Every year in the United States, around 20 million people (adults) get a STD, also known as a sexually transmitted disease. Some very common STDs don’t have any symptoms that make it obvious that there’s a problem. However, all of them can cause you to have some serious health problems. Learning about the different types of sexually transmitted diseases can help you to protect your health for the rest of your life.
If you suspect that you may have contracted a STD, it’s vital that you get tested. If you’re unable to go to a doctor, you’re also able to get do-it-yourself STD test kits. This website has listed the best selling STD test kits currently available. However, it’s always best to get tested by your doctor.
These are the 7 most common sexually transmitted diseases.
7. Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV)
New Adult Cases Within The USA Every Year: 41,000+
HIV is the virus that causes AIDS. When it enters the body, the virus attacks the immune system. It destroys certain white blood cells the body needs to fight off infections. Without enough of these cells, people with HIV develop other serious diseases, such as pneumonia or tuberculosis.
HIV can’t survive for long outside the body. It spreads from person to person through contact with bodily fluids, such as blood and semen during vaginal and anal sex. It’s possible to get HIV through oral sex, but this is not common. A pregnant woman can pass HIV to her baby during pregnancy or while breastfeeding. You can also get the virus from sharing needles or syringes with an infected person.
While there’s no cure yet for the HIV virus, there are several types of medication that can be prescribed to you by your doctor. These medicines will enable you to live a longer life and continue to be active. It will also help to reduce the chance of an infected person spreading the virus to someone else.
The fact that some STDs cause symptoms and some don’t is one of the reasons why STD testing is so important. Read Getting Tested for STDs for more information on who should get tested and where you can go for the tests.
New Adult Cases Within The USA Every Year: 55,000+
Syphilis is an infection caused by bacteria. Sores may develop on the genitals and lips, and in the mouth. The infection spreads through contact with these sores during vaginal, anal or oral sex. A pregnant woman can pass syphilis to her baby.
It can take up to 90 days after exposure for syphilis symptoms to appear. The infection progresses in stages that can last for weeks or even years. After sores appear, a skin rash develops. This can show up on the palms of the hands and soles of the feet. In some cases, the rash can be all over the body. Left untreated, syphilis can cause serious health problems. They include brain damage, paralysis, blindness, and dementia. In extreme cases, syphilis can be fatal.
You have to treat syphilis with antibiotics. These will kill the bacteria. The faster you have a doctor treat your syphilis, the quicker and more complete you’ll recover.
5. Genital Herpes
New Adult Cases Within The USA Every Year: 800,000+
This infection comes from the herpes simplex virus (HSV), type 1 or type 2. You can get herpes by having vaginal, anal or oral sex with someone who is infected. Some people with herpes have mild symptoms. Some have none at all. Other people have outbreaks of lesions that look like blisters around their genitals, rectum or mouth. These blisters can break open and become painful sores that take a long time to heal.
The fluid inside herpes sores contains the virus. You can become infected if you come in contact with it because the virus can spread through the skin. Infected people can pass the virus to their partners even if they don’t have sores. Outbreaks of genital herpes can happen again and again. But the outbreaks usually become shorter and less severe over time.
While there’s no cure for herpes, your doctor can prescribe you medication that will lessen your outbreaks and ease pain.
New Adult Cases Within The USA Every Year: 800,000+
This STD occurs when bacteria infects the lining of a woman’s reproductive tract. Gonorrhea can also develop in the urethra, mouth, throat, eyes and anus of both men and women.
Gonorrhea can spread through many different types of sexual contact. This includes contact from the penis, vagina, mouth, or anus of someone who’s infected. Bear in mind that a pregnant woman can pass this infection on to her child during birth.
People with gonorrhea often have mild or no symptoms. Signs of the infection include painful urination and white, yellow or green discharge from the penis or vagina. Men may develop pain in their testicles. Women can also have vaginal bleeding between periods.
Treatment involves two different antibiotics. Without treatment, gonorrhea can lead to serious health problems. Women can develop pelvic inflammatory disease. This increases women’s risk of infertility and serious complications during pregnancy. Men with untreated gonorrhea can develop inflammation of the tube that helps carry sperm, which can lead to infertility.
New Adult Cases Within The USA Every Year: 1,000,000+
This infection comes from a parasite that passes from one person to another during sex. It can spread from a man to a woman, a woman to a man, or from one woman to another woman. Women usually develop the infection inside the vagina or the urethra. Men can develop trichomoniasis inside the penis. The infection usually doesn’t spread to the mouth, anus or other parts of the body.
Most people with trichomoniasis don’t have symptoms. Sometimes infected people experience itching or burning during urination. Discharge from the penis or the vagina is another sign of trichomoniasis. These symptoms may come and go. It takes antibiotics to get rid of the infection.
New Adult Cases Within The USA Every Year: 3,000,000+
Chlamydia, a very common STD, is causes by a bacterial infection. Possible symptoms you could experience includes genital discharge and burning during urination. But it’s important to note that most people who have this infection show no symptoms.
Chlamydia spreads through sexual contact with the penis, vagina, mouth or anus of an infected person. A pregnant woman can pass chlamydia to her baby during childbirth. Even if you’ve been treated for chlamydia in the past, you can get the infection again.
Your doctor can treat chlamydia with antibiotics. Without treatment, chlamydia can lead to serious health problems. It also is known to cause infertility. Women can develop pelvic inflammatory disease. Men can develop a condition that causes painful inflammation of the tube that helps carry sperm.
1. Genital Human Papillomavirus (HPV)
New Adult Cases Within The USA Every Year: 14,000,000+
HPV is the most common sexually transmitted infection. There are more than 40 types of HPV. They can infect the genitals, mouth or throat. Most men and women who are sexually active will get at least one type of HPV at some point in their life.
HPV can spread from person to person through any type of sex, including vaginal, oral, and anal. In fact, you can even contract this disease if your partner has no symptoms. However, getting vaccines can help to protect you and others from contracting many types of this virus.
HPV infections are usually not harmful. They often go away on their own within two years. The problem is some types of HPV can lead to serious health problems. These include genital warts and cervical cancer. Most people infected with HPV have no symptoms until they develop other health issues.