What is a sexually transmitted disease (STD)?

Sexually Transmitted Disease (STD)

Sexually transmitted diseases (STD) are infections that are transferred through sexual contact. Examples of STDs are AIDS, syphilis, gonorrhea, condylomas (genital warts), Chlamydia, pubic lice (crabs), and genital herpes to name a few. This list is by no means conclusive. New STDs appear occasionally. AIDS was beginning recognized in 1981. Recently, Lymphogranuloma venereum (LGV), a systemic, sexually transmitted disease (STD) caused by a type of Chlamydia trachomatis that rarely happens in the United States, was discovered among men who have sex with men (MSM) who live in New York City.

AIDS (acquired immunodeficiency syndrome) is caused by the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), a virus that destroys the body's ability to fight off infection. An estimated 900,000 people in the United States are infected with HIV. AIDS makes a person susceptible to many life-threatening diseases and certain forms of cancer. AIDS is the most severe result of a sexually transmitted disease (HIV). Although AIDS patients are leading longer lives, no cure for AIDS or HIV exists at this time.

Syphilis is a sexually transmitted disease (STD) caused by the bacterium Treponema pallidum.

Many people infected with syphilis do not have any symptoms for years, yet remain at risk for complications if they are not treated. Transmission occurs from persons with syphilis who have open sores, but these wounds often go unrecognized. Thus, most transmission of syphilis is from individuals who are unaware of their infection.

Gonorrhea is a sexually transmitted disease (STD) caused by Neisseria gonorrhoeae, a bacterium that grows and multiplies easily in the areas of the reproductive tract. It can also develop in the anus, eyes, throat, and mouth. Gonorrhea is a prevalent infectious disease with more than 700,000 people in the U.S. gets infections each year. Gonorrhea is spread through contact with the vagina, penis, anus or mouth and can also be spread from mother to baby during delivery. Men with gonorrhea may have no symptoms at all. Some men have some signs or symptoms that appear two to five days after infection. Symptoms can take as long as 30 days to seem. Symptoms include a burning sensation when urinating, or discharge from the penis (described as white, yellow or green). In women, the symptoms of gonorrhea are frequently mild, but most women who are infected have no symptoms. As with men, the initial symptoms and signs in women include a painful or burning sensation when urinating and increased vaginal discharge.

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