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Elizabeth Boskey, Ph.D.

It's that time of year again...

By February 20, 2012

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A week after Valentine's Day, and the e-mails are pouring in from people who want to know if they might have had an encounter they'll regret. Questions like "what are the symptoms of STDs?" and "when will I know if I got something from that person?" come in throughout the year, but they always seem a bit more common right after the appropriately named VD. People feel so much pressure to be with someone that night that they often don't take the time to think it through first.

I have a standard answer to that question, which I suspects frustrates the recipients as much as it sometimes frustrates me to get the same e-mail over and over again. That answer is this. There are many possible STD symptoms - sores, discharge, itching, pain - but some STDs have no symptoms at all. Therefore the only way to know if you have an STD is to get screened, and sometimes you have to wait up to several months before those screening tests will be effective.

Still, by the time Independence Day rolls along, you should be just about ready to embrace your freedom...

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