Diseases & Related Conditions
What are STDs?
Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) are passed from one person to another through intimate physical contact – such as heavy petting – and from sexual activity including vaginal, oral, and anal sex. STDs are very common. In fact, CDC estimates 20 million new infections occur every year in the United States. STDs can mostly be prevented by not having sex. If you do have sex, you can lower your risk by using condoms and being in a sexual relationship with a partner who does not have an STD. STDs do not always cause symptoms, so it is possible to have an infection and not know it. That is why it is important to get tested if you are having sex. If you are diagnosed with an STD, know that all can be treated with medicine and some can be cured entirely.
There are dozens of STDS. Some STDs, such as syphilis, gonorrhea, and chlamydia, are spread mainly by sexual contact. Other diseases, including Zika and Ebola, can be spread sexually but are more often spread through ways other than sex.
The diseases, conditions, and infections below are listed in alphabetical order.
Any woman can get bacterial vaginosis. Having bacterial vaginosis can increase your chance of getting an STD.
Chlamydia is a common sexually transmitted disease (STD) that can be easily cured. If left untreated, chlamydia can make it difficult for a woman to get pregnant.
Anyone who is sexually active can get gonorrhea. Gonorrhea can cause very serious complications when not treated, but can be cured with the right medication.
Viral hepatitis is the leading cause of liver cancer and the most common reason for liver transplantation.
Genital herpes is a common STD, and most people with genital herpes infection do not know they have it.
People who have STDs are more likely to get HIV, when compared to people who do not have STDs.
Human papillomavirus (HPV) is the most common sexually transmitted infection in the United States. Some health effects caused by HPV can be prevented with vaccines.
Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID) can lead to serious consequences including infertility.
Chlamydia and gonorrhea are preventable causes of pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) and infertility.
For a healthier baby, ask your doctor about STD testing.
Syphilis is a sexually transmitted disease (STD) that can have very serious complications when left untreated, but it is simple to cure with the right treatment.
Most people who have trichomoniasis do not have any symptoms.
Chancroid, scabies, and more.
- Page last reviewed: November 4, 2016
- Page last updated: November 20, 2017
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