STDs and Domestic Abuse

Women are more at risk for sexual and physical abuse than men. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say that women who are victims of these types of abuse are more likely to have a sexually transmitted disease (STD). HIV/AIDS is one example of an STD. Other STDs can increase the risk of HIV/AIDS. STDs can cause health issues whether or not a person has HIV/AIDS.

Sexual abuse can happen between partners of the same sex or between partners of the opposite sex. Giving a person an STD on purpose is a form of abuse. The abuse may be ongoing if a partner: 

  • Will not get treated for an STD. 
  • Will not use a condom.
  • Forces or pressures a partner into sex when there is an STD. 
  • Blames the other partner for cheating and causing the STD.

Women risk ongoing health problems from having an STD. These may include:

  • Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID). 
  • Problems getting Pregnant. 
  • Problems while Pregnant.
  • Damage to reproductive organs. 
  • Passing the STD to a baby during pregnancy or birth.

Regular health check-ups can find an STD. To get help for an STD see a family or health clinic doctor right away. It is legal in this state for a person to get medicine for their partner to treat the STD. A patient can ask their doctor to provide this service in a way that does not put the patient at risk for more abuse.

To find the domestic abuse program in Pennsylvania nearest to you, visit Pennsylvania Coalition Against Domestic Violence and click on Find Help or use the Find Help map on the homepage.

To reach the National Domestic Violence Hotline call 1-800-799-SAFE (TTY 1-800-787-3224).

To reach the National Teen Dating Violence Hotline call 1-866-331-9474 (TTY 1-866-331-8453) or text "loveis" to 22522.

For more information on HIV and AIDS counseling and testing, call the Pennsylvania Department of Health AIDS Factline at 1-800-662-6080.