Sexually transmitted diseases, or STDs, are very common. Often there are no symptoms, at least not at first. Left untreated, STDs can cause serious health issues, including infertility, pain, and even death, in some cases. Also, having one STD can increase the risk of getting another.

The good news is all STDs, including HIV, are treatable, and many are curable.

While routine testing for many STDs is recommended, that does not mean it always happens as part of a regular checkup or gynecologist exam. To know for sure, ask to be tested.

Scroll on for more about specific STDs, including symptoms, testing and treatment.

A healthcare provider can advise on which STDs you should be tested for and how often. If you don’t have a regular provider, free or low cost STD testing is available in most areas.

Chlamydia

  • A bacterial infection
  • Often doesn’t have symptoms
  • Cured with antibiotics
  • Estimated 1.7 million new cases in the U.S. each year

Gonorrhea

  • A bacterial infection
  • Often doesn’t have symptoms
  • Cured with antibiotics
  • Estimated 550,000 new cases in the U.S. each year

Hepatitis B

  • A viral infection affecting the liver
  • Often doesn’t have symptoms
  • No cure, but treatable with prescription medication. Vaccine available
  • Estimated 20,000 new cases in the U.S. each year

Hepatitis C

  • A viral infection affecting the liver
  • Often doesn’t have symptoms
  • Cured with prescription medication. Left untreated can cause liver disease and death
  • Estimated 2.4 million people living with hepatitis C in the U.S.

Herpes

  • A virus affecting the mouth and/or genitals
  • Can cause blistery sores
  • No cure, but outbreaks can be managed with prescription medication
  • Estimated 1 in 6 people has genital herpes in the U.S.

HIV/AIDS

  • A virus that attacks the immune system
  • May not show symptoms initially
  • No cure, but treatable with antiretroviral prescription medications that also prevent transmission
  • Estimated 1.1 million people living with HIV in the U.S.

HPV

  • A virus with 150 different types
  • Some types cause genital warts; others, including those associated with cervical cancer, often do not have symptoms
  • Vaccine protects against some types that cause genital warts and cancer
  • Estimated 14 million new cases in the U.S. each year

Syphilis

  • A bacterial infection
  • Symptoms can come and go, and may include sores
  • Cured with antibiotics
  • Left untreated can cause permanent damage
  • Estimated 30,000 new cases in the U.S. each year

Trichomoniasis

  • A parasitic infection
  • Usually no symptoms, but can cause vaginitis that may result in discharge and irritation
  • Cured with antibiotics
  • Estimated 3.7 million people living with trich in U.S.
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