What You Need to Know About Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs)


What You Need to Know About Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs)

As long as you are having sex, you are at risk of Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs).


This is going to be a surprise to you, but condoms do not protect you from all sexually transmitted diseases.

In fact, research has shown that a condom only reduces the risk of transmission of HIV by 85 to 94% only. Therefore, regular testing is essential especially if you are not in a monogamous relationship.

Here we will provide a list of some of the most common STDs and how they typically present.

Keep in mind, a lot of the STDs may not produce any symptoms all the time.


Types of STDs

  1. Genital warts/Human papilloma virus (HPV)
  2. Gonorrhoea
  3. Chlamydia/Lymphogranuloma venereum
  4. Mycoplasma genitaliae
  5. Ureaplasma urealyticum
  6. Trichomonas vaginalis
  7. Bacterial vaginosis/Gardnerella
  8. Hepatitis A/B/C
  9. Syphillis
  10. Candidia
  11. Herpes simplex type I/II
  12. Molluscum contagiosm
  13. Crab lice
  14. Scabies
  15. Chancroid
  16. Granuloma inguinale
  17. Tinea cruris
  18. Gardnerella vaginalis


STD Syndromes

  1. Penile discharges
  2. Vaginal discharges
  3. Pain during urination
  4. Lymph nodes
  5. Lumps and bumps
  6. Pain when having sex/Vaginitis
  7. Itch in the genital area
  8. Genital sores (painful/painless)


This is the most common STD in developed countries. Unfortunately, 40% to 60% of men and up to 80% of women may not have any symptom while they have the infection. Sometimes, the symptoms can be very subtle that it is easily brushed off by patients and even some doctors if a detail sexual history is not taken.

Some of the ways chlamydia presents is pain when passing urine, discharge from the penis and vagina. Besides this, it can also present as sore throat and anal discharge if you are the receptive (Giving) partner in oral sex and receptive partner in anal sex respectively.

The common symptoms are pain passing urine, discharge from the penis or vagina.


Similar to chlamydia they can present with pain when passing urine, discharge from the penis or vagina and anal discharge. The symptoms typically occur within a couple of days after and exposure but there are reported cases of symptoms appearing a few months after an exposure. However, it has been reported that approximately 10% of the people may not have any symptoms at all.


These are typically caused by bugs such as Mycoplasma sp, Ureaplasma sp and many more.

Unfortunately most of these infections may not show any symptoms. When they do show symptoms they are typically mild discomfort passing urine or a mild discharge.


The perception most people have of patients infected with HIV are patients who are already in the AIDS phase of the infection.

In the initial phase of HIV infection, most people do not show any symptoms. Even when they do present, which is more commonly about 3 to 4 weeks after an exposure, they present as fever, sore throat, rash and swollen lymph nodes. As you can see these symptoms are very common in infections such as the common cold.


This is one of the most common infections in the world. Most of the people are not aware that they have been infected by this virus which transmits through skin to skin contact. This is because a lot of people may not show symptoms or the symptoms are so mild that they go unnoticed.

However, for patients who do experience symptoms, their first episode is usually the worse and may last up to 3 weeks without treatment. The flairs tend to be less frequent and severe over time. They may present commonly as painful blisters that burst to form painful ulcers. These symptoms are usually preceded by itching, tingling or mild pain in the infected area just before a flair.


Hepatitis AB and C
A lot of patients usually develop symptoms so mild that they go unnoticed. These include nausea, fever, itching, loss of appetite, yellowing of the eyes and skin.
However, some people may never develop any symptoms and are usually diagnosed after further investigation on a patient who presents with an abnormal liver function test.


The symptoms of syphilis varies depending on the phase of infection the patient is in and may present between 9 to 90 days after an exposure. This include a painless ulcer at the infected site, which will disappear without any treatment. This is why it may go unnoticed. If not treated, it will appear years later with a rash all over the body. If it goes untreated after this phase, it may spread to other parts of the body such as brain and major blood vessels causing detrimental effects.


Molluscum Contagiosum
This is caused by a virus called Pox virus and usually appears as separate pearly round painless bumps/lesions on the skin.


A lot of the time, HPV may not show symptoms. It can infect the skin, mucosal surfaces and cervix. Most commonly it appears as a skin colored cauliflower like lumps on the skin. However, this virus is known to cause cancers of the cervix, anus, penis and many more. The good thing is that vaccination is now available for this virus.


Scabies and Lice

These are caused by translucent tiny insects and that can be seen under good lighting and magnification.

They usually present with a lot of itching in the groin region, which is worse at night.

