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Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) are also known as sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). These are infections which are passed though sexual contact. Disease is transmitted though contact with the genitals, skin, mouth, rectum, or associated body fluids. These infections come from a wide range of organisms, including both viruses and bacteria. Many of them are easily treated, but some have no cure. Some cause no permanent damage if caught and treated early, but some can lead to infertility and even death. Among teens and young adults, 1 in 4 will acquire an STI. (1) It is an enormous problem. 



Risk factors: 

being sexually active

multiple partners for self or partner

use of drugs or alcohol since these are associated with poor judgement


Preventing STIs

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists states the following : 

The only sure way to prevent STDs is to abstain from sex or to practice lifetime mutual monogamy (in which both partners have only had sex with each other and no one else). (2) 


Reducing Risk 

1. Immunize where possible. Currently we have vaccinations for Hepatitis B and Human Papilloma Virus (HPV).

2. Choose sexual partners very carefully after getting to know them well. Avoid those with high risk factors. Keep the total number of partners as low as possible. 

3. Do not mix drugs or alcohol with potentially sexual encounters.

4. Use a latex condom.

5. Avoid sex practices such as anal sex, that produce tears or abrasions. 

6. Have a visit with the doctor

     a. if you or your partner have symptoms of an STI

     b. if you change partners

     c. once a year for screening. 


Click below to learn more about screening tests. 


It is important to note that many of these infections have no symptoms when they are initially acquired or even later.

It is also important to note that if a person has acquired an STI very recently, testing may not reveal it. 

This means, of course that the patient may not even know that he or she has the infection, and may unknowingly pass it on to others. 


to Definitive Information 

on Sexually Transmitted Infections 

from the CDC


Bacterial Vaginosis 



Viral hepatitis 

Genital Herpes


Pelvic Inflammatory Disease or PID





" ... She also told me, yes she told me you'll never know what you'll catch..." 

Click below for a Cheap Trick. 


1, 2, 3. Sexually Transmitted Diseases, Fact Sheet, Tool Kit for Teen Care, second edition, ACOG Committee on Adolescent Health Care. 2010

For more information:

National Center for HIV/AIDs, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and Tuberculosis Prevention 

Center for Disease Control and Prevention

See also these links from ACOG:



Gonorrhea, Chlamydia, and Syphilis FAQs