Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs) & Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs).

First known as venereal diseases, then as sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), the name was recently changed to sexually transmitted infections (STIs) because certain so-called "STDs" are not diseases at all but rather infections, pubic lice for example.

ABSTINENCE is the only 100% effective way to protect yourself from STIs.

  • 12 million people yearly are infected by STIs.
  • Women are twice as likely than men to catch STIs because men have a closed reproductive system that isn't exposed to other parts of the body.
  • Men and women both suffer from STIs.
  • Some STIs can cause infertility in both men and women.
  • The most widely affected age group is ages 18-25.

Fear, denial, and false rationalization (it could never happen to me) leads to delays in getting tested and getting treatment.

Some common STIs:

  • Bacterial (can be treated with antibiotics): Chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis
  • Viral (some have vaccines however most stay in your body for LIFE): Hepatitis (has a vaccine). Herpes, HIV, and HPV (genital warts) (all have NO VACCINE).

The most common STIs are chlamydia, gonorrhea, HPV (genital warts), syphilis, herpes, hepatitis B, and HIV/AIDS.

Chlamydia

  • Most common STI, 1 in 10 teenage girls are infected
  • 4 million each year are infected

Gonorrhea

  • Oldest known STI
  • 2.5 million are infected yearly
  • People 15-29 are most widely affected

Genital Warts

  • 1 million new cases yearly
  • Linked to cervical cancer
  • Never leaves the body, no cure

Herpes

  • Type 1: Cold sores, not linked to oral sex
  • Type 2: Cold sores in the genital area
  • There is no cure. Even if the sores are not visible at contact, the person may still be contagious.

Syphilis

  • Capable of attacking any organ or tissue
  • There may be little to no symptoms for years after contracting the disease until the late stages

HIV

  • Human Immunodeficiency Virus
  • No symptoms for up to eight years. This virus causes AIDS.
  • 4 body fluids transmit HIV: Blood, semen, vaginal secretion, and breast milk

AIDS

  • Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (acquired from HIV virus)
  • Eats away at your immune system: "You don't die of AIDS, you die of pneumonia or the common cold."

Online Resources:

Please, if you have ever been sexually active, GO GET TESTED. You could be hurting yourself infecting the people you care about without even knowing! Call 1-800-227-8922 to contact the STD Help Hotline if you aren't sure where to go. If you're concerned about confidentiality, ASK FIRST. Is it worth it to risk yourself and those around you because you haven't gotten around to it?

**Please note that statistics and listed phone numbers are for the U.S.