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Ask the Expert

Updated: Aug 8, 2019

Q: How do I know if I have a sexually transmitted disease (STD)?

A: Unfortunately, most STDs are usually asymptomatic (no symptoms), which means that you can’t always tell and they can go unnoticed for a long time. Some of the common symptoms of STDs can include itching, burning sensation when you pee, and/or a smelly or unusual discharge. However, even if you don’t have these symptoms, the only way to know for sure if you have an STD is to get tested. If you’re sexually active, it’s really important to get regularly tested for STDs, regardless of whether or not you have symptoms.

If you are interested in receiving STD testing, you can find a testing site near you by using this Searchable Directory, or by visiting

For more information and tips, check out Planned Parenthood and Bedsider.

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

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