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STDs and Teens

Author(s): Nancy Moreno, PhD

What is an STD?

There are more than 20 types of known sexually transmitted diseases. These illnesses pass from one person to another, primarily through sexual contact, and can be caused by bacterial, parasitic or viral infection. The spread of many of STD-causing microorganisms can be prevented by the avoidance of sexual activity, or reduced by the proper use of latex (or polyurethane) condoms for all sexual contact. Prompt screening for and treatment of common STDs, such as chlamydia, also reduces the risk of spreading or contracting a more serious infection, such as by HIV.