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Sexually Transmitted Infections (STI)




HIV stands for human immunodeficiency virus. It is the virus that can lead to acquired immunodeficiency syndrome, or AIDS. Unlike some other viruses, the human body cannot get rid of HIV. That means that once you have HIV, you have it for life.           


Hepatitis B

Hepatitis B is a serious infection that affects the liver. It is caused by the hepatitis B virus.  Hepatitis B can be transmitted through oral, vaginal or anal sex or by using infected needles to inject drugs. Hepatitis B can be prevented by condom use, choosing not to have sex, and, if you use injection drugs, not sharing needles.  Many people infected with Hepatitis B may show few or no symptoms.



Chlamydia is a common STD that can infect both men and women. It can cause serious, permanent damage to a woman's reproductive system, making it difficult or impossible for her to get pregnant later on.



Gonorrhea is a sexually transmitted disease (STD) that can infect both men and women. It can cause infections in the genitals, rectum, and throat. It is a very common infection, especially among young people ages 15-24 years.  You can get gonorrhea by having vaginal, anal, or oral sex with someone who has gonorrhea. A pregnant woman with gonorrhea can give the infection to her baby during childbirth.



Syphilis is an STD that can cause long-term complications if not treated correctly. Symptoms in adults are divided into stages. These stages are primary, secondary, latent, and late syphilis.


Molluscum Contagiosum

Molluscum Contagiosum can spread from one person to another by sexual contact. Molluscum contagiosum is a skin disease that can infect skin around the penis, vagina and anus. Condoms reduce but do not eliminate the risk of transmission.  Molluscum contagiosum can be transmitted by sexual contact or by objects such as towels, clothing, or sex toys that come in contact with the lesions. Molluscum contagiosum also may be transmitted from one part of a person's body to another, such as touching a lesion and touching another part of the body.  Diagnosis is made based on appearance of the lesion or by collecting a specimen. Most symptoms are self-resolving, but generally lesions are removed. Many, but not all, cases of molluscum in adults are caused by sexual contact.



Trichomoniasis (or “trich”) is a very common sexually transmitted disease (STD) that is caused by infection with a protozoan parasite called Trichomonas vaginalis. Although symptoms of the disease vary, most women and men who have the parasite cannot tell they are infected.


Genital Herpes

Genital Herpes is an STD caused by two types of viruses. The viruses are called herpes simplex type 1 and herpes simplex type 2. You can get herpes by having vaginal, anal, or oral sex with someone who has the disease.  Fluids found in a herpes sore carry the virus, and contact with those fluids can cause infection. You can also get herpes from an infected sex partner who does not have a visible sore or who may not know he or she is infected because the virus can be released through your skin and spread the infection to your sex partner(s).


Human Papillomavirus (HPV)

HPV is the most common sexually transmitted infection (STI). HPV is a different virus than HIV and HSV (herpes). HPV is so common that nearly all sexually active men and women get it at some point in their lives. There are many different types of HPV. Some types can cause health problems including genital warts and cancers. But there are vaccines that can stop these health problems from happening.


Genital Warts

Genital warts are one of the most common types of sexually transmitted infections. At least half of all sexually active people will become infected with human papillomavirus (HPV), the virus that causes genital warts, at some point during their lives. Women are somewhat more likely than men to develop genital wart.  Like warts that appear elsewhere on your body, genital warts are caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV). Some strains of genital HPV can cause genital warts, while others can cause cancer. Vaccines can help protect against certain strains of genital HPV.


Safer Sex

Being responsible about shared sexual behaviors by doing things that reduce your chances of getting or spreading a sexually transmitted disease and/or becoming (or getting a girl) pregnant. Usually, this means educating oneself about STDs and pregnancy, using latex barriers like condoms and dental dams, limiting the number of partners a person has, and getting tested for STDs on a regular basis. Because nothing is 100 percent safe, aside from continuous abstinence, the term is “safer” rather than “safe” sex.


If you would like to learn more, including information about symptoms, please visit: http://www.cdc.gov/std



Reduce Your Risk of Getting a STI



This word means not doing something. It is most commonly used to describe not engaging in sexual behaviors. Each person decides which sexual behaviors they include in their definition of abstinence. A person who practices sexual abstinence may say that they are “abstinent,” and what qualifies as being abstinent from sexual behaviors can vary from person to person.



The touching of one’s own body, especially the genitals, for sexual pleasure.



Having only one sexual or romantic partner at a time.



A cover for the penis, worn during sex to prevent STDs and pregnancy. Only a latex condom is recommended for protection against disease. Students can get 3 free condoms per day at the Healthy Miner Office located in the College of Health Sciences/School of Nursing, Room 486


Female condoms

Lines the vagina, which is worn by the woman during sex for similar protection. Condoms are highly effective at preventing STDs and pregnancy if used consistently and correctly.


Dental Dams

A sheet of latex that can be used to cover the vagina or anus during oral sex in order to prevent body fluids from passing from one person to another. It is called a dental dam because it was designed to be used for dental procedures. A substitute can be made by cutting off the tip and slitting the side of a latex condom.