Sexually transmitted diseases are a major epidemic affecting people worldwide. With occurrence rates at mind-blowing highs, now is the time to arm yourself with information regarding prevention, signs and symptoms, and treatments available.
This article provides links to resources that will enable you to protect yourself from contracting an STD, answer any questions you may have, or offer advice on managing an STD that you’ve acquired.
- Gonorrhea, chlamydia, hepatitis B, and genital herpes can be transmitted from mother to child during delivery. (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)
- It is estimated that one in five Americans has an STD. (Solutions Pregnancy & Health Center)
- More than 15 million cases of sexually transmitted diseases are reported in the United States each year. (Epigee)
- Over 700,000 people are infected with gonorrhea annually. (Aberdeen Area Tribal Chairmen’s Health Board)
- The majority of those infected with STDs do not exhibit any symptoms. (New York State of Department of Health)
- There are over 40,000 HIV infections every year. (AIDS.org)
- There have been over 25 million AIDS-related deaths in the world. (American International AIDS Foundation)
- There is a 10 to 90-day window between acquiring syphilis and exhibiting symptoms. (MedHelp)
- Chancroid – Chancroid is caused by a bacteria called Haemophilus ducreyi and is highly contagious, characterized by ulcers on the genitals. Symptoms normally develop within four to ten days after initial contact. Women tend to be much more asymptomatic than men.
- Chlamydia – Chlamydia is a curable disease that is acquired through sexual contact or during delivery. It is one of the most common STDS in the United States, with an occurrence rate of 4 million people annually. It is most often found in teenage girls.
- Genital Herpes – Genital herpes is diagnosed in about half a million Americans every year. It is thought to be present in roughly 50 million worldwide. There has been no cure found so far.
- Genital Warts – Genital warts is caused by HPV, or the human papillomavirus, which is known to cause cervical cancer. It is estimated that two thirds of people who participate in sexual activities with an infected person will develop genital warts as well. Removal of warts can be achieved by medication, surgery, or with time.
- Gonorrhea – 2.5 cases of gonorrhea in the US are estimated to develop annually. It can cause pelvic inflammatory disease in women, which can lead to infertility. It is spread in numerous ways, including during oral sex to the throat, anal sex, and can even be transmitted to the eye.
- Hepatitis B – Hepatitis B is an STD that causes inflammation of the liver. It is transmitted through sexual contact with an infected person, using infected needles, razors, or toothbrushes, or from mother to child during birth.
- HIV/AIDS – HIV, or Human Immunodeficiency Virus, is a virus that attacks the body’s CD4 or T-cells. AIDS, or Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome, is the most advanced stage of HIV, indicating a severely damaged immune system. There are several ways to contract HIV, including through semen, vaginal fluids, blood, and breast milk.
- Pelvic Inflammatory Disease – PID is normally caused by contracting another STD like chlamydia or gonorrhea. It is characterized as an infection of the uterus, fallopian tubes, and ovaries. If left untreated, it can cause infertility in women.
- Pubic Lice – Pubic lice, or crabs, can be spread through sexual contact or through use of infected items such as towels, clothing, and sheets. Though most commonly found in pubic hair, the lice can also move to other hairy parts of the body like the armpits or beards. It can be treated with medications and with trimming the hair the lice resides in.
- Syphilis – Syphilis is a bacterial infection that occurs in four stages: primary, secondary, latent, and tertiary. A sore occurs in the first stage, and during the second stage bacteria spreads through the blood. In the latent stage, it can no longer be transmitted to others, but it begins to destruct the body’s organs.
- Trichomoniasis– Trichomoniasis is considered the most common treatable STD, with an occurrence rate of about 7.4 million new cases in the US every year and over 180 million cases worldwide. It is normally cured through prescription medication.
- Behavioral Interventions for Prevention and Control of Sexually Transmitted Diseases – This book seeks to examine and discuss the prevention and contraction of STDs from a behavioral perspective. Over 40 experts in the field offer opinions about what can be improved and what needs to be changed.
- Damaged Goods?: Women Living With Incurable Sexually Transmitted Diseases – This book takes a look at the psychological and social aspects of women living with incurable STDs. Over 40 women opened up to medical sociologist Adina Nack about how they cope with their diagnoses.
- Denying AIDS – In this book, Professor Seth C. Kalichman examines the underlying causes behind the movement of denial of HIV and AIDS. He traces the denial from its beginnings, and outlines a plan to promote the truth.
- Dr. Ruth’s Guide to Talking About Herpes – Dr. Ruth is an expert on sex and is not afraid to talk about things that others avoid. This book is meant to be used as a source of support and advice for those dealing with herpes.
- Living With Sexually Transmitted Diseases – This book on STDs caters to the sexually active teenage population. Teens can learn more about common STDs, what they can do to prevent acquiring one, and what to do after they’ve been diagnose.
