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Sexually transmitted infections (STIs)—also referred to as sexually transmitted diseases (STDs)—are those spread by sexual contact. They may also be spread from a pregnant woman to her fetus before or during delivery.
Exposure to an STI can occur anytime a person has sex or close contact that involves the genitals, the mouth, or the rectum with another person, but exposure is more likely if a person has many sex partners or does not use condoms. STIs can be prevented by not having sexual contact (abstinence).
Most STIs can be treated and cured, but some cannot. Some STIs, such as HIV and syphilis, can cause death.
Current as of: May 27, 2016
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review: William H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine & H. Michael O'Connor, MD - Emergency Medicine
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