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Ask the Expert

Q: How can I tell if my partner has an STD?

Few sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) are asymptomatic, meaning you could not tell if someone is infected just by looking at them. Some STDs have more notable physical symptoms, such as someone with HPV will get warts and someone with herpes will get sores on their genitals. Other STDs are harder to detect such as chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis, and HIV. The only way to know for sure whether or not your partner has an STD is to get tested for STDs. Important to note, routine screenings do not usually test for all possible STDs. The best way to protect your sexual health is to wear a condom during sex.

For more information, check out Bedsider. If you need help finding a doctor, use the Searchable Directory at to find a provider near you.

Dr. Diane Straub, Chief, Division of Adolescent Medicine & Professor of Pediatrics, USF Health and Medical Director, Ybor Youth Clinic

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