Sexually Transmitted Diseases
About 1 in every 4 Americans has a sexually transmitted infection, also known as sexually transmitted diseases (STD). STDs are most commonly spread through anal, oral, or vaginal sex. Some STDs like hepatitis B and HIV are also transmitted through blood-to-blood contact by sharing needles or equipment to inject drugs. Pregnant women with STDs may pass their infections to their babies during pregnancy, delivery or through breastfeeding.
For people who are sexually active, consistent and correct use of latex condoms by male partners can reduce (though not eliminate) the risk of STDs and HIV infection.
Some STDs are curable with antibiotics, others are treatable, and all are preventable. See disease fact sheets for more information about specific STDs, including signs, symptoms and treatment information.
Getting Tested for STDs
If you are sexually active, have a new sexual partner or if you have more than one sex partner, it is important to get tested for STDs. You may get or give an infection to your sex partner(s) without ever having symptoms of an STD. If you are having symptoms of an STD, it is especially important to get tested.
The only way to know if you have an STD is to get tested. If you have a doctor, ask about STD testing and treatment options. If not, contact the Snohomish County Health Department for low-cost STD testing options.
If You Think You Have an STD
- Call your doctor to schedule an appointment to be tested or contact the Snohomish County Health Department
- Stop having sex until you and your partner(s) get tested
- Tell your partner(s)
Treatment for Your Sex Partner
Expedited Partner Therapy (EPT) is another way in which Snohomish County Health Department or your doctor can treat the sex partners of people infected with chlamydia or gonorrhea without requiring partners to be tested or even seen by health care providers. EPT is available at no cost. Please call 425-339-5261 if you or a partner have tested positive for Chlamydia and/or gonorrhea and would like EPT.
STD Reporting in Snohomish County
The Snohomish County Health Department’s goal is to prevent future illness for you and the spread of STDs to others. Doctors, hospitals and labs are required by law to report certain STDs. When we learn of someone diagnosed with Chlamydia, gonorrhea and/or syphilis, our Disease Intervention Specialists may contact you (while being careful to respect your privacy) to ensure you and your sex partner(s) receive appropriate testing and treatment.
In Washington State, health care providers, health care facilities and laboratories are legally required to notify their local public health agency about a positive STD/HIV test. You can find the STD/HIV Reporting Form here. If you have questions about reporting an STD/HIV to the Snohomish County Health Department, please call 425-339-5261.