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Sexually Transmitted Disease(s)

Sexually Transmitted Disease(s) which are caused by bacteria, viruses, and other microscopic organisms, are becoming epidemic in frequency. Experts state that about one-half of the U.S. population will experience an STD at some time in their lives. The most common STDs are:

  • HIV/AIDS (both also defined in the glossary)
  • chlamydia
  • genital herpes
  • genital warts
  • gonorrhea
  • syphilis and
  • trichomoniasis

STDs are usually transmitted through:

  • exchange of body fluids during genital contact
  • direct contact with infected surfaces and secretions
  • direct contact with an active or infected sore, ulcer or wart
  • skin to skin contact with an infected person who appears healthy
  • In some cases, through anal and oral sex.

Routine condom use greatly decreases the risk of STDs unless one only has sex with only one person who is uninfected (called monogamous sex). Early diagnosis and treatment of STDs is very important in order to prevent complications. Possible STD complications include:

  • mother to child transmission, especially HIV
  • pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) with possible sterility
  • self-infection of eyes, fingers and other body parts through touching
  • congenital defects in newborns, and
  • in the case of genital warts, caused by human papilloma virus (HPV), an increased risk of cervical cancer.
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