Questions about Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STD)
(syphilis, gonorrhea, Chlamydia)
Q: I’m worried that I might have an STD. Where can I go in my area to be tested for syphilis, gonorrhea, or Chlamydia?
A: Any of the STD clinics in Indiana will test you for STDs and for HIV Disease if you wish, and will provide treatment for syphilis, gonorrhea, or Chlamydia if you are found to be infected.
Q: Is there a charge to be seen at one of the STD clinics?
A: Each one is different, so you should call to find out, but in general the STD clinics will see people regardless of their ability to pay.
Q: What happens if I test positive for an STD?
A: If your test is performed by your private health care provider or a hospital, this information is confidentially reported to the local or state health department. A specially trained person (Disease Intervention Specialist, or DIS) will confirm with your doctor that you were adequately treated for the STD, and in the case of syphilis, the DIS will probably contact you directly to discuss your infection and exposed partners. If your test is performed by an STD clinic, you will be treated right there and in most situations, the DIS will discuss your exposed partners at that time.
Q: That sounds scary! Why do you need to talk to me about my sex partners?
A: If you have an STD, it means: 1) you got it from someone who probably doesn’t know they are infected; and 2) that you may have spread it to others before you came in for testing and treatment. All of your sex partners for certain time periods (depending on the infection involved) need to be told they are at risk and be offered the opportunity for testing/treatment.
Q: How does partner notification work? Is this safe for me?
A: There are approximately 25 DIS in Indiana who are specially trained to work with people who have a STD or HIV Disease and to help make sure all exposed partners are notified. We do this by NEVER telling your name to your sex partners; never sharing any information that would let them guess who you are (such as time of the exposure, whether you’re a male or female, where you live, etc.). The DIS will talk with you more specifically if you have an STD or HIV Disease and will answer all your questions about partner notification.
Q: I am a health care provider. How do I report cases of a STD that I have diagnosed?
A: The STD Program asks that you report to one of ten (10) districts (STD reporting districts). Each district has responsibility for following up with you or the patient as needed, and then uploads this information to the state database.