Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) or sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) are infections that are transmitted due to sexual activity. They may be bacterial or viral. Most common are:
Gonorrhea, Chlamydia, Mycoplasma genitalium, Syphilis, Trichomoniasis, Genital herpes "HSV, " Genital warts caused by "human papillomavirus" or "HPV" (some types of HPV cause cervical cancer in women), Hepatitis B, Human immunodeficiency virus or "HIV", the virus that causes AIDS and Syphilis.
STD’s may be transmitted through any type of sex. HIV and hepatitis B can be transmitted by exposure to body fluids. Hepatitis A and hepatitis C are usually transmitted in other ways but can also be transmitted through sex.
It is important to screen for STI’s since they can be asymptomatic and infected person is not aware of infection. STIs can be found through a blood or urine test.
Symptoms of STD may include genital itching, burning, sores, or discharge. Affected people may have no symptoms or have fevers, chills and enlarged lymph nodes (glands that are all over a body.)
Treatment includes antibiotics for bacterial and antiviral medications for viral infections. Partners should be informed and tested too.
Prevention and education are important. It includes protected sex, vaccines for HPV and Hepatitis A and B and use of anti-herpes medications for prophylaxis. There is also a pill for people at high risk of contracting HIV.