What are sexually transmitted diseases? Sexually transmitted diseases (also known as STDs — or STIs for "sexually transmitted infections") are infectious diseases that spread from person to person through intimate contact. They're a serious health problem. If untreated, some STDs can cause permanent damage, such as infertility (the inability to have a baby) and even death (in the case of HIV/AIDS).
How are std’s transmitted? Depending on the disease, the infection can be spread through any type of sexual activity involving: the sex organs, the anus, or the mouth; an infection can also be spread through contact with blood during sexual activity. STDs are infrequently transmitted by any other type of contact (blood, body fluids or tissue removed from an STD infected person and placed in contact with an uninfected person); however, people that share unsterilized needles markedly increase the chance to pass many diseases, including STD's (especially hepatitis B), to others. Some diseases are not considered to be officially an STD (for example, hepatitis types A, C, E) but are infrequently noted to be transferred during sexual activity.
Who is at risk? Those who have: Sexual activity at a young age. The younger a person starts having sex, the greater his or her chances of becoming infected with an STD. STDs have become common among teens. Because teens are more at risk for getting some STDs, it's important to learn what you can do to protect yourself. Lots of sex partners- People who have sexual contact — not just intercourse, but any form of intimate activity — with many different partners are more at risk than those who stay with the same partner. Unprotected sex-Latex condoms are the only form of birth control that reduce your risk of getting an STD, and must be used every time. Spermicides, diaphragms, and other birth control methods may help prevent pregnancy, but they don't protect a person against STDs.
Which sexually transmitted diseases are most common? Chlamydia Gonorrhea Genital Herpes Genital Warts Hepatitis B HIV and AIDS Pelvic Inflammatory Disease(PID) Pubic Lice (crabs) Syphilis Trichimoniasis
How to prevent transmission of stds Talk with your sexual partner who may have been exposed. Don’t have sex If you have sex, have sex with only one partner who has no STD and has sex with you only Be sure to use latex condoms Limit number of partners Have regular physical exams Avoid sharing needles
Talk with your healthcare provider if you have any concerns regarding your sexual intercourse habits and behaviors and what you may be at risk for. Abstinence is key to being STD free!
References The City of New York. (2011). Prevent the Spread of STDs. http://www.nyc.gov/html/doh/html/std/std4.shtml The Nemours Foundation.(1995-2011). About Sexually Transmitted Diseases(STDs). http://kidshealth.org/teen/sexual_health/stds/std.html# WebMD. (2011). Sexually Transmitted Diseases(STDs). http://www.emedicinehealth.com/sexually_transmitted_diseases/article_em.htm