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Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) are diseases spread by sexual contact. This includes vaginal, oral, and anal sex. If you're pregnant, you can also spread them to your baby before or during the birth.
There are at least 20 different STIs. They include chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis, and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). (This is the virus that causes AIDS.) Some STIs can reduce the chance of getting pregnant in the future.
Treatment can cure STIs caused by bacteria. STIs caused by viruses, such as HIV, can be treated, but they can't be cured.
Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse call line if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.
You can help prevent STIs if you wait to have sex with a new partner (or partners) until you've each been tested for STIs. It also helps if you use condoms (male or female condoms) and if you limit your sex partners to one person who only has sex with you.
Call your doctor or nurse call line now or seek immediate medical care if:
Watch closely for changes in your health, and be sure to contact your doctor or nurse call line if:
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Current as of: February 11, 2021
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine
Care instructions adapted under license by your healthcare professional. If you have questions about a medical condition or this instruction, always ask your healthcare professional. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information.
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