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Sexually Transmitted Diseases
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The most important fact of STDs is they are not contracted by people who have only one partner.

At the Clinic

Some clinics which specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of sexual diseases are free. Others charge for their services. Some are walk-in; others require an appointment to be made first. Many women opt to visit a health clinic rather than a family physician. They prefer the anonymity of their surroundings. When the infection is cured, there is no record in the family files.

Some STDs are "notifiable." By law, they must be reported to the local health authorities. This varies from area to area, and from time to time. Other STDs are anonymous; a number instead of a name is used. Still other diseases are confidential; name, address, and telephone number are kept in secret files. Again, this varies with the area and the time.

Some STDs have more than one name. Others have their names changed as more is discovered about them. They then get placed in their own special category; they no longer belong to the group they were originally designated. In much the same way, therapies and medications vary from clinic to clinic and from time to time. Though this can seem confusing, it shows an increase in medical knowledge of the disease. Also, environmental conditions and the endemic nature of the infection in one particular area are taken into account.

In towns and cities, there are hot lines to call for advice, help and information. There are telephone tapes which are useful too. In isolated areas, look for notices in public locales, such as town halls, libraries and rest rooms. Consult the phone book. Entries might be under V for venereal disease or $ for STD. Above all, avoid delay in seeking help.

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