Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STD's)
The term "sexually transmitted disease" (STD) is relatively new and has replaced the term "venereal disease." This shift in terminology serves to expand awareness of a greater number of infectious diseases transmitted through sexual contact. There are more than 20 STDs, including AIDS, Chlamydia, Herpes, and other organisms and syndromes. Every year millions of STDs are passed from person to person, primarily through sexual contact. Many people feel uncomfortable talking about STDs and try not to think about them, hoping they will go away. Sometimes infections will go away, but usually an STD will return and the infected person will suffer grave consequences of an untreated STD.
Transmission of STDS
The organisms which cause these diseases (except for crabs and scabies) usually enter the body through mucous membranes, such as the warm, moist surfaces of the vagina, urethra, anus, and mouth. STDs can be caught through intimate contact with someone who is infected, especially during oral, anal, or vaginal sex. Some infections are also transmitted nonsexually.
Sexually active college-age men and women are at the highest risk for contracting STDs. Basically, if you have sexual contact with someone who is infected with an STD, you are likely to develop the infection as well. Lesbians are much less likely than heterosexuals, or bisexual or gay men to get an STD because most STDs are not transmitted easily between women.
You can protect yourself
from acquiring an STD in a number of ways:
What To Do If You Think You Have An STD
First of all, don't be embarrassed. If you think you have an STD, get help immediately. Call the Health Center and make an appointment. In most cases antibiotics can cure bacterial STDs. They are not, however, effective in fighting viral infections such as herpes. No matter what treatment is followed, curing an STD does not provide immunity against future infection. If you have an STD, your partners should be checked. Intercourse should be avoided until treatment is complete.
In Summary . . .
Information About Specific STDs:
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