Three fourths of women and half of men with the disease have no symptoms. When present, symptoms may include discharge from the penis or vagina, a burning sensation when urinating (passing of urine), lower abdominal discomfort, pain during intercourse and bleeding between menstrual periods. Men may have burning and itching around the rectum and pain or swelling of the testicles. Infection of the throat, eyes and lungs is possible if there is direct contact with these tissues.
Incubation: <1 week
Treatment: Antibiotics for prevention and treatment (cure) are available.


About half of women with gonorrhea, have no symptoms. Women may have pain on urination (passing of urine), frequent urination, bleeding between periods, and lower abdominal discomfort. Men may also have no symptoms but may have painful urination and a penile discharge. Infection of the throat is possible if there is oral sex. Anal infections with burning, itching or spasms may also occur.
Incubation: 2-7 days
Treatment: Antibiotics for prevention and treatment (cure) are available.


Many people with trichomoniasis have no symptoms. Women may experience itching, burning, vaginal or vulval redness, unusual vaginal discharge, frequent and/or painful urination (passing of urine), discomfort during intercourse, and abdominal discomfort. Symptoms tend to be worse after menstruation. Men usually have no symptoms, but may include penile discharge, painful urination and a tingling sensation in the penis.
Incubation: 4-20 days, 7 days average, Asymptomatic carrier state for years may occur if not treated.
Treatment: Antibiotics for prevention and treatment (cure) are available.

Hepatitis B

Symptoms of Hepatitis B can include poor appetite, nausea, vomiting, headaches, general fatigue, jaundice (yellowing of the eyes, skin), dark tea-colored urine, and light-colored stools. Even without symptoms, the virus can be passed on to others. Chronic carriers have the hepatitis B virus for the rest of their lives and may unknowingly pass it on to other sexual partners.
Incubation: 45-160 days, 90 days average
Treatment: A series of immunizations prior to or immediately after the exposure prevents the disease. Immune globulin can be given in very high-risk cases to prevent the disease. Care and medications are available for treatment, but there is no medication for “cure” once the disease develops.

Hepatitis C

Symptoms of Hepatitis C usually occur gradually and include vague abdominal discomfort, nausea, vomiting, and possible jaundice. Up to 90% of people, have no symptoms in the early stages. Of those infected, about half will eventually develop cirrhosis (liver problems) and cancer of the liver.
Incubation: 2 weeks to 6 months, 6-9 weeks average
Treatment: No medication is available for prevention, but medications are available for treatment if the
disease occurs. No medication for “cure” is available.


Syphilis has three stages. In the first stage, a painless sore may appear at the spot where the disease causing bacteria first entered the body (usually from 10-90 days after exposure). This sore may be on the vagina, penis, inside the mouth or anus. Most sores in the vagina and anus go undetected. They often disappear on their own if not treated, but the bacteria remains. Usually 3 weeks to 3 months later, flu-like symptoms occur and hair loss may occur. Some people have a rash on the palms and on the soles of their feet, or over their entire body. Although extremely rare, tertiary syphilis (the third state of the illness) can occur. Symptoms of this stage may include skin lesions (rash or sores), mental deterioration,
loss of balance, changed vision, loss of sensation, shooting pains in the legs and heart disease. The last Incubation: stage occurs 3 – 10 or more years after exposure; 10-90 days; Typical 21-30 days
Treatment: In general, no medication is given for prevention of this disease. Antibiotics are used to treat (cure) syphilis if it occurs.

Genital Warts (HPV)

Genital warts are caused by a virus. Some of the types of viruses which cause genital warts may lead to the development of cervical cancer. Signs of the disease include wart-like growths, which range from soft, pink, cauliflowerlike growths to hard, smooth, yellow-gray lesions. In women, they may appear inside the vagina where they are hard to detect. They may also appear on the lips of the vagina or around the anus. In men, they usually appear on the penis but may be found on the scrotum. PAP smears (testing of cervical cells) may assist in the detection of HPV or later effects on the cervical tissue-annual exams until advised by your MD are very important since some women may be infected with the virus but have no symptoms.
Incubation: 1-20 months, Average 2-3 months
Treatment: No preventive treatment is available. Medications are available to treat the warts if they occur. There is no “cure” since the virus may remain in the tissue and later cause outbreaks or cancerous
changes to the cervix. Routine PAP smears are important for early detection of cervical cancer.


An infection with HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, can occur with no symptoms of the infection. On average, it takes about 7-9 years for symptoms to develop. The symptoms of AIDS are variable and may occur due to infections of different organs due to a weak immune system. Initial symptoms, which often go unreported, may develop within weeks to months, are mild, flu-like symptoms.
Incubation: Variable - Generally 1-3 months
Treatment: No cure is available once an infection occurs. Medications are available to treat the disease, but no cure is available.

Pubic lice (Crabs) and scabies

Although these infestations are not considered sexually transmitted diseases, they may occur as a result of sexual contact. These conditions are caused by parasites. Some people infested with these parasites will have no symptoms, but most will have intense itching of the genital area. With lice, light-brown insects may be seen on close examination of the hairy areas of the body (about the size of a pinhead). Clear to white oval eggs may be seen attached to the pubic hair. In scabies, the mite burrows under the skin causing red bumps, often in a straight line.
Incubation: Scabies: 2-6 weeks before onset of symptoms. 1-4 days if reexposure. Lice: 6-10 days
Treatment: Topical medications and environmental control measures (e.g. bagging clothing) cure the infestation once it occurs. In the case of scabies, treatment of close contacts such as household members is recommended even if no signs of infestation are present in these close contacts. This is not recommended for lice.