Sexual Health

The Fresno County Department of Public Health encourages anyone who’s sexually active to practice safe sex and get tested for sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). By getting tested for STDs and practicing safe sex, you can protect yourself from STDs and improve the overall health of everyone in our community.

What Can You Do?

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1. Talk To Your Partner

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 2. Get Tested                              

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 3. Practice Safe Sex                              


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STDs are infections that can be passed on through vaginal, oral or anal sex. These infections are more common than you may think –and they’re on the rise nationwide. Learn about the STDs that are on the rise in Fresno County and how you can protect yourself.

STD Screening Tool


Chlamydia is the most commonly reported bacterial STD in the U.S., and nearly two-thirds of new infections occur in 15-24 year-olds. Chlamydia is known as a silent infection since most people don’t have symptoms or physical signs of the disease. If and when symptoms do appear, it sometimes isn’t until several weeks after exposure – leaving potential partners at risk along the way, and complications to arise from waiting to get treated.


Syphilis has multiple stages of infection, and each one has different signs and symptoms.The third stage of syphilis, known as the latent stage, doesn’t show signs or symptoms. Syphilis can have serious, long-term complications if left untreated –that’s why it’s important to get tested and treated early.

There are three stages of Syphilis. Syphilis is most infectious in the first two stages. When syphilis is in the hidden, or latent, stage, the disease remains active but often with no symptoms. Tertiary syphilis is the most destructive to health.

Primary Stage

During the first (primary) stage of syphilis, you may notice a single sore or multiple sores. The sore is the location where syphilis entered your body. Sores are usually (but not always) firm, round, and painless. Because the sore is painless, it can easily go unnoticed. The sore usually lasts 3 to 6 weeks and heals regardless of whether or not you receive treatment. Even after the sore goes away, you must still receive treatment. This will stop your infection from moving to the secondary stage.

Secondary Stage

During the secondary stage, you may have skin rashes and/or mucous membrane lesions. The rash can show up when your primary sore is healing or several weeks after the sore has healed. The rash can look like rough, red, or reddish brown spots on the palms of your hands and/or the bottoms of your feet. The rash usually won’t itch and it is sometimes so faint that you won’t notice it. Other symptoms you may have can include fever, swollen lymph glands, sore throat, patchy hair loss, headaches, weight loss, muscle aches, and fatigue (feeling very tired). The symptoms from this stage will go away whether or not you receive treatment. Without the right treatment, your infection will move to the latent and possibly tertiary stages of syphilis.

The Latent Stage and Tertiary Stages are more serious and you should seek medical attention immediately.


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Congenital syphilis happens when a pregnant woman with syphilis passes the infection on to her unborn baby. The longer she goes on without treatment, the more likely the infection will have serious effects on the baby.If you’re pregnant, you should be tested for syphilis the first time you seek health care during pregnancy.

HIV Prevention

HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) is the virus that can lead to AIDS (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome). HIV is commonly spread through unprotected sex, so condoms or dental dams can protect you and your partners from getting the virus.

HIV Testing

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HIV testing is essential for improving the health of people living with HIV and helping to prevent new infections. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that 13 percent of people infected with HIV in the United States are unaware of their infection. The only way to know for sure whether you have HIV is to get tested. The CDC recommends that everyone between the ages of 13 and 64 get tested for HIV at least once as part of routine health care, and that gay and bisexual men and others at high risk be tested more frequently.  Knowing your HIV status gives you powerful information to help you take steps to keep you and your partner healthy.

Click here for more information on HIV testing.


PrEP, or pre-exposure prophylaxis, is an HIV prevention method in which people who don’t have HIV take HIV medicine daily to reduce their risk of getting HIV if they are exposed to the virus.9

Is PrEP Right for You?

PrEP may benefit you if you are HIV-negative and ANY of the following apply to you:

You are a gay/bisexual man and you:

  • Have an HIV-positive partner
  • Have multiple partners, a partner with multiple partners, or a partner whose HIV status is unknown–and you also:
  • Have anal sex without a condom, or recently had a sexually transmitted infection (STI)

You are a heterosexual and you:

  • Have an HIV-positive partner
  • Have multiple partners, a partner with multiple partners, or a partner whose HIV status is unknown–and you also:
  • Don’t always use a condom for sex with people who inject drugs, or
  • Don’t always use a condom for sex with bisexual men

You inject drugs and you:

  • Share needles or equipment to inject drugs
  • Are at risk for getting HIV from sex

PrEP Assistance Program (PrEP-AP)

The PrEP-AP provides assistance with PrEP-related medical out-of-pocket costs and access to medications on the PrEP-AP formulary for the prevention of HIV and treatment of sexually transmitted infections. The PrEP-AP provides assistance to both uninsured and insured individuals at risk for, but not infected with HIV.

For more information about PrEP or PrEP-AP, contact the PrEP Navigator at 559-600-6404.


PEP, or post-exposure prophylaxis, is a short course of HIV medicines taken very soon after a possible exposure to HIV to prevent the virus from taking hold in your body.

You must start it within 72 hours after you were exposed to HIV, or it won’t work. Every hour counts.

PEP should be used only in emergency situations. It is not meant for regular use by people who may be exposed to HIV frequently.

If you are prescribed PEP, you will need to take the HIV medicines every day for 28 days.

You will also need to return to your health care provider at certain times while taking PEP and after you finish taking it for HIV testing and other tests.


If you’ve tested positive for HIV, you’re not alone. We offer a variety of services for those living with HIV or AIDS, and provide resources for their partners on how to lower their risks of contracting the virus. Learn more by visiting our page:

County of Fresno HIV-AIDS Client Services

Contact Us

Address: 1221 Fulton Street
Fresno, CA 93721

Tel: (559) 600-6404
Fax: (559) 600-7601

Hours: 8am - 5pm Monday through Friday except holidays.
(closed 12pm - 1pm)

Family Planning

The purpose of family planning is to provide women and men a means by which they decide for themselves the number, timing, and spacing of their children. (Find a family planning clinic.)

Quick Facts

  • 15-24 year-olds account for half of all new STD infections.
  • Many STDs don’t have any signs or symptoms, so the only way to know if you have an STD is to get tested.
  • You can get an STD from having sex with someone who has no symptoms.
  • STD tests are quick, easy and sometimes FREE!
  • In 2015, 22% of all new HIV diagnoses were among youth aged 13-24.
  • If you’re sexually active, condoms are still the best way to protect yourself from STDs –even if you’re on PrEP. Only condoms can help prevent you from getting other STDs.
  • In California, if you’re at least 12 years old, you don’t need permission to get tested and treated for STDs. Testing and treatment is confidential, too, so your doctor can’t tell your parents or guardians.
  • Dental dams are used during oral sex to protect from STDs. Here’s a way to make a dental dam from a condom made of latex or polyurethane: