general term sexually transmitted disease (STD) is applied to any
of the group of diseases that can be spread by sexual contact. (Sometimes
called sexually transmitted infections, or STI). The group includes
conditions that used to be called venereal diseases (VD), named
after Venus, the goddess of love.
sure you have heard about sexually transmitted diseases in one way
or another: at school, in the news, on TV, in magazine, from friends,
and in public service announcements. Its common to see ads
about how to get HIV/AIDS testing and even about treatments for
herpes, genital warts or lice on television or on the Internet.
Why? Because they are so prevalent.
year more than 12 million cases of sexually transmitted diseases
are reported in the United States alone. At least 3 million among
them are from teenagers. Teens have the highest rates of sexually
transmitted diseases of any age group. You can catch one.
are spread from one person to another through intimate sexual contact
such as sexual intercourse, oral-genital contact, or anal sex.
impact of STDs is particularly severe for women. Since many STDs
often cause few or no symptoms in women, they may go untreated.
Women are at serious risk for complications from STDs. Some of the
complications include: ectopic (tubal) pregnancy, chronic pelvic
pain, infertility and cervical cancer.
must be accurately diagnosed and treated completely. This means
that if you become sexually active or are considering becoming sexually
active, you need to have regular gynecological or male genital examinations.
you think you have an STD, or if you were with someone sexually
who might have an STD, you should see a health care provider right
away. Ask your partner to be tested too. Your health care provider
cannot read your mind or even know if you are sexually active unless
YOU tell them. Tell them and ask to be tested for STDs, especially
if you have not been using condoms every time you have sex!
smears do NOT test for STDs. If you are unable to talk to
a parent about being tested or you're worried about your parents
finding out, testing can be done without parental consent in the
United States. It is confidential.
Chlamydia is now the number second most commmon sexually transmitted disease in the United
States, but it CAN be cured! So, get tested!
one of the most common human infections in the world. Its
caused by the Human Papillomavirus and now there is a vaccine named
Gardasil® to prevent HPV. However, this only is effective against
about 70% of all the HPV viruses.
are treatments for most STDs,
so get check out and treated. Then use condoms as your best protection
against STDs besides abstinence.
a CONDOM every time you have sexual intercourse.