What are HIV and STDs?
HIV stands for Human Immunodeficiency Virus, the virus that causes AIDS (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome). STDs are Sexually Transmitted Diseases, which include HIV and other infections like chlamydia, gonorrhea, herpes, syphilis, and HPV.
How are HIV and other STDs passed?
The most common method of infection for HIV and other STDs is through sexual contact (vaginal, anal, or oral sex). Many infections can also be passed through sharing needles, contact with infected blood, or from mother to baby during pregnancy or at birth. HIV and other STDs are not passed casually by such activities as hugging or shaking hands. Each infection is different. See the list of STDs on the right for more information on each type of STD.
What are the symptoms of HIV?
Many people with HIV do not have symptoms for several years after becoming infected. Some people may develop mild, temporary flu-like symptoms or swollen glands right after becoming infected. When someone has been infected with HIV for some time, they can exhibit symptoms of AIDS which are usually more serious. However, the only way to know for sure if you are infected is to get tested.
What are the symptoms of other STDs?
Many people do not have any symptoms. Those that do can have pain when urinating, a discharge, or blisters in the genital region. Each STD causes different symptoms, see the fact sheets on the right for more information. The only way to know for sure if you are infected is to see a medical professional.
Where can I get tested?
Free and low cost testing for HIV and other STDs is available in many locations across Texas. Learn more about
where to get tested.
Can I talk to a live person about my concerns or questions about HIV and other STDs?
For questions about HIV and other STDs, dial 1-800-CDC-INFO (1-800-232-4636).
How do I order HIV/STD educational materials from the Department of State Health Services?
Educational materials are available electronically and/or as hard copies from DSHS. You can also view and download most brochures and fact sheets from the
educational materials page.
Are there other HIV/STD materials available?
Yes. Materials are produced by the federal government, other states, local communities, community based organizations, clinics, doctor's offices, hospitals, schools, and service organizations every year. DSHS has a Program Materials Review Panel (PMRP) that reviews many new publications, videos, and other educational materials every year for use in DSHS HIV/STD prevention activities. Visit the
PMRP page to view the list of materials reviewed since 1999.
What other resources are available from the HIV/STD Program?
Media Campaigns - DSHS created
media campaigns (radio spots billboards, bus ads, palm cards, brochures).
National Latino AIDS Awareness Day (NLAAD) - NLAAD is October 15. View
I still have questions.
You can contact the HIV/STD Program via
e-mail or call us at (512) 533-3000.
Bacterial Vaginosis (BV) - a condition in women where the normal balance of bacteria in the vagina is disrupted and replaced by an overgrowth of certain bacteria.
Chlamydia - a common bacterial STD which can damage a woman's reproductive organs.
Gonorrhea - a common bacterial STD that can cause serious and permanent health problems in both women and men.
Hepatitis A - a vaccine-preventable viral infection that causes non-chronic liver disease.
Hepatitis B - a vaccine-preventable viral infection that causes liver disease that can cause short and mild sickness or serious and lifelong illness.
Hepatitis C - a viral infection that causes liver disease that often results in lifelong illness.
Hepatitis D - a viral infection that causes liver disease but is uncommon in the U.S.
Hepatitis E - a viral infection that causes liver disease but is uncommon in the U.S.
Herpes - a common viral STD that causes painful genital sores.
HIV/AIDS - a viral infection that damages the immune system weakening the body's defenses against other, often serious infections.
Human Papillomavirus (HPV) - a common viral STD that can cause genital warts or cervical cancer in women.
NGU (Nongonococcal Urethritis) - a condition that can be caused by chlamydia and can damage the reproductive organs of both women and men.
Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID) - a common and serious complication of some STDs that can damage a woman's reproductive organs.
Pubic Lice - tiny parasitic insects that cause itching.
Scabies - microscopic parasitic insects that cause itching and a rash.
Syphilis - a bacterial STD that can cause serious and permanent health problems if left untreated including death.
Trichomoniasis - a common STD caused by a parasite that can cause genital irritation.
Vaginitis - vaginal infection.
Yeast (Thrush) - a common fungal infection that can cause genital irritation and discharge.