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Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) are caused by infections that are passed from one person to another during sexual contact.

These infections often do not cause any symptoms. Medically, infections are only called diseases when they cause symptoms. That is why STDs are also called “sexually transmitted infections.” But it’s very common for people to use the terms “sexually transmitted diseases” or “STDs,” even when there are no signs of disease. There are many kinds of sexually transmitted diseases and infections. And they are very common — more than half of all of us will get one at some time in our lives.

Human papillomavirus infection An infection that causes warts in various parts of the body, depending on the strain.

Genital herpes A common sexually transmitted infection marked by genital pain and sores.

Chlamydia (Chlamydia trachomatis) A common sexually transmitted infection that may not cause symptoms.

Gonorrhea (Neisseria gonorrhoeae) A sexually transmitted bacterial infection that, if untreated, may cause infertility.

HIV/AIDS HIV causes AIDS and interferes with the body’s ability to fight infections.

Syphilis (Treponema pallidum)A bacterial infection usually spread by sexual contact that starts as a painless sore.