Here’s what authorities have to say

According to a report released by the California Department of Public Health this week, more than 300,000 cases of chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis were reported. That is 45% higher than what the figures were five years ago.

This may come as a surprise to many, as sexually transmitted diseases or STDs are often thought to be prevalent in low-income regions or areas with limited resources. This is clearly not true. Most infections, in the beginning are asymptomatic and can cause serious complications if they remain unchecked. That’s why screening for STDs is so important. It will allow identification, testing and treatment of infected persons as well as their partners.  

Some say that the afflicted areas in California conflict with the stigma and shame associated with STDs. Health and sexual education are still somewhat brushed under the carpet and not taken as a serious issue by the community. Here are some poignant facts you should know about STDs.

What are sexually transmitted infections?

Not all infections are transmitted by sexual intercourse. There are more than 20 types of infections that are, but here are the most predominant ones:

  • Chlamydia

  • Genital herpes

  • Gonorrhea


  • HPV

  • Syphilis

  • Trichomoniasis

The people of California are mostly affected by syphilis, chlamydia and gonorrhea. Health officials stated that they were concerned about the occurrence of stillbirths associated with syphilis. It is transmitted to the newborn baby during birth, a condition known as congenital syphilis. There were 30 stillbirths due to congenital syphilis in California in 2017. This was the highest number reported since 1995.

What are the signs and symptoms of STDs?

The following is a list of STD symptoms in both sexes that should not be ignored.

STD symptoms in men:

  • No signs at all.

  • Itching at the tip of the penis.

  • Rash on and around genitalia

  • A milky white, yellow, thick or thin discharge

  • Pain with urination.

  • Pain with ejaculation.

  • Painful blisters on the genitals (penile spots/penile bumps)

These symptoms should be taken as male STD warning signs. It would be careless to overlook them.

Signs of STD in female:

  • No symptoms.

  • Milky white, yellow, or green discharge from the vagina.

  • Vaginal itching.

  • Blisters in and around the genital area.

  • Vaginal rash or rash in the genital area.

  • Burning urination.

  • Painful urination.

  • Pain during intercourse.

Most STDs present with similar symptoms, more or less. Bleeding between periods, painful periods, and abdominal pain with fever can also be added to the spectrum of chlamydia symptoms.


Health officials in California say that chlamydia and gonorrhea rate the highest among individuals under 30. Chlamydia rates highest among young women, and males account for the majority of syphilis and gonorrhea cases.

When do symptoms of STD start?

It really depends on what type of infection you’ve acquired. Chlamydia, for instance, typically starts to show symptoms after 1 to 3 weeks, as is with syphilis. With gonorrhea, it is much sooner i.e. within 10 days. Again, the time can vary greatly. Sometimes, the infection remains asymptomatic for years.

So, if you’re not sure about whether you have an infection or not, it’s best you visit your healthcare provider or simply contact one online at Discuss your concerns over a live consultation and book your next appointment right there and then! You can even go online and search for an STD symptom checker or look up some STD symptom pictures and tally your symptoms there for a clearer perspective.

Prevention is better than cure!

The CDPH Director and State Public Health Officer issued stated that "STDs are preventable by consistently using condoms, and many STDs can be cured with antibiotics," They pressed on about the importance of regular testing and treatment for people who are sexually active, even for people who have no symptoms. Most people infected with an STD don’t even know it.

Health authorities are collaborating with local health officials and are engaging with the community to raise awareness.


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