Sexually Transmitted Diseases

Did you know that an estimated 1 in 4 American’s is infected with an STD? In today’s society there are approximately 30 different STDs. Sadly, most people infected do not even realize that they are because approximately 80% of infected individuals show no external symptoms. Yet, the consequences include infertility, cancer, and even death. Bacterial diseases can be treated with antibiotics. If you get a viral disease, it is for life. You can treat symptoms, but not cure the disease.

Below are the Most Common, Highly Contagious STDs in Order of Prevalence-

Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) is a viral infection spread through vaginal, anal, and oral sex, as well as direct skin to skin contact. More than half of all sexually active individuals are infected. In women, HPV is the leading cause of cervical cancer that can lead to death. It can also lead to cancer of the vulva and vagina. Men experience increased probability for penile cancer and both men and women can develop cancer of the anus and throat.

Chlamydia is a bacterial infection spread through vaginal, anal, and oral sex that often occurs without symptoms. Each year over a million people become infected with this disease. In both men and women, untreated Chlamydia can lead to future infertility. Women also have risk of developing pelvic inflammatory disease and future ectopic pregnancies.

Genital Herpes is a virus that gets into your body and stays with you for life. Many people don’t know that they carry the virus. Currently, one in five Americans is infected with this disease that is spread through vaginal, anal, and oral sex, as well as direct skin to skin contact. Complications may include painful blisters and women with active infections cannot vaginally deliver without risk to her child.

Gonorrhea is a bacterial infection spread through vaginal, anal, and oral sex that frequently leads to pain. There are approximately 700,000 new infections each year and it is becoming resistant to antibiotics. Complications in women for untreated gonorrhea include pelvic inflammatory disease and infertility. Men may become sterile.

Syphilis is a bacterial disease that has been less common but is currently on the rise. Syphilis can present as a sore that may go away but the disease remains and spreads. Transmission of syphilis can occur through vaginal, anal, and oral sex as well as direct contact. Approximately 36,000 are infected and complications if left untreated include skin, bone, heart, and brain disease, dementia, and blindness. Syphilis can be transmitted to babies prior to birth.

HIV/AIDS is a life-threatening viral infection that attacks the immune system and there is no cure. One in four cases are undiagnosed. Having another STD will increase your risk of transmission for HIV/AIDS.

Copyright 2005 Why kNOw Abstinence Education Programs

Remember, when you have sex you are exposed to your partner's entire sexual history, placing you at even higher risk for disease.  Condoms will not completely eliminate your risk of STDs.  Please call (605) 261-1793 and we can get you set up for STD testing if you have participated in risky behavior.  It is important for your future.