STI stands for Sexually Transmitted Infections.

Anyone who has had unsafe sex without a condom can get an STI or pass it on to someone. It doesn’t matter if you’re straight, lesbian, gay, or bisexual or if you’ve had one or more sex partners or if it is your first time or not.

A sexually transmitted infection develops in your body when a bacteria, virus, or parasite is passed on to you through sexual contact with a person who has an STI. 

This can happen through:

  • Anal, oral, or vaginal sex.
  • Sharing sex toys
  • Sharing needles
  • Skin-to-skin touching which only applies to a few STIs like herpes and HPV.

You can have an STI without even noticing any symptoms at all.

All STIs can be treated and most can be cured so having an STI doesn’t mean the end of your sex life. 

Sometimes young people are afraid to tell anyone they might have an STI because they are embarrassed or ashamed. This is too bad because STIs are very common and can be managed or cured. But remember this: you do need to do something about it quickly!

There are three kinds of STIs:

  • Bacterial STIs:  gonorrhea, syphilis and chlamydia which can be cured with medication.
  • Viral STIs:  genital herpes, genital warts hepatitis B and HIV which cannot be cured, but their symptoms can be treated.

Parasite STIs: Scabies or pubic lice which can be cured with skin creams.

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