Sexually Transmitted Infections

What are Sexually-Transmitted Infections?

Sexually-transmitted infections (STIs), also known as sexually-transmitted diseases (STDs), are infections that are commonly spread through sexual activity, including vaginal, anal, and oral sex.

Who’s at Risk for Sexually-Transmitted Infections?

Anyone who is sexually active can get an STI, but certain groups, such as young people and men who have sex with men, are at higher risk.

What Causes Sexually-Transmitted Infections?

STIs are caused by a wide range of bacteria, viruses, and parasites, which are usually transmitted through sexual contact.

How Do Sexually-Transmitted Infections Start?

STIs start when an individual comes into contact with an infected partner during sexual activity.

What Are the Symptoms of Sexually-Transmitted Infections?

Symptoms vary depending on the infection, but may include sores or bumps on the genitals or in the oral or rectal area, painful or burning urination, unusual or odd-smelling vaginal discharge, unusual vaginal bleeding, or pelvic pain in women.

How is a Sexually-Transmitted Infection Diagnosed?

Diagnosis of STIs usually involves physical examination, review of symptoms, and various tests such as blood tests, urine tests, or tests on fluid samples.

How Can Sexually-Transmitted Infections be Treated?

Treatment depends on the type of STI. Bacterial and parasitic STIs can usually be treated with antibiotics, while viral infections are often managed with antiviral medications.

What Complications May Occur with Sexually-Transmitted Infections?

If left untreated, STIs can lead to serious complications, including pelvic inflammatory disease, infertility, cancer, and increased susceptibility to HIV.

How Can I Prevent Sexually-Transmitted Infections?

Prevention strategies include abstinence, vaccination, regular use of condoms, getting tested regularly, and maintaining a mutually monogamous relationship with a tested partner.

Long-term Management of Sexually-Transmitted Infections

Long-term management involves taking prescribed medications as directed, regular STI testing, and informing sexual partners about your STI status so they can get tested and treated as needed.

What is Recent Research Saying About Sexually-Transmitted Infections?

Recent research is focusing on the development of new vaccines and treatments, understanding the factors that contribute to the spread of STIs, and strategies to improve STI testing and treatment access.

Where Can I Go For More Information on Sexually-Transmitted Infections?

For more information on STIs, visit reputable health websites like the American Sexual Health Association, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, or the World Health Organization.