STDs

STDs (Sexually Transmitted Diseases, sometimes called STIs Sexually Transmitted Infections) are infections that are passed from one person to another through sexual contact. The causes of STDs are bacteria, viruses, and parasites. Some common STDs are:

Bacterial

  • Chlamydia
  • Gonorrhea
  • Syphilis

Viruses

  • HIV/AIDS
  • Hepatitis B
  • HPV
  • Herpes
Parasitic

  • Trichomoniasis
  • Public Lice

Bacterial

  • Chlamydia
  • Gonorrhea
  • Syphilis

Viruses

  • HIV/AIDS
  • Hepatitis B
  • HPV
  • Herpes
Parasitic

  • Trichomoniasis
  • Public Lice
Some symptoms of STDs are:
 

  • Bumps, sores, or warts near the mouth, anus, penis or vagina
  • Painful urination
  • Discharge from the penis or vagina
  • Skin rash
  • Painful sex

However, STDs are often asymptomatic which means that they don’t have any symptoms.  STDs can cause long-term health problems including pelvic inflammatory disease, infertility, and cancer.  The only way to know for sure if someone has an STD is to get tested.  The good news is that a lot of STDs are curable and even those without a cure can be effectively managed or minimized with treatment. 

STDs can be prevented by practicing abstinence from sexual activity (including vaginal, anal, and oral sex).  If you choose to be sexually active you can lower your risk of contracting STDs by:
 

  • Having fewer sexual partners
  • Using barrier methods like condoms
  • Talking with your partner about STDs and using protection
  • Getting tested regularly
  • Getting vaccinated
It is important to get tested regularly for STDs if you have been sexually active. 15-24 year olds account for half of all new STD infections. These charts (men and woman)  show who should be tested and this website gives information on the type of test that is done for each STD.