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Sexually Transmitted Infections

Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) are also commonly referred to as venereal disease, and are some of the most common diseases that you can get from another person through sexual contact. With more than 20 STDs in existence, they affect more than 13 million men and women in the United States. Luckily, most are treatable. How do you know if you might have one? What is the best treatment? The following information should help answer these questions.

What are sexually transmitted diseases (STDs)?

STDs are diseases that are normally passed from one person to another through sexual contact. They can be relatively harmless or they can be painful, irritating, debilitating and even life threatening.

What causes STDs?

Bacteria and viruses that thrive in warm, moist environments within the body cause STDs.

How do STDs spread?

Most STDs are spread through bodily fluid transfers during sexual activity. Sexual activity can be defined as vaginal, anal or oral sex. However, there are some STDs that are transmitted by contact with infected blood. For instance, a STD may pass between people who share infected needles, while another STD may be passed from an infected mother to her child during pregnancy, childbirth or nursing.
STDs cannot be transmitted through casual contact (e.g., shaking hands) or objects such as clothing or toilet seats.

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Information provided by the American Urological Association.