Sexually transmitted disease

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This painting showing Syphilis was attributed to Albrecht Dürer

A sexually transmitted disease is a disease which spreads by having sex. A sexually transmitted disease can also spread through oral sex or anal sex. "Sexually transmitted disease" is usually written as STD. STDs can also be called sexually transmitted infections (STIs), or venereal diseases (VD). It is more accurate to call sexually transmitted diseases sexually transmissible diseases. This is because some of them spread in other ways, too (see section on HIV below for example).

There are two ways that sex can send a disease from one person to another person:

  • Because sex uses parts of the body that have very thin skin, it is possible to get small rips by accident when you have sex. Some STDs can get into your body through a rip like that.
  • Some STDs can enter the body through openings that are already there, like the urethra or vagina.

Additionally, there is currently no form of protection against certain STDs, like herpes (a painful virus that causes growths in the groin or mouth for the rest of one's life, with no known cure), or pubic lice. It is important to know the health risks of having sex as well as the emotional issues, and most of all to talk to one's partner.

List of STDs[change | change source]

Numbers Sexually Transmitted Diseases in the US
Gonorrhoea world map

HIV[change | change source]

HPV (Herpes)[change | change source]

Pubic Lice[change | change source]

  • Lice which live on pubic hair.
  • NOT prevented by condom.

Chlamydia[change | change source]

Prevention[change | change source]

Prevention is very important for serious STIs - like HIV and herpes. Sexual health clinics promote the use of condoms and often distribute them for free. The best way to prevent STIs to spread is to avoid sexual contact. It is advised to get to know a person before starting sexual relationship. Asking a person to do health check is also lowering the risk. Today more and more people get access to database of sexual health clinics that can be searched using internet. Use of condoms lower the risk of getting infected. Condoms arethe most effective way to limit STDs but there are some rare examples of infections being spread even when using one.[1] Some infections take time to show any symptoms - so testing should be done regulary. Some infections can limit our protection against other diseases causing our body to get multiple viruses at once. Some STI's can cause death - especially when multiple infections are detected. When a STI is diagnosed patient should pause any sexual activity until his body will recover.

Other websites[change | change source]

References[change | change source]

  1. Villhauer, Tanya (2005-05-20). "Condoms Preventing HPV?". University of Iowa Student Health Service/Health Iowa. Retrieved 2009-07-26.