Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs)

What Are They?

Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs), sometimes referred to as Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs) are infectious diseases that spread person-to-person during sexual contact.

How Can I Get Them?

There are many different ways you can get an STD including:

  • Vaginal intercourse (penis in vagina)
  • Oral sex (a person’s mouth on another person’s genital)
  • Anal sex (penis in anus)
  • Mother to child (during pregnancy, at birth, or through breastfeeding)
  • Sharing needles
  • Skin-to-skin genital contact

What Are The Different Types of STDs?

There are three main categories of STDs. These categories are:

  1. Bacterial (caused by bacteria)
    • Curable
    • Can be treated with medicine
    • Examples include Chlamydia, Gonorrhea and Syphilis
  2. Viral (caused by a virus)
    • Not curable
    • Symptoms can be treated but virus stays in the body
    • Examples include Herpes, HIV, Hepatitis B and Human Papillomavirus (HPV)
  3. Parasitic (caused by parasites)
    • Curable
    • Examples include Trichomoniasis (Trich) and Pubic Lice

What Are The Symptoms?

Be careful! Oftentimes STDs have no symptoms. It is important to get tested on a normal basis for STDs if you are sexually active. Although condoms protect against some STDs, they are not 100% effective in preventing all STDs including Herpes, Genital Warts and Syphilis. Symptoms of STDs include:

  • Burning when urinating
  • Sores, blisters, bumps, warts or pimples near the genitals or mouth
  • Unusual discharge from the penis or vagina
  • Rash or itching of the genital area
  • Frequent urination
  • Abdominal Pain

How Can You Protect Yourself From STDs?

Easy! The best way is to not have sex at all! However, if you do engage in sexual activity make sure to…

  • Use a condom every time you have vaginal, oral or anal sex
  • Vaccinate yourself against preventable STDs such as Hepatitis B and HPV
  • Reduce the number of people you have sexual contact with

Did You Know?

  • Adolescents ages 15-24 account for nearly half of the 20 million new cases of STDs each year
  • 46% of American high school students have had sexual intercourse and potentially are at risk HIV and other STDs
  • 2 in 5 sexually active teen girls have had an STD that can cause infertility and even death
  • Youth ages 13-24 account for more than 1 in 5 new HIV diagnoses in the United States
  • Untreated HIV leads to AIDS, an immune system disease that makes your body unable to fight off common illnesses
  • 1 in 4 teens contract a sexually transmitted disease every year
  • 6 in 10 high school teens reported using condoms during their most recent sexual encounter
  • There were 918 cases of Chlamydia in Wayne County for all ages in 2018
  • There were 314 cases of Gonorrhea in Wayne County for all ages in 2018
  • The US has the highest rate of STD infection in the industrialized world




U.S. Department of Health & Human Services

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

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