Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), also known as sexually transmitted infections or STIs, are very common. Millions of new infections occur every year in the United States.
STDs are passed from one person to another through any sexual activity. They can also be passed from one person to another through intimate physical contact, such as heavy petting, though this is not very common.
STDs don’t always cause symptoms or may only cause mild symptoms, so it is possible to have an infection and not know it. That is why it is important to get tested if you are having sex. If you are diagnosed with an STD, know that all can be treated with medicine and some can be cured entirely.
STDs are preventable. If you have sex, know how to protect yourself and your sexual partner from STDs.
Below is a list of sexually transmitted diseases that you can get tested for in the Communicable Disease Clinic.
Chlamydia is a common STD that can infect both men and women. It can cause serious, permanent damage to a woman’s reproductive system. This can make it difficult or impossible for her to get pregnant later on. Chlamydia can also cause a potentially fatal ectopic pregnancy (pregnancy that occurs outside the womb).
Genital herpes is a common sexually transmitted disease (STD) that any sexually active
person can get. Most people with the virus don’t have symptoms. Even without signs of
the disease, herpes can still be spread to sex partners.
Gonorrhea is a sexually transmitted disease (STD) that can infect both men and women. It can cause infections in the genitals, rectum, and throat. It is a very common infection, especially among young people ages 15-24 years.
Human Papillomavirus (HPV)
HPV is the most common sexually transmitted infection (STI). HPV is a different virus than HIV and HSV (herpes). There were about 43 million HPV infections in 2018, many among people in their late teens and early 20s. There are many different types of HPV. Some types can cause health problems including genital warts and cancers. But there are vaccines that can stop these health problems from happening.
Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID)
Pelvic inflammatory disease is an infection of a woman’s reproductive organs. It is a complication often caused by some STDs,
like chlamydia and gonorrhea. Other infections that are not sexually transmitted can also cause PID.
Syphilis is a sexually transmitted infection that can cause serious health problems if it is not treated. Syphilis is divided into stages (primary, secondary, latent, and tertiary). There are different signs and symptoms associated with each stage.
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