In The Know Zone

Spreading STDs

How are STDs Spread

Sexually transmitted diseases can affect any person regardless of age, gender, culture, religion, ethnicity or race. However, the groups mostly affected by STDs are teenagers and young adults, under 25 years of age.

The occurrence of STDs continuously increases. One of the main reasons is because of the increase in numbers of sexual partners a person has in a lifetime. This is due to beginning sexual activity at an earlier age and increased rates of divorce.

Common STDs show no signs or symptoms, especially at earlier stages of the disease. So persons might be involved in sexual contact with others and transmitting STDs unknowingly. Regular check-ups, such as annual Pap tests or physicals, are a good way to making sure you are healthy.

Many STDs spread through the exchange of blood and other bodily fluids. These fluids include pre-ejaculatory (before ejaculation or climax), semen, and vaginal secretions.

Specific actions that might place you at risk of an STD are:

  • Having sex with more than one partner or with a person that has more than one sexual partner.
  • Having sexual contact (vaginal, oral, anal) with an infected person
  • Using drugs
    · Sharing used needles (steroids, IV drug use)
    · Piercing and tattooing with contaminated tools

Most STDs can be treated. Early detection is important to avoid spreading STDs to others, for you to be treated, and to prevent severe damage before it is too late. So, go get tested regularly!

If You Are Diagnosed with an STD

If you have been diagnosed with an STD, it is important that you get treated. If you get treated in time you can prevent passing it to others, including your baby if you are pregnant. Also talk to a health care provider of the risk of transmission through breastfeeding.

Notify all recent sexual partners about being diagnosed. Even if this may seem embarrassing, it is the right thing to do. Tell him or her that you have been diagnosed with an STD and to go get checked. Be honest, do not hide this from your partner.

A doctor might prescribe you a treatment. Follow the treatment and finish it completely. Avoid having sexual contact while being treated for an STD. A follow-up test might be recommended by your doctor or health care provider, make sure you get it. This is to ensure that the STD has been treated correctly.

In The Know: STI Pamphlet/ DVD Package
In the Know: STI Pamphlet Package