What are sexually transmitted diseases?
What are sexually transmitted infections?
|Curable||Treatable but incurable|
|Chlamydia (bacteria)||Genital herpes (virus)|
|Gonorrhea (bacteria)||Hepatitis B (virus)|
|Syphilis (bacteria)||HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus)|
|Trichomoniasis (parasite)||HPV (Human Papilomavirus)|
How your body keeps germs out
What can go wrong?
- abnormal discharge from your penis or vagina, itching, or general irritation
- a burning feeling when you urinate
- a rash or sores on or around your genitals
- unusual bleeding not associated with your period
- pain and swelling in your testicles
What puts you at risk of an STI?
- You are at risk of getting an STI if you are sexually intimate with your partner or partners when they have genital sores, a rash, or a discharge of any kind, or if they mention any other symptoms that may occur when you have an STI.
- It is very common to have an STI but no symptoms, so it’s possible that your sex partner or partners won’t know if they have one or not, and you won’t be able to tell. In almost all circumstances, having unprotected sex (not using a condom) puts you at risk of getting an STI.
- Having an STI can make it much more likely that you will get HIV when you have sex with an HIV infected partner; for example, having syphilis makes it three times more likely you will catch HIV.
How likely are you to get an STI?
How you can prevent an STI?
- Use a condom - unless you’re sure that you and your partner only have sex with each other and you have both tested negative for STIs, you are at risk of getting an STI if you don’t use a condom. Male and female condoms are very effective at preventing you from getting an STI.
- Don’t have sex - avoid having sex if your partner or partners show any signs or symptoms of an STI.
- Get tested - If you are about to start having sex, or starting a new relationship, you and your partner should get tested for STIs before you do it. Then get tested annually or more frequently if you think you might have been infected.
- Don’t share - some microbes can live outside of the body on towels or underclothing for days.
- Get vaccinated - the hepatitis B vaccine and HPV vaccines can help protect you against these STIs.