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Why can't you diagnose my STD symptoms over the Internet?

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Updated February 03, 2014

Written or reviewed by a board-certified physician. See About.com's Medical Review Board.

Question: Why can't you diagnose my STD symptoms over the Internet?
Answer: In addition to online diagnosis being unethical, it's also simply not a practical option since most STD symptoms are non-specific. Although some ulcerative diseases, like herpes have relatively characteristic sores that can usually be diagnosed visually, symptoms like itching, discharge, or discomfort could be caused by any of a number of diseases. This, along with the high prevalence of asymptomatic infections that have no signs is one of the many reasons why syndromatic treatment of sexually transmitted diseases has not been a good option for their control. Finally, many web sites, including About.com, ban online diagnosis as part of their editorial policies.
  1. About.com
  2. Health
  3. Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs)
  4. STD Basics
  5. Symptoms FAQ
  6. Diagnosing Sexually Transmitted Diseases Online Over the Internet

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