Sexually Transmitted Disease

Sexually Transmitted Disease

What is an STD?

STD stands for sexually transmitted disease (sexually transmitted infection, or STI, is also used.) People contract STDs through sexual contact with an infected person. Some STDs have other, nonsexual means of transmission. Risk of contracting STDs can be reduced by avoiding sexual contact or by consistent use of condoms during sexual activity or by practicing safer forms of sexual intimacy. In some cases, people can further reduce their risk for contracting a sexually transmitted disease by being vaccinated.

Which STDs have vaccines?

Some STDs, such as such as gonorrhea, Chlamydia, and syphilis, are caused by bacteria. They are usually effectively treated with antibiotics, although many patients do not know that they are infective and can spread the disease to other partners. The availability of treatments means that the need for vaccines against these diseases is not a top priority, although the increased resistance of gonorrhea to antibiotics may lead to a shift in priorities.

Viral STDs are often highly persistent despite current therapeutic options or have no acceptable treatment available. Therefore, vaccines for certain viral STDs are in use, and others are in development.

How Can I reduce the risk of getting an STI?

There are many ways you can reduce your risk of getting an STI:

  • Know your sexual partner and limit their numbers
  • Use a latex condom
  • Avoid risky Sex practices
  • Get immunized