Sexually Transmitted Disease
Alternate Names : STD, Venereal Disease, VD
Sexually transmitted disease, or STD, refers to any contagious disease that is
transmitted from one person to another during sexual contact.
What is going on in the body?
Diseases are passed from one person to another in many ways. The common
cold, for example, could be
caught during sexual activity. However, the cold is not considered a sexually
transmitted disease because sex is not the main way a cold is transferred from
one person to another.
Sexual activity refers to contact between the genitals of one partner and the
genitals, anus, eyes, mouth, or throat of the partner. An STD may be
transmitted by bacteria, a virus, or a parasite. These microorganisms can enter
the body and infect the skin and mucous linings of the vagina, rectum, urethra,
cervix, eyes, mouth, and throat. STDs can be spread by heterosexual or
What are the causes and risks of the disease?
The organisms that cause sexually transmitted diseases are
passed from one partner to another during sexual intercourse. Any other
intimate contact of the genitals, mouth, rectal area, or the sharing of sexual
toys can also transmit the organism from one individual to another.
The most common STDs are as follows:
gonorrhea, caused by the Neisseria gonorrhoeae
bacterium. This condition primarily causes pain and a fluid discharge in the
chlamydia, caused by the Chlamydia trachomatis
bacterium. This STD may also cause pain and a fluid discharge in the affected
syphilis, caused by the Treponema pallidum
bacterium. Untreated syphilis causes a painless skin rash and many other
effects, including heart and brain damage.
AIDS, caused by the human immunodeficiency virus, or HIV. This condition
slowly destroys the immune system, which results in serious infections and,
genital herpes, caused by the herpes simplex virus. This STD results in a painful skin
rash and sores on the area of contact that can return from time to time.
B, caused by the hepatitis B virus, which can cause serious
liver disease and liver cancer
trichomonas, caused by the Trichomonas vaginalis
parasite. This condition causes a discharge from the vagina in women.
pubic lice, commonly referred to as crabs, which are caused by a
parasite Phthirus pubis. This STD causes itching, which may be
virus or HPV, which causes genital warts
Other STDs are less common. Having multiple sex partners and not using condoms
increases the risk of STDs. Having sex with those more likely to have STDs,
such as prostitutes, also increases the risk. Open lesions or sores on the skin
or inside the mouth increase the likelihood of catching an STD when
skin-to-skin exposure takes place during sexual activity. Oral or anal sexual
practices can expose a person to a greater load of organisms.