Facts about STDs

  • STDs are more common than most people realize.  One in four teenage girls in the U.S. has a sexually transmitted disease. Teens and young adults have the highest STD infection rate in the U.S. accounting for 50% of all newly diagnosed STDs.
  • There are approximately 30  infections that are shared through sexual contact (vaginal, oral and anal sex), intimate skin to skin contact, contact with infected body fluids (like blood, semen, vaginal fluid) and from mother to baby before, during and after birth.
  • Many of these diseases begin with mild or no symptoms. Teens are more susceptible to STDs than adults.  A teen female’s cervix is not fully developed and is much more vulnerable to STDs compared to an adult woman.
  • Testing is the only sure way to find out if someone is infected.  Teens are less likely to get tested because they often need to go through their parents to gain access to testing facilities such as doctors.
  • Viral STDs cannot be cured by medicines.  Bacterial STDs can be cured by antibiotics, but damage that has already occurred cannot be reversed.
  • Latex condoms used 100% of the time from start to finish can reduce, but not eliminate the risk of getting STDs. Latex condoms can reduce the transmission of STIs that are passed through intimate skin to skin by about 50%.
  • Having an STD can make it easier to get or spread HIV.