Note: Please remember that you can catch an STD and show no symptoms. If you feel you are at risk, go for STD screening.



Comment on "What You Need to Know About Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs)"

  1. John

    Hello Doctor,
    I had a non protective sex a week ago. HIV doesn’t show a symptom in earlier stage right? but if I get tested and treatment will I be able to avoid it ?

    • Dr. Kaarthig

      HIV ARS is not likely to show immediately but you can start having non specific symptoms starting from a week till about a month from period of potential exposure.
      Testing at this stage is not going to help you avoid contracting the disease. It is unreliable for one, and you have already passed the period to start taking Post Exposure Prophylaxis (PEP).

  2. Julie

    Hi Doctor,
    Can I get STDs from sitting on a toilet?

  3. Morgan

    Hi Doctor,
    If I have children, will my STDs infect them ? Should I not kiss them or hug them?

    • Dr. Kaarthig

      No sir,

      The infections rarely spread through hugging or kissing your children. I assume though that you do not french kiss your children.

  4. Jenny

    Hi Doc,
    Can I get STDs with oral sex ?

  5. Herman

    Hi Doctor,
    Is there a cure for Herpes?

  6. Vern

    Is it true that STD can be transfer from intimate skin to skin ? Just curious.

  7. Jess

    Hi Doctor,
    Is there anything I need to know before going to the test ?

    • Dr. Kaarthig

      A well educated patient is better to deal with as this means you’ll be better prepared. So likely, we’d like you to know everything about it before the actual test.

  8. Lee

    Hi Doctor,
    Is there a way I can avoid contracting STDs ?

  9. Megan

    Hello Doctor,
    Can STD being transmitted through saliva, like during kissing ?

  10. supernakal

    Is negative result from alere 4th gen combo test at 14, 28, 91day post exposure conclusive? Did i need to test again in 6 month?

  11. Nick

    hi Dr,
    I have did two 4th generation Elisa ag b test at 29 days and 54 days and laboratory HIV antibodies test at 80 days all come back negative. Do u think it is conclusive and how much is the anonymous test at your clinic?

  12. Albert

    If I had protected/safe sex with a sex worker which she shared that she is tested and HIV negative, what are the chances that I might contract HIV?

    • Dr. Kaarthig

      If you are confident that she is not harbouring the virus in any way, the chances of you picking up the virus by chance from specifically this point of contact is nil

  13. San

    Hi sir, i have oral sex with club girl 2 month back.. when i had sex after 2 weeks got light cold and i took amozil 500 got diarrhear 3 times and skin allergy in my groin area.. i went doctor he specialist for aids. But after seen my patches he said told me it is eczema .and me gave red tablet and fluconzole tablet and ointment.is any chance whether will it he hiv. My patches completly gone.also gave my blood for std test

    • Dr. Kaarthig

      If a specialist has diagnosed you with eczema, I’m inclined to go with that. You’re saying a blood test for STIs were done as well, what are the results? Was it tested accurately outside the window period? These are things that will determine if you have an infection or not. With the advancements modern medicine is doing, asking questions of chances and possibilities should diminish.

      • San

        Hi Sir,
        After 45 days of my oral sex activity got yesterday. Report saying negating do i need to do repeat the test.
        Also why eczema coming very often, is there any way to cure or control.

        Thanks & Regards,

        • San

          Hi Dr,
          Any reply…pls..

        • Dr. Kaarthig

          Sorry, I really do not understand your question

          • San

            Hi Sir, Sorry typo Error .. From the day when i had oral sex after 45th days i took the blood test and got 2 days back that report saying negative.I also shared u about my eczema infection for about 1 to 2 weeks, cold and diarrhea for 2 days.Do i need to do repeat my blood test again (my window period is 40 to 45 days which
            i took currently)

            Thanks & Regards,

          • Dr. Kaarthig

            You have a lot of unanswered questions that need further probing. Please come in for a consultation to sort these issues out.

  14. D’cool

    Hi Doctor….
    If my sex partner is infected with HIV, will myself 100% infected with HIV as well after one time unprotected sex ?

  15. Soo

    Hi Dr. Is PrEP available in Malaysia? If yes,
    1. How much does it cost?
    2. Where and how we can get it?


  16. Hong

    Hi Doctor. I got 2 ag/ab hiv test at pathlab on 52days and 87days respectively and both returned Negative. Are these result conclusive? Do I need to test again on 90days and 180days mark as recommended by most of the website?

  17. Mikhael

    Hi Dr.,
    I’m interested to hv prep treatment. What would be the process?

