What is an STD?
STD stands for Sexually Transmitted Disease. An STD is any disease or infection that is passed by body fluids during sexual contact (vaginal, anal or oral sex). Body fluids include semen, vaginal fluids and blood. STDs can also be passed by skin to skin contact.

What is an STI?
STDs are also known as Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs). This is because some medical professionals feel that Sexually Transmitted Infection is a better description than Sexually Transmitted Disease because the symptoms of the disease are not always present. When a person has a disease without the symptoms it is called asymptomatic, and 90% of people with Genital Herpes are asymptomatic.

What are the most common STDs?
Genital Herpes (HSV2)
Hepatitis B & C
Human Papaloma Virus (HPV)

Am I at risk for STDs?
If you are sexually active you are at risk for STDs. You have a 1 in 4 chance of getting an STD from every partner and many people get an STD from their first sexual encounter. You have a 1 in 2 chance of getting an STD by the age of 25.

What if I get an STD?
Don’t freak out! Most STDs can be cured and all can be treated. Getting tested and catching the infection before it progresses into something which can cause greater health risks or passing it on to your partner is the right thing to do.

If you have an incurable, but treatable disease like HIV or Genital Herpes, have a frank discussion with your partner about it and methods to have sex which can reduce the probability of transmission. Many couples have a very active and enjoyable sex life when one partner is positive. It’s always better to know your status and to protect your partner or future partners.

To learn more about the different STDs please go to our Sexual Health Info Center or follow one of the links below:

American Social Health Association
MTV Featured Article - "Why should you I get tested?"