Sexually transmitted infection

From WikiMD's Health & Wellness Encyclopedia

Any infectious disease or disorder acquired through sexual contact can be called sexually transmitted infection.

Sexually transmitted infection
Sexually transmitted infection


Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), also known as sexually transmitted infections or STIs, are very common. Millions of new infections occur every year in the United States.


STDs are passed from one person to another through sexual activity including vaginal, oral, and anal sex. They can also be passed from one person to another through intimate physical contact, such as heavy petting, though this is not very common.


STDs don’t always cause symptoms or may only cause mild 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.


STDs are preventable. If you have sex, know how to protect yourself and your sexual partner from STDs.

STD facts

  • STDs impact young people the hardest. In the U.S., half of all new STDs are in people under 25 years old.
  • If you are sexually active, you can lower your risk of getting an STD several ways, including by using a latex condom the right way from start to finish.
  • Almost all STDs that can be spread via condomless vaginal sex also can be spread through oral and anal sex without a condom.
  • You can’t tell if someone has an STD just by looking at them. Many STDs don’t cause any symptoms, so the only way to know for sure is to get tested.
  • Even if you use birth control, you should still think about STD prevention. Birth control methods like the pill, patch, ring, and IUD are very effective at preventing pregnancy, but they do not protect against STDs and HIV.
  • The most reliable way to avoid STDs is to not have vaginal, anal, or oral sex.

List of STD's

There are dozens of STDs. Some STDs, such as syphilis, gonorrhea, and chlamydia, are spread mainly by sexual contact. Other diseases, including Zika virus and Ebola, can be spread sexually but are more often spread through ways other than sex.

and Scabies

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Contributors: Prab R. Tumpati, MD, Dr.T