What to Know About Sexually Transmitted Diseases

December 15, 2022

Dr. Jerry Williams of Urgent Care 24/7 discusses sexually transmitted diseases or STDs.

Dr. Williams is not going to go into the details about specific STDs because there's a lot of them, unfortunately, be he does want to talk to you about kind of a general important concept about sexually transmitted diseases that he sees a lot of patients misunderstand. We treat a lot of sexually transmitted diseases that Urgent Care 247 nationally. What frequently happens is a common presentation is someone will present to our clinic having been informed by their partner that they have a sexually transmitted disease, for example, we'll just pick one chlamydia, well, the person will present and they say, "Hey, you know, I've been contacted by my partner, and they told me I need to go get checked that they have, they have been diagnosed with chlamydia, and we had unprotected sex".

The problem with that is that they'll come in, and they're focused on that one sexually transmitted disease. We then have to go and explain to the patients, "Look, it's really important that you get an STD panel to look for all sexually transmitted diseases, because these birds of a feather flock together." It's very common that people will have more than one sexually transmitted disease at a time. That's a tough argument to make, because these people are coming in, they're very upset that they're, and they're embarrassed that they've had to come in and seek care.

When we tell them, you don't need to just check for this one, we need to check for all of them. That's the last thing they want to hear at that moment, but unfortunately, it's the most important thing they need to hear. Comprehensive sexually transmitted disease testing is critically important. When you know that you probably have been exposed or you certainly have been exposed, or possibly have one STD. You can have others and it's really important that we make that diagnosis of the others early because let's say for example, it's hepatitis, which can be transmitted sexually, or HIV, treating these or syphilis, treating these sexually transmitted diseases definitively and early are really, really important, such as in the case of syphilis, but also in the case of hepatitis, which can, if left untreated, can cause liver failure.

In the case of HIV, untreated HIV, of course can cause AIDS. It is really important that if you think you've been exposed to one STD, it's critically important that you get a comprehensive, sexually transmitted disease panel to look for all other sexually transmitted diseases, and make sure that you get a thorough clean bill of health.

Dr. Williams hopes that you will give this careful consideration because we see a lot of patients that are resistant to this important piece of information and he hopes his explanation has helped you understand that.

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