Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) aren't transmitted during every sexual encounter you have, even if your partner is infected. For example, if your partner has HIV but is receiving treatment, the amount of infection in your body fluids, called viral load, may be extremely low. Test results show that you have gonorrhea or chlamydia, or both. These are sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) that can cause permanent harm to you and your sexual partners if not treated in time.
People get sexually transmitted diseases by having sex with someone who has an STD. Once you are infected, you can infect another person. Both gonorrhea and chlamydia often have no symptoms. Sometimes, only one partner will have symptoms, even if both partners have the disease.
That's why it's important to notify your sexual partners of the test results. Many sexually transmitted diseases are curable and all of them can be treated. It doesn't matter how many people the person has had sex with. Even if a person has only had one sexual partner, that partner could have an illness.
Of course, the chances of contracting sexually transmitted diseases (also called sexually transmitted infections) are even higher if a person has unprotected sex with many different partners. It's possible to get a sexually transmitted infection and not have any symptoms. People can live with an STI for many years without knowing that they are infected. In fact, STIs are asymptomatic most of the time.
In addition, an asymptomatic STI can still be transmitted to another person. Some sexually transmitted diseases (such as trichomoniasis) can be treated to make them go away, but other infections (such as herpes or HPV) can stay in a person's body, even if that person has been treated. If you or your partner are infected with an STD that can be cured, both of you should start treatment right away to avoid becoming infected again.