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Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs) and STD Testing

Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) are infections that are spread through sexual contact with an infected person. They are also called sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and venereal diseases (VD). STDs can be caused by bacteria, parasites, and viruses, and more than half of the US population will contract one within his or her lifetime. STDs affect both men and women.

There are over 20 different STDs, including:

You can protect yourself and others from sexually transmitted diseases through the practice of safe sex and vigilant testing. For example, a study by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases found that the use of latex condoms reduced the risk of contracted gonorrhea by 49-75% for men. If you believe that you may have been exposed to infection, an STD test will catch the infection early and help you seek the proper treatment to reduce the risk to yourself and your sexual partners. STD tests are fast and easy to get.

STDs caused by bacteria can be cured by antibiotics, and those caused by parasites can be treated with over the counter drugs and other medicines. Typically, STDs that are caused by a virus cannot be cured, but medicine and proper care can help keep the disease under control in some cases.

Though this is naturally a sensitive subject, the risks of STDs – especially those left untreated – mean that education and awareness are very important. STD Test Guide covers STD prevention, breaks down the different types of diseases along with symptoms and risk factors, and offers guidance and alternatives for those seeking testing. On our website, you will learn about where to get tested, when you should be tested, and plenty of options for testing, including free, confidential, and at home options.

This website contains general medical information and does not replace advice from your healthcare provider or doctor.

More Resources

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
American Sexual Health Association