Sexually Transmitted Diseases

What Is the Definition?

“STDs are diseases that are passed from one person to another through sexual contact,” a representative of the CDC says. The number of cases of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) hit an all-time high in 2017, according to preliminary data released on August 28, 2018, by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The CDC’s data shows that more than 2.3 million new cases of gonorrhea, syphilis, and chlamydia were reported that year.

In addition, the press release stated that syphilis diagnoses were up by 76 percent and gonorrhea diagnoses up by 67 percent since 2013. Chlamydia remained the most common condition reported to the CDC, with more than 1.7 million cases diagnosed in 2017. Here’s what you need to know about how to spot, treat, and prevent STDs.

The Most Common STDs.

According to the CDC, some of the common STDs are chlamydia, gonorrhea, herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV-2), human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), human papillomavirus (HPV), and syphilis. “Many of these STDs do not show symptoms for a long time,” per the CDC, “but they can still be harmful and passed on during sex.”

The Ways I Can Get an STD.

Virtually all STDs can be transmitted through anal, vaginal, or oral sex. In addition, some STDs can also be transmitted through close skin-to-skin contact, even if no intercourse occurs. HPV, for example, can be spread through skin-to-skin touching. In addition, “Molluscum contagiosum, a viral skin disease, can be spread through sexual or casual contact, as can scabies, an itchy skin condition caused by a mite infestation. It is also possible to get scabies from an infected sleeping bag or bed,” says Edward W. Hook III, MD, an endowed professor of infectious disease translational research in the departments of medicine, epidemiology, and microbiology at the University of Alabama in Birmingham, who works with the CDC.

STDs don’t just affect the genital regions: “Oral herpes can be transmitted through oral and genital sex,” says Dr. Hook.