Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), also known as sexually transmitted infections (STIs), are very common. Millions of new infections occur every year in the United States. STDs are passed from one person to another through sexual activity including vaginal, oral, and anal sex. While less common, STDs can also be passed through any intimate physical contact.
STDs don’t always cause symptoms or may only cause mild symptoms, so it is possible to have an infection and not know it. That is why it is important to get tested if you are having sex. If you are diagnosed with an STD, know that all can be treated with medicine and some can be cured entirely. You have to be vigilant about STD prevention. If you’re sexually active, it is important to have only one partner, and to talk about your plans to remain exclusive with each other. Barrier methods of birth control, such as condoms, may help reduce your risk of getting most STDs (Mayo Clinic).