Sexual Health

STIs/STDs - Sexually Transmitted Infections and Diseases

Are You at Risk?

  • Are you sexually active?
  • Have you or your sexual partner had other sexual partners?
  • Have you changed sexual partners since you were last tested for STI’s?
  • Have you ever had oral or anal sex?

Did You Know?

  • 19 million new infections occur each year.
  • Half of all STI’s occur in people ages 15-24.
  • One in four teenage girls has an STI.
  • STIs often have no symptoms.
  • Infection with an STI is possible without intercourse.
  • When you have sex with someone, you are exposing yourself to their sexual history and the sexual history of all their partners for the past ten  years.
  • It takes only ONE sexual partner to be at risk if that partner has had one or more other sexual partners.

What Causes STIs?

  • STI’s can be caused by bacteria, viruses or parasites.
  • Chlamydia is the most common bacterial STI.
  • Human papillomavirus (HPV) is the most common viral STI.

How Do You Get STIs?

  • Any sexual activity including vaginal sex, oral sex and anal sex.
  • HPV and herpes can be spread by contact with infected skin.
  • You can get STI’s from a person who has no symptoms.

What Are Some Symptoms of an STI?

  • STIs often have no visible symptoms, so you or your partner may not even know you are infected.
  • Some common symptoms include: pain or burning while urinating, rashes, sores, blisters, itchiness, unusual discharge from the penis or vagina and pain during sex.

What Are Some of the Possible Complications?

  • Pelvic Inflammatory disease
  • Ectopic Pregnancy (pregnancy somewhere other than the uterus)
  • Infertility
  • Cervical Cancer or Penile Cancer
  • Miscarriage or Stillbirth
  • Preterm delivery
  • Death

What are the Available Treatments?

  • Most bacterial infections can be treated with antibiotics and cured.
  • Treatment does not reverse any damage that may have already occurred.
  • Viral STIs can be treated for symptoms, but not cured.
  • An HPV vaccine has recently become available and is recommended for young women but it does not protect against all types of HPV that cause cancer and warts.

How Can I Prevent Myself from Getting an STI?

  • The only way to be 100% safe from STIs and HIV/AIDS is to abstain from all sexual activities until you and your uninfected partner can remain faithful to each other for life.
  • Correct and consistent condom use can reduce, but will not eliminate, your risk of getting most STIs.
  • Consistent and correct condom use during vaginal sex reduces your risk for:
        -  HIV by 85%
        -  Gonorrhea, Chlamydia, Herpes and Syphilis by about 50%
        -  HPV by 50% or less

 For more information:

Center for Disease Control  CDC STD Pages

If you think you may be infected with an STI see your healthcare provider right away.

The Medical Institute for Sexual Health (Accessed March 2, 2009)

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (Accessed March 2, 2009)

National Institutes of Health (Accessed March 2, 2009)

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