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Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs)

Sexually transmitted infections (STIs)—also referred to as sexually transmitted diseases (STDs)—are those spread by sexual contact. They may also be spread from a pregnant woman to her fetus before or during delivery.

Exposure to an STI can occur anytime a person has sex or close contact that involves the genitals, the mouth, or the rectum with another person, but exposure is more likely if a person has many sex partners or does not use condoms. STIs can be prevented by not having sexual contact (abstinence).

STIs include:

Most STIs can be treated and cured, but some cannot. Some STIs, such as HIV and syphilis, can cause death.

ByHealthwise Staff
Primary Medical ReviewerWilliam H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine
Specialist Medical ReviewerH. Michael O'Connor, MD - Emergency Medicine
Last RevisedNovember 16, 2012

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: November 16, 2012
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.