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Health Library - Sexual Transmitted Diseases (STD's)

Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) are infections that you can get from having sex with someone who has the infection. The causes of STDs are bacteria, parasites and viruses.

Most STDs affect both men and women, but in many cases the health problems they cause can be more severe for women. If a pregnant woman has an STD, it can cause serious health problems for the baby.

If you have an STD caused by bacteria or parasites, your health care provider can treat it with antibiotics or other medicines. If you have an STD caused by a virus, there is no cure. Sometimes medicines can keep the disease under control. Correct usage of latex condoms greatly reduces, but does not completely eliminate, the risk of catching or spreading STDs.

How many people have STIs and who is infected?

In the United States about 19 million new infections are thought to occur each year. These infections affect men and women of all backgrounds and economic levels. But almost half of new infections are among young people ages 15 to 24. Women are also severely affected by STIs. They have more frequent and more serious health problems from STIs than men. African-American women have especially high rates of infection.

Sexual Transmitted Diseases (STD's)

  • Bacterial Vaginosis
  • Chlamydia
  • Genital Herpes
  • Gonorrhea
  • Hepatitis B
  • HIV/AIDS
  • Human Papillomavirus (HPV)
  • Public Lice (Crabs)
  • Syphilis
  • Trichomoniasis

Click here for an overview of Sexual Transmitted Diseases

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