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Sexually Transmitted Diseases

Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) are specific diseases that are spread through sexual contact, normally via body fluids from the genitals. More than 708,000 people in the UK contracted a sexually transmitted disease in 2003 - that's around 80 people every hour!

At best STDs are uncomfortable or even painful; at worst they can kill. The most common STD is a bacterial infection called Gonorrhoea. This appears as a discharge from the penis or vagina which is accompanied by itching and pain when urinating. If untreated it can cause infertility and chronic pelvic inflammation. A course of antibiotics will cure the disease, but cannot reverse the damage that has already been done.

Of more concern to people who are sexually active is the HIV/AIDS virus. The main modes of transmission are through vaginal, oral and anal sex, but it can be contracted through blood from an infected person as well as sharing a needle with an infected person.

Most people who have the HIV virus end up developing AIDS. Currently, there is no known cure for AIDS and although treatments can prolong life, the disease is terminal. Using a condom during sex reduces the chances of infection, but it is no guarantee.

For more information on Gonorrhoea, HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases, please use the resources on our site.


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