Sexually Transmitted Diseases

Vietnam is a high-risk country in terms of potential STI infection due the the low quality of sex education and low public awareness of related issues. The following is a list of diseases known to be present in the community. Groups with the highest level of risk are sex industry workers (and people who have unprotected sex with them) and the gay community.

Note that not all STIs are exclusively transmitted by sexual contact (such as hepatitis). Others (such as gonorrhea) can only be transmitted sexually.

Please use this information for reference only: do not self-diagnose or self-medicate, and DO NOT ATTEMPT TO MEDICATE A POTENTIALLY INFECTED PARTNER WITHOUT THEIR KNOWLEDGE.


  • Bacterial infection of the genital tract
  • Symptoms usually occur 1–3 weeks after exposure
  • Difficult to detect in the early stages
  • Signs and symptoms may be mild and passing, making them easily overlooked

Signs and symptoms may include:

  • Pain during urination
  • Lower abdominal pain
  • Vaginal or penile discharge
  • Pain during sex in women
  • Bleeding between menstrual periods
  • Testicular pain


  • Bacterial infection of the genital tract, mouth, eyes, or anus
  • Symptoms usually occur within 10 days after exposure
  • Some people may be infected for months before signs or symptoms occur

Signs and symptoms may include:

  • Thick, cloudy or bloody discharge from the penis or vagina
  • Pain during urination
  • Heavy menstrual bleeding or bleeding between periods
  • Painful, swollen testicles
  • Painful bowel movements
  • Anal itching


  • Microscopic, single-celled parasite infection (Trichomonas vaginalis)
  • Usually infects the urinary tract in men without symptoms
  • Causes mild to severe vaginal irritation within a week to a month after exposure

Signs and symptoms may include:

  • Clear, white, greenish or yellowish vaginal discharge
  • Discharge from the penis
  • Strong vaginal odor
  • Vaginal itching or irritation
  • Itching or irritation inside the penis
  • Pain during sex
  • Pain During urination


  • Viral infection that impairs immunity
  • Can lead to AIDS
  • Usually no initial symptoms, although some develop a flu-like illness within weeks after infection
  • Only clinical testing can establish a person’s HIV status

Early HIV signs and symptoms may include:

  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Sore throat
  • Swollen lymph glands
  • Rash
  • Fatigue

Early signs and symptoms of HIV are short-lived. A person with early symptomatic HIV is highly infectious. Longer-lasting and severe symptoms of HIV may not appear for another ten years, during which time you will remain a carrier of this disease.

Chronic HIV signs and symptoms may include:

  • Swollen lymph nodes
  • Diarrhea
  • Weight loss
  • Fever
  • Cough and shortness of breath

Late-stage HIV signs and symptoms may include:

  • Persistent, unexplained fatigue
  • Soaking night sweats
  • Shaking chills or fever for several weeks
  • Swelling of The lymph nodes for more than three months
  • Chronic diarrhea
  • Persistent headaches
  • Unusual, opportunistic infections