Contracting a Sexually Transmitted Disease (STD), also sometimes referred to as a Sexually Transmitted Infection (STI), is one possible consequence of sexual activity. The two major types of STD/STIs are viral and bacterial.


Viral STD/STIs

Viral STD/STIs can’t be cured with medicine. There are medications that help suppress the symptoms, but they don’t cure the virus itself. A few viral STD/STIs are: genital herpes, human papillomavirus (HPV) and HIV/AIDS.

Bacterial STD/STIs

Bacterial STD/STIs are curable, but the damage the bacteria do to your body before you get treatment is irreversible. They are usually treated with antibiotics. A few bacterial STD/STIs are: chlamydia, gonorrhea, trichomoniasis and syphilis.

Common Symptoms of an STD/STI

  • Burning and/or itching
  • Discharge
  • Chronic low stomach pain
  • Sores or other bumps
  • No symptoms at all

If you’re having any kind of sex (oral, anal or vaginal), you could be exposing yourself to STD/STIs. The only way to know for sure if you have an STD/STI is to get yourself tested regularly. You may feel uncomfortable going to get tested, but an undiagnosed STD/STI could make you a lot more uncomfortable in the long run.

Abstinence is the only 100% effective way to prevent STD/STIs, but condoms do offer some protection from many STD/STIs. So if you are choosing to have any kind of sex, using condoms or dental dams is a healthy choice.

More Information

If you need additional information, please contact the National Sexually Transmitted Disease Hotline at 1-800-227-8922 or visit these websites to find out more:

CDC – Information on STDs

It’s Your Sex Life – STD Low Down

I Wanna Know – STI Overview


  • You can’t tell if someone has an STD/STI just by looking at them.
  • 1 in 4 sexually active teens has an STD/STI
  • Millions of teens contract an STD/STI each year
  • STD/STIs are often completely asymptomatic – meaning you don’t have any symptoms
  • If you’re having oral, anal or vaginal sex, you could get an STD/STI
  • The only way to know for sure if you have an STD/STI is to get tested
  • So if you’re having sex or have ever had sex, know your status – get yourself tested regularly

Need help finding a clinic where you can get tested? Text the keyword “clinic” to 42411 or go to to find the closest clinic.