Your Guide to Sexually Transmitted Diseases
Sexually transmitted diseases, commonly called STDs, are diseases that are spread by having sex with someone who has an STD. You can get a sexually transmitted disease from sexual activity that involves the mouth, anus, vagina, or penis.
According to the American Social Health Organization, one out of four teens in the United States becomes infected with an STD each year and by the age of 25, half of all sexually active young adults will get an STD.
STDs are serious illnesses that require treatment. Some STDs, like HIV, cannot be cured and are deadly. By learning more, you can find out ways to protect yourself from the following STDs.
- Genital herpes
- Human papilloma virus/Genital warts
- Hepatitis B
- Gonorrhea ("Clap")
What Are the Symptoms of STDs?
Sometimes, there are no symptoms of STDs. If symptoms are present, they may include one or more of the following:
- Bumps, sores, or warts near the mouth, anus, penis, or vagina.
- Swelling or redness near the penis or vagina.
- Skin rash.
- Painful urination.
- Weight loss, loose stools, night sweats.
- Aches, pains, fever, and chills.
- Yellowing of the skin (jaundice).
- Discharge from the penis or vagina. (Vaginal discharge may have an odor.)
- Bleeding from the vagina other than during a monthly period.
- Painful sex.
- Severe itching near the penis or vagina.