Home -> FAQ -> Frequently asked questions (FAQ) about Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs) -> What are sexually transmitted diseases (STDs)?

What are sexually transmitted diseases (STDs)?

Answer

Sexually transmitted diseases are diseases that can be passed from person to person through sexual contact. Depending on the STD, sexual contact that causes transmission can include penis-vagina penetration, oral sex, anal sex, and/or mutual masturbation (touching someone else�s genitals and then touching yours). Some of these diseases can be transmitted by exchange of sexual fluids such as semen or vaginal discharge. Others are usually transmitted by open sores or warts of an infected person coming into contact with the skin of an uninfected person. Occasionally, STDs can be transmitted in non-sexual ways, such as through casual contact, by sharing needles, or from an infected mother to her baby during pregnancy or delivery.

There are many different kinds of STDs: some are easily cured with simple drugs, some take multiple kinds of treatments and drugs to cure, and some can only be treated and not cured. It is important to understand STDs to be able to protect yourself from future infection, to be able to recognize the symptoms of STDs, and to be able to seek treatment if you think you might have an STD.

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