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How Do I Recognize a Sore Throat from an STD?

By Marisa O'Connor
Updated Mar 03, 2024
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The only guaranteed way to find out whether or not you have a sore throat from an STD is to get tested by a doctor. It is very rare that an STD presents symptoms of a sore throat, but it does happen. Chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis, and HIV can all be transmitted orally, with symptoms of a sore throat. Any concerns about sexually transmitted diseases should be addressed by a trained health professional.

One of the first signs that you might have a sore throat from an STD is if you recently had unprotected oral sex. It is possible to catch an STD from someone you have a trusting relationship with, but it is even more likely if you don't know the person very well. If your sore throat shows up a couple of days after that one-night-stand, there is a chance it is caused by an STD. There are a few different STDs that can be transmitted orally, and include sore throat in their symptoms.

Chlamydia is one example of an STD that can be transmitted orally, producing symptoms of a sore throat. Other symptoms of oral chlamydia include redness, loss of voice, and in severe cases, pus may be present in the back of the throat. These symptoms may indicate you have a sore throat from chlamydia. Instances of orally transmitted chlamydia, however, are extremely rare, and often don't produce any symptoms.

If your sore throat is accompanied by a fever, rash, and/or lethargy, you may have a sore throat from an STD, called gonorrhea. A gonorrhea infection in the throat tends to not display any symptoms, but in rare cases, symptoms show about two weeks after transmission. If you had unprotected oral sex with someone who could possibly be infected, get tested right away. Untreated gonorrhea can have devastating consequences to one's health.

Sores called chancre, in the mouth or on the throat may indicate that you have a sore throat from an STD, called syphilis. These sores tend to go away on their own after about a month or so, but syphilis remains in the body. Other symptoms that indicate your sore throat may be caused by syphilis include headaches, rash, and loss of appetite. Syphilis is a very serious sexually transmitted disease, that can lead to blindness, insanity, and death if left untreated.

If you are experiencing a dry cough and having a hard time breathing, it may mean you have a sore throat from an STD, called HIV. These symptoms are indicative of an acute HIV infection. Many secondary disorders caused by HIV can also lead to sore throat, such as oral fungus. Get tested right away if there is any chance your sore throat is caused by an STD, and be safe by making sure you and your partners are tested regularly.

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Discussion Comments

By anon967059 — On Aug 24, 2014

This is bull. Just because you have a dry cough doesn't mean you have HIV. That is false. Don't believe everything you read.

By anon948787 — On May 01, 2014

I'm very nauseated, and my throat hurts. When I spit it's mucus and I have a runny nose. My tonsils hurt when I touch them. Is it an STD?

By anon339686 — On Jun 25, 2013

I gave oral sex and about a week later my throat became sore. It goes away and comes back every other day or few days. Could I have an STD?

By anon336567 — On May 29, 2013

Last night I gave oral to a guy I just started being in a relationship with. He was really rough and shoved my mouth down and made me deep throat him a lot, which is fine but I'm not really used to it. While it was happening, it hurt my throat really bad and my throat is still really sore today too. Is my sore throat just from him being rough or could it be an STD?

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