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Sexual Health

Sexually Transmitted Infections/Diseases

Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs) are now more commonly called Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs). The word infection also includes those cases with symptoms and those without.

Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs)


How are Sexually Transmitted Infections Spread?

Sexually Transmitted Infections may be spread in several ways;

  • STIs can be spread through direct contact, usually sexual, with semen, vaginal fluids and blood containing the bacteria or virus.
  • Saliva (or spit) can sometimes spread STIs if there is a tiny cut in or around the mouth.
  • Infected blood on needles and syringes can spread STIs.
  • Infected women who are pregnant can pass some STIs to their babies during pregnancy and at childbirth.
  • Breastfeeding mothers can also pass certain STIs to their nursing infant.
  • Except for Hepatitis B, there are no vaccinations to prevent STIs.
  • If you get an STI once, you can get it again.
  • You can have more than one STI at a time.

The Facts

In Canada, the number of reportable sexually transmitted infections is increasing and a major reason for this is lack of awareness. A person may not know that they have an STI and without taking proper precautions and seeking medical care and treatment, they can spread the infection to others.

Some STIs are easily cured and some are treatable but not curable. Some STIs left untreated can lead to infertility, cervical cancer and even death.

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