Sexually Transmitted Diseases

A sexually transmitted disease (STD) is an infection that one receives through sexual contact. Types of sexual contact include intercourse, anal or oral sex, and even skin-to-skin contact. The most commonly recognized STDs include:

  • Human immunodeficiency viru/acquired immunodeficiency syndrome/ (HIV/AIDS).

  • Chlamydia.

  • Urethritis.

  • Gonorrhea.

  • Syphilis.

  • Herpes.

  • Hepatitis.

  • Genital warts.

  • Pubic lice.

  • Trichomonas.

SYMPTOMS

Signs and symptoms vary with the disease and can include any of the following:

  • No symptoms in some cases.

  • Genital discharge.

  • Genital rash.

  • Systemic illness.

  • Genital discomfort.

  • Genital warts.

  • Urinary discomfort.

  • Genital itching.

Remember, there may be no symptoms. Symptoms do not need to be present in order to transmit the disease to another person.

RISK INCREASES WITH:

  • Unprotected sex.

  • Multiple sexual partners.

TREATMENT

  • Treatment for an STD will depend on the type of disease.

  • Many infections can be cured with the use of oral or injected antibiotics or other means. However, some STDs cannot be cured.

  • If you suspect that you may have an STD, it is important to contact your caregiver and receive a thorough physical examination and laboratory evaluation. The treatment will be dictated by an accurate diagnosis.

PREVENTION

  • Know your partner.

  • Always use condoms.

  • Use spermicides with nonoxynol-9.

  • Not being sexually active (abstinence) is the only sure way to avoid getting or transmitting an STD.