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5 things about... STDs

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Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) are usually passed on during sex. Sexually transmitted infection (STI) is another name, which is often preferred because there are a few STDs, such as chlamydia, that can infect a person without causing any actual disease (i.e. unpleasant symptoms).

1. What are the top five STDs?

The top five most-reported STDs in the UK are chlamydia, gonorrhoea, syphilis, herpes and genital warts. Topping the charts, a massive 200,959 people were diagnosed with chlamydia in 2008.

2. How do you get an STD?

STDs are caused by viruses or bacteria, and are passed on through unprotected sex. This can include anal and oral sex.

3. Who is most at risk?

Teens are among the most at risk for contracting STDs. In fact, 50 per cent of all new STDs diagnosed in the UK are contracted by 16-to-24-year-olds. Help your kids stay safe by talking about prevention.

4. What are the symptoms of an STD?

Tell-tale signs may include: genital itching, discharge, pain during sex or, when urinating, small blisters that turn into scabs or soft, fleshy warts.

5. How can you avoid getting an STD?

You can lower your risk of getting an STD by only having sex with someone who isn't having sex with anyone else and who doesn't have an STD themselves. You should always use condoms when having sex.

Where to next?

- What is an STD?

- More on STDs

- More on health

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