If you or your sex partner has unprotected sex with anyone else, you are at risk for a sexually transmitted disease, or STD. Ask your doctor to test you for STDs during your annual physical even if you have no symptoms. If you test positive, your sexual partners will need treatment. It may be embarrassing, but you must tell them they have been exposed. It can be a matter of life and death.
STDs may be detected during a physical exam; through Pap smears; and in tests of blood, urine, and genital and anal secretions.
Syphilis is a highly contagious disease spread primarily by sexual activity, including oral and anal sex. Occasionally, the disease can be passed to another person through prolonged kissing or close bodily contact. Although this disease is spread from sores, the vast majority of those sores go unrecognized. The infected person is often unaware of the disease and unknowingly passes it on to his or her sexual partner.
Pregnant women with the disease can spread it to their baby. This disease, called...