What you should know about STIs
Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) are spread through vaginal, anal, and oral sex with someone who has an STI.
Some sexually transmitted infections and diseases, like herpes and HPV, are spread by skin-to-skin contact — so you don’t actually have to “go all the way” (intercourse) to get one.
STIs are caused by certain bacteria, viruses, or parasites that spread through sexual activity. How they act differs—some don't even have symptoms so you could have or pass on an infection without knowing it.
There are many ways to reduce the risk...
1 in 5
of Americans have a sexually
transmitted infection
STI protection
There are many ways to reduce the risk of contracting and spreading STIs. Know how to protect yourself, and your partner(s).
  • Testing
    There’s no shame in getting tested. In fact, STI testing should be a part of your routine care — even if you’re asymptomatic.
  • Prevention
    To reduce the risk of contracting an STI (or STD) use a barrier method like condoms, everytime (see how to use them correctly, here.)
  • Vaccinations > HPV
    Most people get HPV at some point in their life. This STI may go away on its own, but sometimes it causes cancer. If you’re not vaccinated already, and you’re at least 11 years old, talk with your health care provider ASAP.
  • Vaccinations > Hepatitis B
    Most people get vaccinated for Hep B when they’re babies, but you can lose your immunity over time. Talk with your health care provider to decide if you need to get re-vaccinated.
  • PrEP (pre-exposure prophylaxis)
    PrEP is a medicine that can prevent people who are at risk from getting HIV. Talk with your health care provider to determine if PrEP might be right for you.