Sexually transmitted diseases, or STD's, encompass a wide variety of
infections. Using condoms can
lower your risk for some STD's, but abstinence is the only sure way to
avoid them. One of the most common STD's is chlamydia
(kluh-MID-ee-uh), which can cause groin pain, swelling, and burning
urination in men. Human papilloma virus, also known as HPV or genital
warts, is a viral infection that causes cauliflower-like growths in the
genital and anal region. Another infection is gonorrhea, most commonly found in men age 20 to 24. Often, gonorrhea causes no
symptoms, though you may develop a frequent need to urinate, burning
urination, and redness at the tip of the penis, with a pus discharge.
Herpes is a viral infection, which can appear as painful blisters around
the mouth or genitals. It's most contagious when active sores are
present. The most dangerous STD of all is HIV, the virus that causes
AIDS. Currently, there's no cure for
AIDS, and almost all, if not all persons infected, will eventually die.
Herpes is also incurable, and the virus that causes genital warts may lie dormant in your
body, even if the warts are removed. Most other STD's can be treated with antibiotics. Prevention is the best strategy, so use condoms, limit your number of sexual partners, and ask a doctor for tips on safer sex.