Sexually transmitted diseases are very common medical conditions that can be transmitted through the exchange of semen, blood, and other body fluids or by direct body contact. The term sexually transmitted disease applies to more than twenty different infections, some of which affect the sex organs but are not transmitted through sexual intercourse. These diseases are usually mild and can be cured with a treatment of antibiotics. When left undiagnosed and subsequently untreated sever health problems can follow, including infertility, blindness, cancer, mental instability, and death. In the United States, the following infections cause the most damage:

Chlamydia: is an infection that can severely damage a woman’s reproductive organs, and according to the CDC, is the most frequently reported bacterial STD in the United States. Symptoms can include genital discharge, painful/frequent urination, fever, and abdominal pain. In 50 percent of cases men experience the aforementioned symptoms, while women only experience symptoms 25 percent of the time. Overall, with most cases the symptoms either do not show or are incredibly mild.

Gonorrhea: is caused by a bacterium that grows in most places, like the reproductive track of a women and the urethra of men. According to the CDC more than 700,000 persons in the U.S. get new gonorrheal infections each year. Though transmitted by contact with fluids from the penis, vagina, mouth, or rectum, ejaculation is not required to transmit gonorrhea. Gonorrhea can also be transferred from mother to unborn child.

Genital Warts: are more of a nuisance than a serious health risk. The cauliflower shaped growths on or surrounding the genitals unsightly but typically cause no pain. However, they are a symptom of HPV (human papillomavirus) and should be taken seriously nevertheless.

Syphilis: dubbed the “great imitator,” the symptoms of this disease are so diverse that misdiagnosis is incredibly likely.

Herpes: there are two types of herpes, HSV1 and HSV2. HSV2 is commonly known as genital herpes. Like most other STDs herpes cases can be asymptomatic, clusters of painful blisters grow on and near the anus, vagina, and penis. The infection rate for people living in the United States has decreases nearly 45 million people have an infection. There is no known cure for herpes, but medication can be taken to reduce the number and frequency of genital outbreaks. It should be noted that even when an outbreak is not visible herpes is still contagious.

HIV/AIDS: a virus that severely weakens the immune system. When the immune system deteriorates enough and viruses, bacteria, fungi, and parasites or “opportunistic infections” begin to set in, a case is usually classified as AIDS.

More STD Information

More STD information thoroughly explaining symptoms, testing procedures, prevention, and treatment can be found online, including the website for the CDC or in person by visiting a health care provider. The biggest mistake regarding STDs is for an individual to believe that since he/she can not see or feel any symptoms nothing is wrong. Anyone having any form of sexual contact, including kissing, vaginal, anal, and or oral sex is at risk and should be tested.

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