There are approximately 30 STIs that are now identified. STIs are more common than colds and flu. It is estimated that approximately 9 million teens and young adults ages 15 to 24 will be newly infected with an STI this year. Compared to adults, sexually active teens and young adults are at a higher risk for getting STIs, mostly due to what they do, how their bodies function and the pressure that is put on them to be sexually active (Source: CDC, Sexually Transmitted Disease Surveillance, 2006)
What is a sexually transmitted infection?
An STI is an infectious condition that is passed from one person to another person during sexual activity. This includes anal, oral, and vaginal sex, and in some cases intimate skin-to-skin contact.
Bacterial STDs/STIs are curable if properly diagnosed and treated by a doctor. People with curable STIs may not receive the proper medical treatment because they don’t know they are infected.
Viral STDs/STIs cannot be cured, but sometimes the symptoms can be treated. Viral STIs can be transmitted during sexual activity even if no symptoms of disease are present.
What are the possible results of an STD/STI?
- Damage to organs
- Damage to unborn babies
- Pelvic Inflammatory Disease
What is the difference between an STI and an STD?
When we hear the term STD and STI, they are often used interchangeably. STI is a sexually transmitted infection. Bacteria, viruses, and other parasites can enter the body during sexual contact with another person who carries these germs (also known as pathogens). People can pass on these pathogens without even knowing it because in many cases there are no symptoms. These pathogens (germs) get into the body and multiply in numbers but they do not cause any visible symptoms. In other words, a person may be totally unaware that they have an infection.
Over time, depending on the strain of the bacteria, virus, or protozoa, these infections can cause visible damage or symptoms and this is then known as a disease. Most people with an STD (sexually transmitted disease) will know it because symptoms show up.
Not all STIs (sexually transmitted infections) cause STDs (sexually transmitted diseases). But an STD came from an STI. (Source: The Medical Institute for Sexual Health, Nov. 2011)
- bacterial vaginosis
- chlamydia *
- gonorrhea *
- lymphogranuloma venereum
- mycoplasmas, genital
- syphilis *
- treponematoses, endemic
- pubic lice
- trichomoniasis *
- Epstein Barr virus
- hepatitis A
- hepatitis B
- hepatitis C
- hepatitis D
- herpes simplex virus human immunodeficiency virus *
- human papillomavirus
- human T-cell lymphotropic virus
- molluscum cantagiosum
Some of these STI’s can be contracted through other means other than sexual activity.