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STDs (Sexually Transmitted Diseases)

Reviewed by: Amy W. Anzilotti, MD
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Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) are infections spread from person to person during sex (vaginal, oral, or anal) or close sexual contact. STDs are also called sexually transmitted infections, or STIs.

The only way to completely avoid STDs is to not have sex or close sexual contact. To help lower your risk of getting an STD if you do have sex:

  • Use a latex condom every time you have sex (vaginal, oral, or anal).
  • Get tested with any new partners before having sex.
  • Have sex with one partner only (who also doesn’t have sex with other people).

It's important to learn about STDs so you can protect yourself. Learn about the signs and symptoms of the most common STDs, how they spread, and how they're diagnosed and treated:

Reviewed by: Amy W. Anzilotti, MD
Date reviewed: February 2022