Overview of Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs)
Transmitted Diseases (STDs), are among the most common infectious
diseases in the United States today, affecting more than 14
million men and women in this country each year.
the basic facts about Sexually Transmitted Diseases
affect both men and women of all backgrounds and economic
STDs are most prevalent among teenagers and young adults.
Almost two-thirds of all STDs occur in young people under
of the time, STDs cause no symptoms, particularly in women.
When and if symptoms develop, they may be confused with
those of other diseases not transmitted through sexual
contact. Even when an STD causes no symptoms, a person
who is infected may be able to pass the disease on to
a sex partner. People who have more than one sex partner
should be tested or screened for STDs on a regular basis.
problems caused by STDs tend to be more severe and more
frequent for women than for men, in part because STDs
without symptoms are so common, that many women do not
seek care until serious problems have developed.
Some STDs can spread into the uterus (womb) and fallopian
tubes to cause pelvic inflammatory disease
(PID), which in turn is a major cause of both infertility
and ectopic (tubal) pregnancy.
in women also may be associated with cervical cancer.
One STD, human papillomavirus infection
(HPV), causes genital warts and cervical and other
can be passed from a mother to her baby before, during,
or immediately after birth; some of these infections of
the newborn can be cured easily, but others may cause
a baby to be permanently disabled or even die.
diagnosed and treated early, many STDs can be treated
many STDs can be cured, some STDs have no cure at all.
Sexually Transmitted Diseases
The best way to prevent STDs is to avoid sexual contact with
other people (abstinence). If you decide to be sexually active,
there are things that you can do to reduce your risk of developing
STDs are easily treated, and the earlier a person seeks treatment
and warns sex partners about the disease, the less likely
the disease will do irreparable physical damage, be spread
to others, or in the case of a woman, be passed on to a newborn
Office of Communications and Public Liaison
National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases
National Institutes of Health
Bethesda, MD 20892
Public Health Service
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
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