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Which STDs are you most likely to get?

Aug 23, 1999

QUESTION #1: I find your response regarding more than one STD rather interesting. Along that same line---in a similar situation--Say the female had the full package of STD's. Are certain STD's more infectious than others? For example, is Chlaymidia (spelling?) more infectious than other STD's like HIV or genital warts? In other words...would somebody have a greater chance of getting a certain STD over another? Is there a statistical hierarchy of STD's that you can be infected with? Thanks for your input and help.

QUESTION #2: STD's....A bit confused...please set me straight. If you have STD's, you are more susceptible to GETTING other STD's and HIV. If you do not have STD's you are less susceptible than if you had them? A bit confused here.

Response from Mr. Sowadsky

Thank you for your questions.

If a person has one STD, they may be exposed to other STDs at the same time. Some STDs are easier to get than others, but there is no absolute or simple hierarchy (ordered list) as to which STDs you will get and which ones you won't. There are simply too many variables to accurately predict which STD (if any) a person will get. Each STD is a little bit different from one another in terms of how infectious they are, when they are infectious, exact means of transmission, etc. For example, herpes and syphilis are most infectious when lesions are present, whereas hepatitis B and HIV can be transmitted even when no symptoms are present. But when herpes symptoms are present, herpes is easier to get than HIV, since herpes can be transmitted merely by direct contact with the lesion, even without intercourse. Also sometimes, having one STD will increase the likelihood of getting another STD (depending on which STDs you are talking about). For example, having certain STDs like gonorrhea, syphilis, and herpes will increase the likelihood of getting infected with HIV.

Sound confusing? It is! This is why we cannot accurately or easily predict which STD a person will get. As a general rule, in persons diagnosed with an STD, we generally test for other STDs, rather than trying to predict which STD they will have and which ones they won't.

If you have any further questions, please feel free to call the Centers for Disease Control at 1.800.232.4636 (Nationwide).

Chlamydia testing (including urine tests)
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