STIs are infections that people usually get by having sex (vaginal, anal, or oral) with someone who already has a sexually transmitted infection or disease.
There are 19 million new cases of Chlamydia, Gonorrhea and Syphilis according to the Centers for Disease Control each year. CDC estimates that 20 million people are currently infected with HPV, 6.2 million Americans become infected each year and at least 50% of sexually active individuals will acquire an HPV infection at some point in their lives.
Not all STIs are curable. Bacterial STIs can be cured with antibiotic medicine, but viral STIs cannot.
If you are sexually active it is very important to get tested often because most people infected with STIs are asymptomatic (symptom free). Listed below are some of the most common STIs:
- Chlamydia - the most common bacterial STI in the United States.
- Gonorrhea - is a bacterial STI. Untreated gonorrhea can cause serious and permanent health problems.
- HPV (Human papillomavirus) – a viral infection. HPV is the most common STI. HPV can lead to cancer of the cervix, vulva, vagina, anus, or penis. It is spread skin to skin. Approximately 8 out every 10 sexually active women will contract HPV in their lifetime.
- Herpes - a viral infection. There is no cure for herpes and it can be spread even when there are no sores present.
- HIV/AIDS - a viral infection. HIV is spread through blood and sexual secretions. It can also be transmitted through breast milk. Roughly 56,000 new HIV infections occur each year.