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Sexually Transmitted Diseases
Basic Information

The term 'Sexually Transmitted Diseases' (abbreviated STDs) refers to a group of illnesses that can be transmitted from one person to another through the sharing of body fluids, including ejaculate ("cum"), vaginal fluids, blood, and other fluids. Apart from sharing similar ways of infecting people, the various diseases compromising the STDs have little in common. They have a variety of different causes (including bacteria and viruses), they produce a variety of symptoms (or absence of symptoms), and they have very different effects on the body when left untreated.

STDs are transmitted when body fluids from an infected person come into intimate contact with another person. As their name implies, the most common route through which this body fluid sharing occurs is sexual activity. All forms of sexual activity may involve sharing of body fluids. Sexual contacts involving any combination of genitals, anus, fingers and/or mouth can place a person at risk.

STDs can also be contracted through sharing of needles used for injecting drugs. It doesn't matter what sort of drugs are being used; an insulin user who shares needles is at risk just as is a heroin user who shares needles. For this reason, people who inject drugs or use needles for other injections (like insulin) should never share needles with other people. If sharing needles is unavoidable, needles should be rinsed with bleach for at least 30 seconds (this will kill HIV, but not Hepatitis C). For more in...

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