Intimate contact between two people can spread an STD or sexually transmitted disease if one partner is infected. STDs can infect everyone, young, old, rich, poor, it does not matter, as long as they have sex or have close skin-to-skin contact with someone who has the infection.
It is unfortunate that STDs or more commonly referred as STIs or sexually transmitted infections usually affect teens. They belong to the high-risk group that needs to be educated in order to protect them from acquiring or spreading the infections.
Acquiring an STD might be embarrassing but the serious health problems that it will cause could be life-threatening. Untreated STDs can lead to permanent health damage such as infertility and worse, as in the case of an HIV/AIDS infection, death.
Many people think that sexual intercourse is the only reason to become infected with an STD. It is a mistaken belief since there are some STDs that can infect through close skin contact with an infected sore such as genital warts or herpes.
Another mistaken theory about STDs is that you cannot be infected if you only have anal or oral sex. That is far from the truth because the bacteria or viruses that are in the different kinds of STDs can gain entry to the body through tears and tiny cuts in the genitals, mouth, and anus.
STDs are also easily spread because infected people are most of the time unaware that they have the infection. That is because many STDs do not show signs and symptoms which could pass on the infection without realizing it.
Here are the ways that can make a person a high-risk of getting and STD:
- Engaging in sex at a young age. There is a big chance of getting infected with STD when a person starts having sex at a young age.
- Multiple sex partners. Any form of sexual activity with a lot of sexual partners is giving infections a chance to infect your body. Staying with the same uninfected partner who only has you is a far safer option.
- Not practicing safe sex methods. Protective barriers such as a latex condom should be used at all sexual activities even when there is no penetration. The condoms should also be used correctly to get the maximum protection.
The most common STDs are:
- Genital warts or HPV
- Genital Herpes or HSV-2
- Hepatitis B or HBV
- Pubic lice or crabs
Prevention is the key, instead of a cure. STDs are much easier to prevent than to cure. Abstaining from all sexual contact is the only way to prevent STDs. Before engaging in any sexual contact the best way to lower the risk of getting infected is by using a condom or a dental dam when oral sex is involved.
Sexually active people should get regular male genital or gynecological examinations. This will give doctors a chance to see if there’s an STD infection which could be highly treatable when it is at its earliest stage.