Sexually transmitted infections or STIs are spread through sexual activity. STIs can affect the genitals, anus, mouth and throat. Having an STI may increase your risk of getting HIV
STIs including HIV infection are preventable. The best way to prevent STIs is to avoid vaginal, oral, and anal sex. If you have sex, both partners can agree to use condoms correctly every time and not to have other sexual partners . Do not share needles or syringes used for drugs.
HPV stands for Human Papilloma Virus; it is a very common STI that can infect the genitals as well as the mouth and throat. Some types of HPV cause cancers or warts. There are vaccines for some types of HPV; girls may receive the vaccine at school. HPV requires treatment and is not curable.
Some STIs have symptoms of discomfort, and others may not. Even without symptoms, STIs can cause serious health problems like infertility or cancer. If you have sores (whether or not they are painful), bumps, discharge, or irritations on or coming from your genitals go to the health center right away.
Some (but not all) STIs are curable. Completing proper treatment will cure some STIs like gonorrhea and chlamydia. Proper treatment can reduce symptoms of STIs that cannot be cured like herpes or HPV.