Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs)
A sexually transmitted infection (STI) is an infection you can get by having sex. Some STIs (such as gonorrhea and chlamydia) infect your sexual and reproductive organs. Others (such as HIV, hepatitis B, and syphilis) cause general body infections. STIs used to be called VDs, or venereal diseases.
STIs are very common in people under the age of 25. If you are sexually active, get tested! To find out what tests you should have, visit STDUniversity.org.
An STI is spread during sexual activity. It is spread during vaginal, anal, and oral sex. Some STIs (HIV and hepatitis B) are also spread by contact with infected blood. STIs are not normally spread by digital sex (fingering); however, unclean hands or uncut nails can cause genital problems.
Most STI germs need to live in warm, moist areas. That's why they infect the mouth, rectum, and sex organs (vagina, vulva, penis, and testes).
Most STIs can be cured if you seek treatment. Most STDs/STIs are asymptomatic, meaning you have no symptoms. Other times, the symptoms go away on their own. Either way, you still have the STI until you get treated. Some STIs cannot be cured.
Below are links PAMF accessed when researching this topic. PAMF does not sponsor or endorse any of these sites, nor does PAMF guarantee the accuracy of the information contained on them.
STD Wizard: It takes 5 minutes to find out if you need to be tested for an STI such as hepatitis, HIV or Chlamydia.
HIV Rap Interactive: Watch a video, answer a quiz to assess your HIV risk, or just learn more about sexual health strategies to protect you and your partner using this collection of interactive, multimedia, science-based HIV information, prevention resources, and personal stories.
Know the Risks: This interactive HIV/AIDS Information and Personal Risk Assessment Center can help you to better understand your risks for HIV and learn more about prevention strategies. The survey and learning activities are also available in Spanish.