STDs, aka Sexually Transmitted Diseases, are caused by infections that are passed from one person to another during sexual contact and fluid exchange, or in some cases skin-to-skin contact. There are many kinds of sexually transmitted diseases and infections, and many of them do not cause any symptoms.
It is shocking how common STDs are – more than half of the U.S. population will get one at some time in our lives. The good news is we can take precautions to lower our risk and others’ risk from STDs such as practicing safer sex and having conversations with partners. Getting tested for STDs is also important, especially if you have had more than one partner, are entering a new sexual relationship, or are thinking about getting pregnant, so you can get any treatments you may need. It is also important, if you test positive for an STD that your partner get tested and treated as well, so you do not get a repeat infection from passing the STD back and forth.
Once you have one STD, it is usually much easier to get another STD, especially HIV. And if you have got HIV it is easier to get other STDs (if exposed) – and because the immune system is under so much stress, often the other STD’s symptoms will be more extreme than they would be without HIV.
To find a location to get tested for STDs, visit our resources page, or Google test centers in your area. A great resource for learning more about STDs, living with an STD, or dating someone with an STD is The STD Project. They also feature photos of STDs and their different variations here.
Note: STDs can be called STIs, or Sexually Transmitted Infections, because medically, infections are only called diseases when they cause symptoms, though it’s very common for people to use the term “Sexually Transmitted Diseases” or “STDs,” even when there are no signs of disease.
Use the list below to learn more about each kind of STD:
***This is a blog and the information on this website is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease, nor is it meant to take the place of your personal physician’s advice.***