Know the Facts
Abstinence is not the only answer to preventing the spread of sexually transmitted infections (STIs). There are several proven and effective methods of prevention for those with sexually active lifestyles, the most important of which is knowledge:
- 1 Know the facts about sexually transmitted infections,
- 2 Know your STI status as a sexually active individual,
- 3 Know your partner's STI status
- 4 Share this knowledge with other sexually active individuals.
Get started with the STI basics listed below, then find more detailed information about individual infections by clicking on the links to the left.
What is an STI?
A sexually transmitted infection (STI) is an infection caused by a virus, parasite, or bacterium, and most commonly spread through vaginal, oral, or anal sex. Chlamydia, gonorrhea, and herpes are examples of some of the most common STIs.
Is there a difference between an STD and an STI?
While the term "sexually transmitted disease," or STD, has traditionally been used to characterize many of the conditions described on SxCheck.com, many health care institutions have recently begun phasing out this label in favor of the more accurate "sexually transmitted infection" (STI). The main difference lies in the fact that "disease" implies physical illness or the presence of outward symptoms, which is not necessarily the case with most STIs. In fact, some individuals may be infected for years without ever knowing it.Read "Three Steps to Protect Yourself from STDs - What Everyone Should Know"
If you have an STD/STI, you are not alone
- Approximately one in every three hundred Americans have HIV/AIDS, and 25% don't know it.
- Approximately one in every five Americans are infected with genital herpes
- Approximately 1/3 of Americans have an STI by the age of 35
- 19 million new infections occur each year, almost half of them among young people ages 15 to 24
- 2.8 million Americans (est.) are infected with chlamydia each year
- At least 50 percent of sexually active men and women acquire genital HPV infection at some point in their lives; by age 50, at least 80 percent of women will have acquired genital HPV infection