- Seductive Delusions: How Everyday People Catch STDs – This book is a collection of real-life stories wherein people talk about the mistakes they made will lifelong consequences. There are chapters on individual diseases, as well as advice and tips woven throughout the book.
- Sexually Transmitted Diseases Fourth Edition – This textbook on STDs discusses every aspect, from epidemiology to social and psychological factors and biological processes. There is also a large section profiling groups especially susceptible to contracting STDs.
- Sexually Transmitted Diseases: A Physician Tells You What You Need to Know – This book is for those wanting to learn more about symptoms, diagnoses, causes, and effects of sexually transmitted diseases before they visit the doctor.
- Sexually Transmitted Diseases: Vaccines, Prevention, and Control – This book is divided into three parts: the first discusses the biology and immunity of diseases, the second suggests strategies for combating the epidemic, and the third part analyzes the progression and advancement of vaccines.
- Soap, Water, and Sex: A Lively Guide to the Benefits of Sexual Hygiene and to Coping With Sexually Transmitted Diseases – This book is a guide to enjoying safe sex as well as prevention and dealing with STDs if contracted. It is written by internist Jacob Lipman and he covers over 30 sexual transmitted diseases in the book.
- The Hidden Epidemic: Confronting Sexually Transmitted Diseases – This book takes a hard look at the scope of responsiveness by the country to the STD epidemic. A plan to turn things around, prevent the further spread of STDs, and advance public education is outlined as well.
- There Is an Answer: How to Prevent and Understand HIV/AIDS – This book opens a dialogue regarding the most serious STD, HIV and AIDS. It discusses prevention and treatment.
- AIDS.gov – AIDS.gov is a resource on HIV and AIDS provided by the US government. There’s a news feed, updates on awareness days, a blog, and federal resources.
- AIDS.org – This is an all-inclusive AIDS information source. They post daily reports of AIDS mentioned in the news, maintain a FAQ page on AIDS, and collect people’s stories and experiences of living with an HIV or AIDS diagnosis.
- AidsFactSheet.com – Here you will find several news updates relating to AIDS as well as a collection of links to other AIDS resources.
- American Social Health Association – The ASHA shares facts about several types of STDs, as well as statistics and advice on using a condom on their site.
- AVERT – This well-designed site is divided into categories, enabling you to scan information by country, by population, or by type of STD. Other topics covered include prevention, treatment, and statistics.
- Center for Young Women’s Health – This site caters to young female teens who have questions or concerns regarding sexually transmitted diseases.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention – The CDC is a branch of the Department of Health and Human Services, and this website is the superior resource for learning about STDs. You can look over STD studies, read about current governmental campaigns, or simply find out more about an individual STD.
- Freedom Network – This basic and succinct site offers material regarding the main STDs, including chlamydia, gonorrhea, and genital warts.
- Medline Plus – Medline Plus offers extensive information catering towards all types of visitors, including those interested in reviewing the latest STD research and those who want to learn more about the signs and symptoms of various diseases.
- National Prevention Information Network – This site looks at the STD epidemic from a prevention perspective. Current news relating to prevention, educational methods, and facts regarding vulnerable populations and other statistics are all posted here.
- Planned Parenthood – Planned Parenthood is one of the leading providers of care relating to sexuality and pregnancy. Along with a multitude of other topics regarding sexual issues, there is information on 16 types of STDs.
- Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada – Several aspects of this site cater to informing different audiences about HPV, including teens, parents, healthcare providers, and teachers.
- STDinformation.net – Along with the standard descriptions of the various STDs, there are also discussions on symptoms, treatments, and testing.
- The Body – This site, resembling a newspaper page, covers absolutely every aspect of HIV and AIDS. There’s advice for those newly diagnosed, blogs and personal stories, a forum, articles, and much more.
- The Well Project – The Well Project is a nonprofit organization founded by HIV positive women. The focus of this site is women and includes advice on treatments, trials, statistics, blogs, a Twitter feed, and more.
Online Forums & Communities
- Healia: This site provides an opportunity to join a community of fellow STD sufferers. You can ask questions or read through questions asked by others.
- Herpes & Cold Sore Support Forum: This highly-visited forum offers support and information to those affected by the herpes virus.
- Herpes Doctor Public Forum: This support forum gives people the opportunity to relate their experiences with herpes, give advice, ask questions, and make friends with peers.
- HIV and AIDS Forum: Here you will find a safe space to discuss issues relating to STDs. The format enables you to post any question you may have, no matter how embarrassing or frank it may seem.
- STD Help: This is a forum providing a common area for people to talk about STDs. There’s a thread to ask questions and support groups separated by disease.
- YourStdHelp.Com: On this forum, you will find such topics for discussion as STDS in the news, treatments, cures, questions, and daily living.