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Basic facts 1

What are sexually transmitted diseases?

Sexually transmitted diseases, or STDs, are diseases in which the germs spread mostly through sexual contact with someone who is infected. However, STDs may also be spread through blood, for example when people share infected needles, or through kissing. And some, like pubic lice, or crabs, may be caught if you use an infected person’s sheets or towels.

There are many different types of STDs:

• chlamydia • genital warts
• gonorrhea • syphilis
• vaginitis or vulvavaginitis • hepatitis B
• pubic lice • HIV/ AIDS
• genital herpes  

Some STDs can be cured easily, but others, if not treated, may seriously affect your health. If you are pregnant, you can pass the infection on to your baby, in your womb, at birth, or through breastfeeding.

If you are sexually active, you need to know how to protect yourself and people you care for.

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