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What are STDs?

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STDs are sexually transmitted diseases. This means they are most often, but not exclusively, spread by sexual intercourse. The germs that cause sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) hide in semen, blood, vaginal secretions, and sometimes saliva.

They're among the most contagious diseases, and they can have long-term consequences. Some can't be cured and are deadly. STDs can be bacterial or viral infections, or a parasite. HIV, chlamydia, genital herpes, genital warts, gonorrhea, some forms of hepatitis, syphilis, and trichomoniasis are STDs.

STDs used to be called venereal diseases or VD.

SOURCES: American Academy of Family Physicians. CDC National Center for HIV, STD, and TB Prevention. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Hepatitis B Foundation.



Reviewed by Traci C. Johnson on January 30, 2019

SOURCES: American Academy of Family Physicians. CDC National Center for HIV, STD, and TB Prevention. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Hepatitis B Foundation.



Reviewed by Traci C. Johnson on January 30, 2019

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