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Facts About Sexually Transmitted Disease (STD’s)

Last Updated on May 26, 2018

What are Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs)?

Sexually transmitted diseases are diseases which are transmitted from an infected person to an uninfected person through vaginal, anal or oral sex. Sexually transmitted diseases are also known as STIs [Sexually transmitted infections], STDs or Venereal diseases.

STDs can be caused by bacteria, viruses, yeast or parasites. These diseases affect both men and women, but the health problems are more severe in women and can even affect the unborn baby or cause cancer. There are some viral infections such as hepatitis B, Hepatitis C and Zika which can also be transmitted sexually along with other routes for transmission.

STDs are diagnosed by testing urine and blood samples, vaginal, cervical, or urethral swabs and a Pap smear to detect early signs of cervical or anal cancer.

There are more than 25 types of STDs, however the major ones are - Chlamydia, Chancroid [soft chancre], Genital herpes, Gonorrhea, human immunodeficiency virus(HIV), Human Papillomavirus (HPV), Syphilis, and Trichomoniasis.

Facts on Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs)

  • In India the bacterial STIs like chancroid and gonorrhea are declining, while viral STIs like HPV and herpes genitals are showing upward trend.
  • STDs among older adults are on the rise.
  • Bacterial STDs can be cured by antibiotics but viral STDs last a lifetime and can only be controlled.
  • The US has the highest rate of STD infection in the industrialized world.
  • Chlamydia is the most common infectious cause of genital and eye diseases globally.
  • HIV transmission is possible even if a person with HIV has no symptoms of HIV.
  • Chancres and trichomoniasis make a person two to five times more likely to contract an HIV infection.
  • Zika infection during pregnancy can cause a birth defect called microcephaly [smallness of the head due to incomplete brain development] and Guillain Barre syndrome [a nervous system disorder characterized by progressive symmetrical paralysis and loss of reflexes].
  • Cervical cancer, mainly caused by Human Papillomavirus infection, is the leading cancer in Indian women and the second most common cancer in women worldwide. Also it is the fifth common cancer in human beings.
  • Correct usage of latex condoms greatly reduces, but does not completely eliminate, the risk of catching or spreading STDs.
  • Significant decreases in the incidence of gonorrhea have been noted since 1980, and the disease is now mainly seen in young homosexual men, highly sexually active individuals and socio economically deprived communities.

Statistics on Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs)

  • More than 1 million STDs are acquired every day worldwide. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that there are more than 110 million STDs among men and women in the US.
  • Each year, there are an estimated 357 million new infections with 1 of the 4 STDs: chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis and trichomoniasis.
  • More than 500 million people are estimated to have genital herpes (HSV 2).
  • More than 290 million women have human papillomavirus (HPV) infection.
  • Chlamydia is 50 times more common than syphilis and more than three times more common than gonorrhea.
  • According to CDC chlamydial infections affect approximately 1.5 million people per year, mostly under 25 years old.
  • STDs such as HSV type 2 and syphilis can increase the risk of HIV acquisition.
  • The annual cost of diagnosing and treating STDs in the United States is $16 billion.
  • Each year about 23,000 to 25,000 women in the United States are diagnosed with infertility due to untreated STDs.
  • The annual number of new infections is roughly equal among teen girls (51%) and teen guys (49%).
  • Less than half of adults age 18 to 44 have never been tested for an STD other than HIV.
  • More than 15% of people are infected with more than one STD.


  1. STDs and HIV – CDC Fact Sheet - (https://www.cdc.gov/std/hiv/stdfact-std-hiv.htm)
  2. 7 Important Facts to Know About STDs - (https://www.americanprogress.org/issues/women/news/2014/04/23/88371/7-important-facts-to-know-about-stds/)
  3. Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) - (http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs110/en/)
  4. Statistics STIs - (http://www.ashasexualhealth.org/stdsstis/statistics/)
  5. Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STD) Disease-Specific Research - (https://www.niaid.nih.gov/diseases- conditions/std-research)
  6. What are some types of and treatments for sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) or sexually transmitted infections (STIs)? - (https://www.nichd.nih.gov/health/topics/stds/conditioninfo/Pages/types.aspx)
  7. 11 Facts About Teens and STDs - (https://www.dosomething.org/facts/11-facts-about-teens-and-stds)
  8. Sexually transmitted infections in India: Current status (except human immunodeficiency virus/acquired immunodeficiency syndrome) - (http://www.e-ijd.org/article.asp?issn=0019- 5154;year=2007;volume=52;issue=2;spage=78;epage=82;aulast=Thappa)

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