STIs are infections passed from person to person by sexual contact. STIs are one part of a broader group of infections known as reproductive tract infections (RTIs). The following diseases can be transmitted by sexual contact:
Human papillomavirus (genital warts)
Pelvic Inflammatory Disease
- These infections may lead to symptoms in the reproductive organs themselves as well as the skin around the vagina, penis, or anus. Some STIs also cause systemic symptoms that cause problems in other parts of the body. For more information on symptoms, see Common Symptoms of STIs and Other RTIs.
- These infections may lead to serious complications, especially if they are not treated. In addition, STIs increase the risk of acquiring or transmitting HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. For your comfort and safety, as well as that of your sex partners, all STIs should be treated promptly.
If you believe you might have an STI, you should be evaluated by a health care provider as soon as possible.
For information on preventing STIs, see Preventing STIs including HIV/AIDS: Safer Sex.