Sexually transmitted diseases/infections (STDs or STIs) can be transmitted in many ways, especially through sexual contact. Condoms provide some protection against the spread of STDs, but STDs, including HIV, can still be transmitted even when condoms are being used correctly.
If you are sexually active, it is important to be tested for STDs, even if you have no symptoms. Intercourse, anal and oral sex as well as multiple partners, leaves you vulnerable to STDs and may cause serious illness or infertility.
Studies show that in the U.S. alone, 1 in 5 people have an STD. Over 19 million new STD infections occur every year. The city of Baltimore ranked 15th out of all 50 states in Chlamydial infections and 19th for Gonorrheal infections. Chlamydial infections were 3.4 times greater in women than in men.
The only way to protect yourself 100% from STDs is through sexual abstinence. Condoms offer some level of protection but cannot protect skin- to- skin contact in areas not covered by the condom. Condoms may also break, tear or be used incorrectly, thus leaving you at risk for contracting STDs.