Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), also called sexually transmitted infections (STIs), are diseases that can be passed from person to person through sexual or intimate contact. They can include infections like chlamydia, gonorrhea, herpes, and syphilis. These infections can be treatable or curable, but because many times symptoms are absent or hard to notice, it can be difficult to know if you or your partner has an infection. If an infection is left untreated, it can lead to long-term health problems including reproductive issues and infertility.

All STI cases are reported to the Rock County Public Health Department. Public Health Nurses follow-up with phone calls and provide education on how to prevent future infections. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), STDs can be prevented and controlled using the following five major strategies:

  • accurate risk assessment and education and counseling of persons at risk on ways to avoid STDs through changes in sexual behaviors and use of recommended prevention service
  • pre-exposure vaccination of persons at risk for vaccine-preventable STDs;
  • identification of asymptomatically infected persons and persons with symptoms associated with STDs;
  • effective diagnosis, treatment, counseling, and follow up of infected persons; and
  • evaluation, treatment, and counseling of sex partners of persons who are infected with an STD.


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