Skip to Content
Get key facts and figures about chronic dry eye

Sexually Transmitted Diseases


A sexually transmitted disease (STD) is an infection caused by bacteria or a virus. It is also known as a sexually transmitted infection. STDs are spread by oral, genital, or anal sex. Some examples of STDs are chlamydia, syphilis, and gonorrhea. HIV and viral hepatitis are the most common sexually transmitted infections.



  • Antibiotics: This medicine is given to fight or prevent an STD caused by bacteria. Take them as directed.
  • Antivirals: These are given to fight an STD caused by a virus.
  • Antifungals: These are given for fungal infections, such as a yeast infection.
  • Take your medicine as directed. Call your healthcare provider if you think your medicine is not helping or if you have side effects. Tell him if you are allergic to any medicine. Keep a list of the medicines, vitamins, and herbs you take. Include the amounts, and when and why you take them. Bring the list or the pill bottles to follow-up visits. Carry your medicine list with you in case of an emergency.

Follow up with your healthcare provider as directed:

Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.

Prevent the spread of an STD:

Ask your primary healthcare provider for more information about the following safe sex practices:

  • Use condoms: Use a latex condom if you have oral, genital, or anal sex. Use a new condom each time. Use a polyurethane condom if you are allergic to latex. Ask your primary healthcare provider for more information about condoms.
  • Do not douche: Douching upsets the normal balance of bacteria are found in your vagina. It does not prevent or clear up vaginal infections.
  • Avoid infected partners: Do not have sex with someone who has an STD. This includes oral and anal sex.
  • Limit sexual partners: Have sex with one person who is not having sex with anyone else.
  • Do not have sex during treatment: Do not have sex while you or your partners are being treated for an STD.
  • Get screening tests: If you are sexually active, get screening for STDs on a regular basis.
  • Get vaccinated: Vaccines may help to prevent your risk of some STDs. Ask your primary healthcare provider for more information about vaccines for STDs.

For more information:

  • Division of STD Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
    1600 Clifton Rd.
    Atlanta , GA 30333
    Phone: 1- 800 - 232-4636
    Web Address:

Contact your primary healthcare provider if:

  • You have a fever.
  • Your signs or symptoms get worse or come back after you finish treatment.
  • You have bleeding or pain during sex.
  • You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.

Seek care immediately or call 911 if:

  • You have genital swelling or pain, or unusual bleeding.
  • You have joint pain, rash, swollen lymph nodes, or night sweats.
  • You have severe abdominal pain.

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.