  18. charles

    hi Dr Kaarthig, i had an exposure on 13 march. i had tested for 3 time from difference day from the exposure. would like to get your advice what i should do in the next step.
    1. i had done a 4th generation test together with the girl that i had sex (protected vaginal sex). on the same day of the exposure (both nonreactive)
    2. Rna test at 10days after exposure undetected,
    3. 4th generation (ag/ab) at 27days post exposure together with the girl (both nonreactive)
    4. 28days from the exposure, combo (ag/ab) myself only (nonreactive).
    dr Kaarthig:
    is my result conclusive and can i move on as the nightmare always in my mind. i am really cant claim down. thank you dr Kaarthig

    • Dr. Kaarthig

      There are a lot of issues to be addressed with here. Please come in for a consult and I’d be happy to go over it all with you

  19. Brick

    How long is the window period for stds.

  20. John

    Hello doctor.
    What is the total cost for std test including hiv

    • Dr. Kaarthig


      We dont usually discuss prices on the forum. Please call the clinic or email us directly and we’ll get back to you ASAP.
      Thank you

  21. Foo Chee Kiang

    Hi doc,
    I had an unprotected sex on early of February this year (aproximately 3 months ago). The 1st month, i had a slight flu which lasted for few weeks. On April, i had few rashes resemble small red dots which itch at begining and they appeared one by one on my body, arms amd a few on neck. No other symptoms so far. Is there a chance for HIV?

  22. jun

    Dr i was expose to protected sex around 1 month abd 3 weeks ago. Was done hiv pcr rna test at 10days expose (non detectable), combo test at 28days and 33days also negative. The lady who had protected sex with me also negative at 27days. However i also conduct a hcv pcr rna quantitative test after 1months and 6 days (34days). Also undetectable.
    1. Dr is my test all conclusive?
    2. Dr i have been worrued for almost 1months i cnt slp and my mouth hving some oral plm. Is tht related to other std instead of hiv and hcv?
    3. Dr can i move on from the this expose?

    • Dr. Kaarthig

      1. Yes
      2. You’ll need further investigations for this. Its really asking a lot of me to give you a diagnosis over the Internet
      3. Sure, I dont see why not. Besides, testing is a simple enough procedure. If you arent convinced, feel free to go ahead and re-test

  23. jun

    Thls dr kaarthig. Means all my test include my hiv and hcv quantitative test conclusive sorry just wanna ask as really my dry mouth caising me alit of anxiety

  24. Nick

    Hello Dr, I have perform a oral sex on a man around 2 minutes which I don’t know his HIV status, should I get tested? I do not have any open sore on my mouth and there is no ejaculation in my mouth.

    • Dr. Kaarthig

      Sure, testing is a simple enough procedure that doesnt take much time at all. I see no reason why you shouldnt get tested

      • Nick

        thanks for your reply Dr, I don’t know the guy HIV status but he did not ejaculate in my mouth. This situation happens 2 days before, should I get pep? I am worried right now

  25. Ni

    Hi Dr, can I know the window period of HIV, is an ag/ab test conclusive at 28 days? I perform an oral sex on a guy which I do not know his status around 2 minutes, I would consider to take a combo test.

  26. Mr Anxiety

    Hey Dr Tan & Partner.

    I hope you can asses my risk of HIV infection.

    My Co-worker has HIV and he touch my phone to see some stuff on my phone..I had a cut(open skin from scratching) on my middle finger. Once he give me back my phone, my exposed skin accidentally touch the surface where he touched. I am i at risk of contracting the virus?What if my co-worker has blood stain on it,am i still at risk?

    Paranoia Overload!!

    Sincerely Thanks.

  27. Zack

    hi dr Kaarthing,
    my exposure was protected sex with a girl that unknown status. i was conduct a hiv combo test at 28days, 33days and 64days after the exposure. and i was conduct the hep c pcr rna test at 5 weeks after exposure (qualitative and quantitative) all undetectable.
    1. dr am i clear from the exposure?
    2. do i need to testing again?
    3. dr can i know the window period for the pcr rna hep c ?

    • Dr. Kaarthig

      1. From HIV, I would say yes.
      2. For HIV and hepatitis? Usually four weeks post exposure is good enough for the tests that you have done so I would say no need to re-test

  28. zack

    dr Kaarthig,
    1. is the hcv pcr rna test window period 2 to 3 weeks? if i conduct the test after window period (4 weeks to 5 weeks) can it be conclusive?

  29. zack

    Dr kaarthig how about hep c pcr rna?

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