Some types of infections can be spread from one person to another through any type of sexual contact. These infections are called sexually transmitted infections or STIs. Common STIs are:
- Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV)
- Hepatitis A, B, and C
- Pubic lice (also called “crabs”)
Many STIs don’t have symptoms, especially when the infection first starts. When an STI is found and treated early, it can lower the chances of having medical complications and can prevent the infection from spreading to sexual partners. As with any type of infection, prevention is important. You can prevent getting an STI by:
STIs can often be cured or treated with medicine to lessen the symptoms of the infection and to prevent spread of the infection.
Anyone who is sexually active is at risk for an STI. If you are diagnosed with an STI, it needs to be treated but it’s not part of your identity. You are the same person with or without an STI. Talk to your health care provider if you want to be tested for STIs or have questions about STIs.
To learn more about STIs, including treatment options, protecting yourself and getting tested, go to:
If you’re a teacher looking for information for your students or a parent looking for information for your child, visit
Teaching Sexual Health.