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Sexually Transmitted Diseases
Basic Information

Sexually Transmitted Diseases

The term 'Sexually Transmitted Diseases' (abbreviated STDs) refers to a group of illnesses that can be transmitted from one person to another through the sharing of body fluids, including ejaculate ("cum"), vaginal fluids, blood, and other fluids. Apart from sharing similar ways of infecting people, the various diseases compromising the STDs have little in common. They have a variety of different causes (including bacteria and viruses), they produce a variety of symptoms (or absence of symptoms), and they have very different effects on the body when left untreated.

STDs are transmitted when body fluids from an infected person come into intimate contact with another person. As their name implies, the most common route through which this body fluid sharing occurs is sexual activity. All forms of sexual activity may involve sharing of body fluids. Sexual contacts involving any combination of genitals, anus, fingers and/or mouth can place a person at risk.

STDs can also...

 
Fast Facts: Learn! Fast!

What are sexually transmitted diseases (STDs)?

  • The term 'Sexually Transmitted Diseases' (abbreviated STDs) refers to a group of illnesses that can be transmitted from one person to another through the sharing of body fluids, including ejaculate ("cum"), vaginal fluids, blood, and other fluids.
  • As their name implies, the most common route through which this body fluid sharing occurs is sexual activity, which may involve any combination of genitals, anus, fingers and/or mouth can place a person at risk.
  • STDs can also be contracted through sharing of needles used for injecting drugs.
  • It is very important that you seek immediate medical attention if you suspect you have an STD.
  • They frequently can lead to serious health complications for infected persons and an infected person will transmit their disease(s) to other people they are intimate with.
  • Some STDs can be cured outright with proper medical attention, while others can be medically managed (but not eliminated).
  • While having multiple sexual partners does raise one's risk of contracting an STD, it is also possible to get an STD in the context of a new monogamous relationship (where one partner already has an STD), or when a partners' extramarital affair brings an STD back into an otherwise monogamous relationship.

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What should I do if I suspect I've been infected with an STD?

  • While some STDs make their presence known through obvious and uncomfortable symptoms such as rashes, itches or burning sensations, others are 'silent' and produce no noticeable symptoms. The only way to know if you have a silent STD is to visit your doctor for a test.
  • Upon hearing that you suspect you've been exposed to one or more STDs, a doctor will examine you for tell-tail signs that you've been infected, and may prescribe medication and/or other therapies to address any diseases that are found or suspected.
  • If you are diagnosed as having an STD, the right thing to do is to inform your recent sexual partners of this fact, as there is a very good chance that they will also be infected.
  • Also, if you are infected, it is a good idea that you not have sexual relations with other partners until cleared to do so by your doctor, again so that you do not inadvertently spread the STD to other unsuspecting partners.

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What types of sexually transmitted diseases (STDS) are there and how are they treated?

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