Impact of Sexually Transmitted Infection

Sexually transmitted infections (STIs, also called STDs and venereal disease) are any infection that is transmitted from person to person through intimate contact. STIs can also be shared between people who are not sexually involved, whenever a certain amount of bodily fluids (blood, semen, cervical fluid, etc.) are exchanged. Common STIs include:

  • chlamydia
  • gonorrhea
  • syphillis
  • human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)
  • human papilloma virus (HPV), also called genital warts
  • herpes simplex virus (genital herpes)
  • hepatitis C & B
  • trichomoniasis
  • scabies, pubic lice

Myths About STIs

  • they happen to "other" people
  • you can tell if someone has an STI
  • you can tell if you have an STI
  • getting an STI is no big deal - it's easy to treat and then you're immune
  • if you're clean, well-dressed & groomed, you won't catch them
  • if you live in certain areas, you're immune from them
  • you must have sexual intercourse to catch them

STI Facts

  • The fastest growing population with new cases of STIs are high schoolers. Females are more susceptible to acquiring STIs than males because their anatomy is more prone to infection in general.

  • In most women (and some men), there are often virtually no symptoms of STI. Not only can a partner not tell if a woman has an STI, the woman herself usually does not know.

  • If discovered early enough, treatment can be as simple as antibiotics. However, if a case goes untreated, the damage an STI can do may be permanent, life-altering, or life-threatening. Immunity to STIs does not develop, and some STIs are incurable.

  • STIs have nothing to do with cleanliness or grooming. STIs know no geographical or socioeconomic boundaries.

  • STIs can be transmitted through oral sex, vaginal sex, anal sex, even heavy petting. Penile penetration is not a prerequisite for transmission.