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Color Me Sexy: Keep Your Eye on STI's

It doesn’t matter if you’re straight, lesbian, gay, transgender, or questioning (LGBTQ); if you have one or multiple sexual partners; or if you have vaginal, oral or anal sex. If you or your partner(s) have sex without a condom, you can get a sexually transmitted infection (STI). While not all STIs have a cure, they all can be treated. STIs are very common. So with that in mind, protect yourself and your partner(s). Know the facts. Know your options. And help prevent the spread of STIs.


In many cases, STIs such as chlamydia, gonorrhea and HIV, don't show or have any symptoms at all-at least at the beginning. And while you may feel perfectly fine, you could still pass an STI on to someone else if you have vaginal, oral or anal sex without a condom.

Some STIs show signs like unusual discharges, burning while you urinate or genital warts. But other STIs don't have obvious symptoms. You can have an STI without knowing it.

What to look for

Visit your health care provider or sexual health clinic if you notice:

  • An unusual or smelly discharge from the vagina or penis

  • A rash, sores or itching on or around the genitals

  • Burning or discomfort when peeing

  • Pain in the lower abdomen during or after sex

If you've had sex without a condom, including oral sex, see your health care provider or go to a sexual health clinic to get tested. Once you know what you have, you can get the right treatment. It's also worth knowing so you don't pass along a sexually transmitted infection (STI) to someone else.

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