We are going to start this informative blog with some key facts.

  • According to the 2022 Center for Disease Control and Prevention STI Surveillance Report, there were over 2.5 million reported cases of gonorrhea, syphilis, and chlamydia in the United States (CDC, 2024). 
  • The World Health Organization reports more than a million daily cases of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) are contracted globally, with the majority exhibiting no symptoms (WHO, 2023).
  • Annually, approximately 374 million new infections arise from one of the four treatable sexually transmitted infections (STIs): chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis, and trichomoniasis (WHO, 2023).
  • The estimated number of individuals aged 15-49 with a genital infection caused by the herpes simplex virus (HSV or herpes) exceeds 500 million (WHO, 2023).
  • Every year, human papillomavirus (HPV) infection is responsible for causing over 311,000 cervical cancer deaths (WHO, 2023).
  • STIs complicate pregnancies, cause infertility, and increase the risk of HIV/Aids.

STIs are not an end to all; with medical help, you can manage your symptoms and combat the infection altogether. Here are some answers to the most common answers concerning sexually transmitted infections and diseases.

Who can get STIs? 

Anyone, regardless of race, age, sexual orientation, religious belief, economic status, or relation status, can contract STIs. If you are sexually active, you run the risk of contracting an STI. 

What type of sex leads to STIs?

You can contract STIs from vaginal, anal, oral sex, and other skin-to-skin contact with an infected person. But that is not the only way you can contract an STI. Other types of STIs, such as hepatitis B, can be contracted through blood transfusion. 

Will I be safe from all STIs if I use condoms?

No, condoms are not the ultimate protection against all STIs. The only preventive method for STIs is abstinence. Abstaining from sexual activities is the only way to protect yourself from the risks of STIs. We recommend using condoms as a prevention method for STIs and unwanted pregnancies. Keep in mind that some STIs can also spread through skin-to-skin contact, so just using condoms will not be effective for these types of STIs.

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How do I know I have an STI?

Most people who have an STI may not have any symptoms. Many people report not having symptoms for days, weeks, or months. Some infected people never knew they were infected until the infection reappeared. 

The only way to be sure you have an STI is to get tested by a medical professional. Asymptomatic individuals can still transmit an STI to their sexual partners. Anyone who is sexually active or has new partners should test for an STI before sexual activities. Lack of symptoms does not mean anything. Get tested and know your status!

What kind of symptoms might be present?

Symptoms of STI often include:

  • Painful bumps, sores, or warts
  • Severe itching
  • Swelling or redness around the genitals.

Can I get rid of an STI?

There are medications to cure some STIs, such as chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis. There are treatments to control and prevent complications from the four incurable STIs - HIV/AIDs, herpes simplex virus (HSV), hepatitis b, and human papillomavirus (HPV). 

There are two crucial things to remember about STIs

  1. Even if you successfully treat the curable STIS, you can still contract any of them more than once. 
  2. If you have an STI, you are more likely to contract HIV.

It is crucial to get medical treatment after an STI diagnosis. Untreated STIs can cause serious health issues, including cancer, infertility, stillbirths, and death. Keep yourself and your partner(s) safe through regular STI testing. 

March 27, 2024

This article is for informational purposes only. It is not, nor is it intended to be, a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment and should never be relied upon for specific medical advice.