20 Facts About Sexually Transmitted Diseases

STD facts

We all know STD stands for Sexually Transmitted Disease, but what do you really know about STDs? We’re willing to bet you didn’t know these 20 interesting facts about common STDs. Yes, we promise they’re all true – even if some are pretty unbelievable!

1. Sexually Transmitted Infections (STI), or STDs, were previously called “venereal diseases” (VDs), a term derived from Veneris, or Venus, the Roman goddess of love.

2. There are about 20 million new cases of Sexually Transmitted Diseases in the United States each year.

3. African-American and Native American women are diagnosed with STIs/STDs at a higher rate than any other ethnic groups.

4. The highest-risk sexual practice is having unprotected anal intercourse with a partner whose STIs/STDs status is unknown.

5. STDs can be spread through unprotected oral sex, especially Gonorrhea, Syphilis, Herpes, and Hepatitis B.

6. You cannot get STDs from a toilet seat. The organisms cannot live on the hard surface long enough, and it also has to be introduced into the body through the mouth, vagina, penis or rectum (this is possible but unlikely).

7. Chlamydia and Gonorrhea are the two most commonly reported STDs; they can infect both men and women. Common symptoms include: pain when urinating, or penile or vaginal discharge, however there may not be any symptoms at all.

8. Chlamydia and Gonorrhea can infect the eyes, mouth, throat, penis, vagina and the rectum.

9. Cases of Chlamydia and Gonorrhea are more common in those between the ages of 15- 25 years of age.

10. Young women (under 25) are four times more likely to contract an STD than to become pregnant, according to Laura K. Egendorf’s book Sexually Transmitted Diseases.

11. Vaginal douching before and after sex does not protect against STDs/STIs and may promote an infection after exposure to an STI/STD.

12. Untreated Chlamydia and Gonorrhea, or recurrent cases, can cause female infertility. These can lead to Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID) or Fallopian tube infection. Both of these cause scarring and damage to the female reproductive organs.

13. With a single Chlamydia infection, there is a 25% chance of sterility for women. With a second infection, there is a 50% chance. And a third infection almost guarantees sterility, due to PID (Pelvic Inflammatory Disease)

14. Not all STDs can be cured: Chlamydia, Gonorrhea, and Syphilis can be cured through antibiotics; viral STDs on the other hand (herpes, hepatitis B, HIV, HPV) are incurable but can be controlled with the right medications.

15. The human papillomavirus (HPV) is currently the fastest growing STI/STD.

16. Some strains of HPV can lead to genital warts and/or cervical cancer.

17. Chlamydia comes from the Greek word meaning “cloak” since most people who have the disease do not know it, as it often does not cause symptoms (they are “cloaked”).

18. Gonorrhea literally means “flow of seed” because it was mistakenly thought the penile discharge was “seed” flowing out against its will.

19. Syphilis is named after a mythological Greek shepherd named Syphilus who was cursed with a horrible disease as a punishment for insulting the god Apollo.

20. Al Capone had syphilis and it may have driven him mad. Other notable people who most likely suffered from syphilis include: Hernando Cortéz, Adolph Hitler, Benito Mussolini, Friedrich Nietzsche, Edourd Manet, Napoleon and, possibly, Franz Schubert.

It’s important to stay informed about STDs and educate yourself so that you can stay safe. STDs are more easily spread than you may think, so it’s important to get STD testing and STD screenings regularly to protect yourself and your partner. These days, STD tests are discreet and quick, meaning there’s no excuse.

For more information on our online STD test and treatment options, contact besafemeds today.

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