteen: Sex Education for Teens
An attractive site with excellent sex education for teens. Includes basic introductory information about boys and girls bodies, and answers many of their questions. Provides on-line forums for teens to ask questions.