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9 Common STDs (Sexually Transmitted Diseases ) in Men

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STDS in men: Common infections and facts

  • Common types of STDs in men include Chlamydia, gonorrhea, Trichomonas, and genital herpes.
  • Some of the most common STDs in men may not produce signs or symptoms.
  • When present, signs and symptoms of STDs can be genital lesions or sores (as with herpes or HPV), urethritis (with gonorrhea or Chlamydia), or systemic symptoms that affect the entire body (such as HIV).
  • STDs in men can be caused by bacteria, viruses, or parasites.
  • Treatment for STDs in men is generally directed toward the causative organism. For example, STDs caused by bacteria are typically curable with antibiotics.
  • Some STDs, like herpes and HIV infection, persist for life.
  • Early diagnosis of STDs as well as counseling about STDs and risks of spread can help avoid spreading the infections to others.
  • Zika virus also can be transmitted through sexual contact.

What are sexually transmitted diseases (STDs)?

Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) are infections transmitted during sexual contact. STDs are often referred to as sexually transmitted infections (STIs). STDs can be transmitted during any type of sexual activity. Some STDs can be cured with a course of antibiotics, while others persist and are not curable. Some STDs may cause debilitating signs and symptoms, while others may be present without causing symptoms at all. Many STDs do not cause notable signs or symptoms and can be spread by infected people even when they are not aware they have the infection.

Who is at risk for STDs?

Anyone who engages in any kind of sexual activity is at risk for STDs. The only way to completely eliminate the risk of acquiring an STD is abstinence from sexual activity. The use of latex condoms during sexual contact can greatly reduce the chances of contracting many STDs, but no method is completely safe.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have released a report that estimates that 20 million new STD infections occur each year. People aged 15 to 24 account for about half of those newly infected. Young men and young women are about equally affected. According to the CDC, sexually active gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men (MSM) are at greater risk for acquiring STDs. In addition to an increased risk of syphilis, over 50% of all new HIV infections occur in MSM.

What causes STDs in men?

  • STDs can be caused by different kinds of microorganisms, including viruses, bacteria, and parasites.
  • Sexually transmitted viral infections include human papillomavirus (HPV), human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), herpes simplex virus (HSV), hepatitis B and C, and human herpesvirus-8 (HHV-8).
  • Sexually transmitted bacterial infections include syphilis, gonorrhea, and chlamydia.
  • Trichomonas is an example of a sexually transmitted infection caused by a parasite. Infestations with parasitic bugs, such as lice or scabies, can also be transmitted by close contact and may be acquired during sexual activity.
  • Humans contract the Zika virus through the bite of an infected vector mosquito, and the Zika virus can be transmitted to others through sexual contact.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 9/2/2016


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