Teens and STDs

A Teen Gets an STD Every Eight Seconds!

Few of us know as much as we should about sexually transmitted diseases. If you’re like most people, you probably don’t spend a lot of time thinking about your risk of getting or spreading an STD.

Here’s the deal… Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), also known as sexually transmitted infections (STIs) are very real and happen to many teens, more than you think. One out of four sexually active teens has a STD (STI). In order to reduce your risk of infection, you should reduce risky behaviors.

The facts tell us a different story. STDs (STIs) are among the most common infectious diseases in the U.S. today. In fact, 10,000 teens are infected by STDs (STIs) per day, or one teen every eight seconds! Another startling fact is that one out of every four sexually active teens has an STD (STI).

The term STD (STI) refers to a group of diseases that are spread from person to person usually during sexual contact, but can also be spread by using an infected needle. The germs that cause STDs (STIs)can be spread during oral (mouth), anal or vaginal sex. Some STDs (STIs) are spread from skin -to-skin contact with an infected partner’s genital area—not just through intercourse.

Know the Facts:

STD Name

What is it?


How is it spread?


Crabs (Pubic Lice)

Parasites or bugs that live in pubic hair.

Intense itching in genital area. Visual evidence of crabs.

Close personal contact with someone who has crabs, sharing of personal items that are infested with crabs or crab eggs.

Prescription and over -the -counter medication.


A recurrent skin condition that can cause skin irritations in the genital region (anus, vagina, penis).

Pain or burning during urination, flu-like symptoms, small red bumps which will then turn into fluid-filled blisters. Blisters will dry and heal within one to three weeks. There is usually pain, burning, or itching during this time. Herpes remains even after the blisters are healed. Blisters may come back. Sometimes there are NO symptoms.

Sexual contact (oral, anal, vaginal) with someone who has herpes, kissing or touching the body parts that are infected. Herpes can be spread after blisters are healed!

There is NO CURE for herpes.


A bacterial infection that can scar the fallopian tubes affecting a woman’s ability to have children.

Discharge from penis or vagina, pain or burning during urination, pain in the abdominal area. Often you have NO signs!

Sexual contact (vaginal, anal, oral) with someone who has chlamydia.

Antibiotic medications. It will not go away unless treated. Sexual partners must also be treated.


Bacterial infection of the penis, vagina or anus.

Pain or burning during urination, pus-like discharge. Sometime NO signs.

Sexual contact (oral, anal, vaginal) with someone who has gonorrhea.

Antibiotics can be taken; sexual partners must also be tested/treated


Bacterial infection that can spread throughout the body and affect the heart, brain, nerves.

1st stage: a sore (chancre) appears at the site of infection, sore will heal but you still have syphilis. 2nd stage: after sore heals, skin rash and flu-like symptoms appear. Symptoms will go away, but disease remains.

Sexual contact (vaginal, anal, oral) with someone who has syphilis.

Antibiotic medication. Very important to follow up and make sure disease is cured. If left untreated syphilis can lead to very severe health problems and even death.

Genital Warts / Human Papillomavirus (HPV)

Virus that affects the skin in the genital area, as well as the female’s cervix.

Small, bumpy growths on, in, or around sex organs or anus, vary in color and size, Sometimes cannot be seen at all.

Skin to skin sexual contact (vaginal, anal, or oral) with a person who has genital warts.

There is NO cure for HPV.

Hepatitis B

A disease that affects the liver.

Tiredness, vomiting, stomach pain, loss of appetite/weight, aching muscles/joints, fever, nausea, diarrhea, yellowing of skin or eyes (jaundice), dark colored urine. May only feel one or a couple of these symptoms or none at all.

Contact with blood, semen or vaginal fluids of a person who has hepatitis B. Mainly spread through sexual contact, but can also be spread through needle sharing and during birth.

There is NO cure for hepatitis B.


Human immunodeficien-cy virus (HIV) is a virus that attacks the immune system resulting in acquired immunodeficien-cy syndrome (AIDS).

Persistent symptoms that might include fever, night sweats, unexplained weight loss, diarrhea, tiredness, swollen lymph glands, and nausea. Often there are no symptoms with early HIV infection, but some may have brief flu-like symptoms.

Virus is passed through the exchange of blood, semen, or vaginal fluids with an infected person. This happens most often through sex and sharing needles. An infected woman can also pass the virus to her child before or during birth. HIV can also be spread to an infant through breast milk.

There is NO cure for HIV.