Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs)

What is an STD?

STDs are diseases that are given from one person to another through sexual contact. Some common STDs are chlamydia, syphilis, gonorrhea, human papillomavirus (HPV), genital herpes, and HIV.

How are STDs spread?

You can get an STD by having vaginal, anal, or oral sex with someone who has an STD. STDs can be spread even if you don’t have sex but still have physical contact with another person who is infected. Some STDs, like herpes and genital warts, are spread just by your skin touching someone else’s skin that has an infected area or sore.

Why are STDs spread so easily?

One reason STDs spread easily is because many STDs do not show symptoms for a long time (or sometimes at all) which means you may not even know you have one. Because you can’t always tell that someone has an STD, you may get an STD if you do not use protection while engaging in sexual activities. It is possible for someone to have an STD and show no symptoms and pass it on to someone else who will show symptoms. The best way to know if someone has an STD is to ask them to get tested.

What can I do to protect myself from getting an STD?

The only way to be sure you do not get an STD is to not have sexual contact or let your skin touch someone else’s skin in a private area that may have an STD. This means not having any vaginal, anal, or oral sex, or any other contact with someone else’s reproductive parts. Remember, you ALWAYS have the right to say “no” if you don’t want to have sex.

If you decide to have sex, you and the person you are having sex with should get tested for STDs first. Condoms and dental dams can be used to help protect you from getting STDs when having vaginal, anal, and oral sex, but they are not a guarantee from protecting you from STDs.

What do I do if I think I have an STD?

Females who think they have an STD should see their gynecologist. Both males and females can also talk to their primary care physician about getting an STD. You should go to the doctor right away if you believe you have an STD.

Can I get tested or treated for an STD without telling an adult?

Yes, you do not need permission from your medical consenter or any adult to get testing or treatment for an STD.

Your doctor is not allowed to tell your parent, legal guardian, or medical consenter about any consultation, examination, or treatment for STDs. This is strictly confidential and will not even be shared through your insurance bills. Doctors are required to report any positive STD or HIV results to the Department of Health. If you are under the age of 18 and are under the care of DCF, DCF may ask the Department of Health for the results and they must give them. This could be a time where DCF would get information on STDs and/or HIV status, but it would not come directly from the doctor.

If I have an STD will my doctor tell my medical consenter/parent/guardian/case manager or guardian ad litem?

No, if you are getting treated for a sexually transmitted disease, your treatment is confidential (private) between you and your doctor.

The Law

Fla. Stat. sec. 384.30, Fla. Stat. sec. 384.25, Fla. Admin. Code r. 64D-3.029,, Fla. Stat. sec. 402.115.; see also Op. Att’y Gen. Fla. 98-52, 1998 WL 637997

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