Sexually Trasmitted Infections (STIs)

Sexually transmitted infections (STIs), sometimes referred to as sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), are infections that are passed from one person to another during vaginal, anal, or oral sex and can sometimes be spread during other intimate contact. STIs can also be passed from a pregnant person to an unborn or newborn baby.


STIs can cause serious and sometimes life-long health problems if left untreated. Some examples include:

  • inability to get pregnant and other pregnancy complications, 
  • certain cancers of the vagina, cervix, penis, anus, or throat, 
  • damage to the brain, nervous system, and organs, which can sometimes cause death 

STIs passed during pregnancy or childbirth can be very serious or cause death in an unborn or newborn baby.


Many STIs, including chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis, and trichomoniasis (trich), can be cured with antibiotic medications.  Other STIs such as HIV, herpes, and human papillomavirus (HPV) cannot be cured; however, there are medications to manage or treat the symptoms of these infections.

  1. Symptoms
  2. Prevention
  3. Testing
  4. Resources

What to Watch For

Many people with STIs do not experience any symptoms. It is possible to have an infection and not know it. This is why getting tested for STIs is so important. Some common symptoms of STIs include:

  • Painful urination, 
  • Unusual discharge from the penis or vagina, 
  • Sores, bumps, or rashes in and around the genital area,
  • Swollen genitals or lymph nodes. 

Some STIs can also cause flu-like symptoms such as fevers, tiredness, and nausea/vomiting. Learn more about each STI and the symptoms they can cause.