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Health Tip: Sexually Transmitted Diseases

Here are some prevention measures

(HealthDay News) -- Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) are infections that are spread by sexual contact.

Except for colds and flu, STDs are the most common contagious diseases in the United States, with about 12 million new cases each year.

Here are the simple facts about STDs:

  • Everyone who has sex with another person can get an STD. People with an STD may not know they have it. Often there are no symptoms.
  • STDs can cause severe damage to your body even death.
  • Symptoms of an STD can range from mild irritation to severe pain.
  • STDs are caused by being infected with tiny living organisms called bacteria or viruses.

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists says the only sure way to prevent getting an STD is not to have sex. If you do have sex, you can reduce your risk by:

  • Knowing and limiting your sexual partners
  • Using a condom
  • Using a spermicide
  • Avoiding risky sex practices
  • Getting immunized
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