Take Control of Your Sexual Health

If you are sexually active, you need to know about sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) also called sexually transmitted infections (STIs). You can get an STD with any kind of sexual contact, whether you wear a condom or not. Reduce your risk by getting tested, having open and honest conversations with your partner, and only engaging in sexual activity in a committed, monogamous relationship.

If you’re pregnant, it’s especially important to get tested, since some STDS can affect your baby or may spread during an abortion procedure. Take control of your sexual health by learning the facts.

Click here to learn more about the names and effects of common STDs.

How common are STDs?

  • More than 65 million people in the US are currently living with an incurable STD.
  • Every year, 20 million new STDs occur in the US, half among those 15-24.
  • The Centers for Disease Control estimate that 1 in 4 sexually active teen girls have an STD.
  • Of Americans age 14 and older, 1 in 6 have herpes. 776,000 people in the US get new herpes infections each year.
  • About 79 million Americans, most in their late teens and early 20s, are infected with Human Papillomavirus (HPV).

Are there long-term effects of having STDs?

  • Human Papillomavirus (HPV), which causes genital warts, accounts for more than 95% of cervical cancer. Cervical cancer claims the lives of 4,000 American women yearly.
  • Undiagnosed STIs cause 24,000 women to become infertile every year.
  • Having any STD increases the risk of contracting HIV.

Will I have symptoms if I have STDs?

Most people who have an STD experience no noticeable symptoms or may not recognize the symptoms for what they are. You can be infected or infect someone else without even knowing it.

Am I protected from STDs if I only have oral or anal sex?

  • The following STDs are transmitted via oral and anal sex:
    • Chlamydia
    • HPV
    • Herpes
    • Gonorrhea
    • Syphilis
    • Hepatitis B and C
    • HIV (anal sex is especially risky)

How effective are condoms in preventing STDs?

  • Consistent use of condoms during vaginal sex can reduce the risk of STDs by up to 80%. Condoms are less effective in preventing STDs that are transmitted through skin to skin contact (such as HPV) since condoms do not cover all possible infected areas.

We can also refer you to other organizations in the community to help you get the STD testing you need. 

The information was obtained from the following sources:

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    • Sexual health & STDs
    • If you are sexually active, you need to know about Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs). You can get an STD with any kind of sexual contact, whether you wear a condom or not.

      Learn more about your sexual health here.