About Sexual Transmitted Infections

The Real Deal on STIs

  • One out of 4 women and one out of 5 men have no knowledge about their sexual partners’ history.
  • Two-thirds of 1,000 women age 18 to 60 knew nothing or very little about STIs (other than HIV/AIDS) in 1995.
  • The highest at-risk groups are adolescents and gays. African American and Hispanic women are also in the high-risk group.
  • The rate of unwanted pregnancies and incidence of infection is alarming.
  • There are over 15,000,000 new cases of STIs a year.
  • Over 70,000 Americans have a viral STI–like genital herpes, HIV/AIDS, or Hepatitis B.
  • Individuals under 25 have two-thirds of the STI cases in the U.S.
  • 1 out of 4 teens will contract an STI.
  • 1,000,000 teenage pregnancies each year.

Rates of curable STI cases in the U.S. are the highest in the developed world.

  • There are 150 STI cases per 100,000 in the U.S. versus 3 cases per 100,000 in Sweden.
  • Over 70,000 Americans have viral STI–like genital herpes, HIV/AIDS, or hepatitis B.
  • Viral STIs such as HPV, herpes, and hepatitis B are lifelong infections.
  • Many people experience no noticeable symptoms initially, but can still pass on the infection.
  • Women are up to 5 times more likely to become infected and suffer more serious consequences.

Over 20,000 new cases of HIV/AIDS are diagnosed each year in the U.S.

  • 62% of those cases reported before 1996 have died (319,000 Americans).
  • Women now represent 30% of new HIV/AIDS cases reported.
  • 75% of the cases are from heterosexual sex.
  • 3 out of 5 Americans with HIV were infected as teens.
  • HIV infection rates are 10 times higher when STIs are not treated properly.

Sexual habits reinforce the need to use condoms.

  • Age of sexual maturity is decreasing; age of marriage is increasing.
  • More sex, more partners, more risk.
  • 46% of teens (14-18) have had intercourse.
  • 50% divorce rate means reentering the dating scene to deal with new health challenges.

Sources: American Social Health Association, CDC, Kaiser Foundation.

The Top STIs and Symptoms

The most common STIs are listed below. For a chart of symptoms, click here.

Genital Herpes
Genital Warts
Hepatitis B
Pubic Lice/Scabies