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What is an STD?
STD stands for Sexually Transmitted Disease, often referred to as STI, or Sexually Transmitted Infection. STDs include bacterial infections like chlamydia, gonorrhea and syphilis, viral infections like HIV/AIDS and herpes, and other infections such as trichomoniasis that is caused by a parasite.
How could I get an STD?
The majority of STDs are contracted through vaginal, oral or anal sex with someone who is infected. However, you can get an STD by sharing dirty needles, razors or toothbrushes with an infected person too.
Bottom line, unless you are in a mutually monogamous relationship with an uninfected partner, you’re risking an STD. Besides these situations, you have a higher risk if:
An STD is serious, so if you think you have one, or may have been exposed, you need to see a health care provider right away. Medicine can cure many STDs, but others, like HIV/AIDS, hepatitis and herpes can’t be cured. However, with treatment, you can still live a long productive life, even if you have the disease.
But you can’t treat an STD if you don’t know you have it. And you can’t know you have it unless you get tested.