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Which doctor to go to?

Dec 16, 1996

Rick, what type of doctor should we go to if we suspect an STD? Should it be a general practitioner, a doctor of infectious diseases or some place like planned parenthood? Thanks.

Response from Mr. Sowadsky

Hi. Thank you for your question.

There are multiple places you can go to be checked for Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STD's). Often a general practitioner will be able to diagnose an STD. Also, public health departments and clinics like Planned Parenthood can also diagnose most STD's. For most STD's, one does not have to go to an infectious disease specialist. Most physicians can easily treat most of these infections. However, if a person is diagnosed with diseases such as AIDS, Hepatitis B, or the lesser known STD's such as HTLV-I, then an infectious disease specialist would probably be a good idea. But for the most common STD's such as Chlamydia, Gonorrhea, Syphilis, Herpes, Genital Warts etc., most clinics and general practitioners can easily handle these cases. One other important thing to remember is that if you suspect that you might have an STD, don't have sex again until you find out whether you have an STD or not. This way, if you do have an STD, you won't expose anyone else to the infection.

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

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