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Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), also known as sexually transmitted infections or STIs, are very common. Millions of new infections occur every year in the United States.
STDs are passed from one person to another through sexual activity including vaginal, oral, and anal sex. They can also be passed from one person to another through intimate physical contact, such as heavy petting, though this is not very common.
STDs don’t always cause symptoms or may only cause mild symptoms, so it is possible to have an infection and not know it. That is why it is important to get tested if you are having sex. If you are diagnosed with an STD, know that all can be treated with medicine and some can be cured entirely.
All adults and adolescents from ages 13 to 64 should be tested at least once for HIV.
All sexually active women younger than 25 years should be tested for gonorrhea and chlamydia every year. Women 25 years and older with risk factors such as new or multiple sex partners or a sex partner who has an STD should also be tested for gonorrhea and chlamydia every year.
All pregnant women should be tested for syphilis, HIV, and hepatitis B starting early in pregnancy. At-risk pregnant women should also be tested for chlamydia and gonorrhea starting early in pregnancy. Testing should be repeated as needed to protect the health of mothers and their infants.
All sexually active gay and bisexual men should be tested at least once a year for syphilis, chlamydia, and gonorrhea. Those who have multiple or anonymous partners should be tested more frequently for STDs (i.e., at 3- to 6-month intervals).
Sexually active gay and bisexual men may benefit from more frequent HIV testing (e.g., every 3 to 6 months).
Anyone who has unsafe sex or shares injection drug equipment should get tested for HIV at least once a year.
Yes, you can. Women who are pregnant can become infected with the same STDs as women who are not pregnant. Pregnancy does not provide women or their babies any additional protection against STDs. Many STDs are ‘silent,’ or have no symptoms, so you may not know if you are infected. If you are pregnant, you should be tested for STDs, including HIV (the virus that causes AIDS), as a part of your medical care during pregnancy. The results of an STD can be more serious, even life-threatening, for you and your baby if you become infected while pregnant. It is important that you are aware of the harmful effects of STDs and how to protect yourself and your unborn baby against infection. If you are diagnosed with an STD while pregnant, your sex partner(s) should also be tested and treated.
• Giving oral sex to a man with an infected penis can result in getting chlamydia in the throat.
• Giving oral sex to a woman with an infected vagina or urinary tract may result in getting chlamydia in the throat.
• Giving oral sex to a man or woman with an infected rectum might result in getting chlamydia in the throat.
• Getting oral sex on the penis from a partner with chlamydia in the throat can result in getting chlamydia of the penis.
• Getting oral sex on the vagina from a partner with chlamydia in the throat might result in getting chlamydia of the vagina or urinary tract.
• Getting oral sex on the anus from a partner with chlamydia in the throat might result in getting chlamydia in the rectum.