STD resident survival guide

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Editor-In-Chief: C. Michael Gibson, M.S., M.D. [1]; Associate Editor(s)-in-Chief:

Synonyms and keywords:


Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs) are infections that are passed usually through sexual contact. STDs are also termed as Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs) or venereal disease. A person usually contracts STD through unprotected vaginal, anal, or oral sex. Usage of condoms usually reduces chances of getting STDs greatly. It can also be transmitted through breast-feeding and sharing needles. STDs could be caused by bacterias, viruses or parasites. Bacterial and parasitic infections can be treated by antibiotics but there is no cure for a viral STD. For viral disease, medications are given to keep the symptoms and disease under control.


Life Threatening Causes

STDs can cause serious life threatening complications. This is because many STDs are often asymptomatic and there for goes undetected. Because many STDs go undetected for a long time, major health consequences such as cancers, infertility, neurologic changes and other chronic diseases follow years after the initial infection. Viral causes of STDs especially result in life long infection for which there is currently no curative treatment.

  • Cancers caused by STDs: There are several sexually transmitted pathogens that cause cancer. Some strains of Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) are considered to be the cause of cancer of the cervix, vulva, vagina, penis, and anus. Epstein-Barr Virus (EBV) transmitted by intimate contact including kissing and sexual intercourse. Hepatitis B virus contracted by sexual intercourse or by intravenous drug use,
  • Reproductive health problems
  • Deaths associated with STDs

Common Causes


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