The Top 5 Most Common STDs- Important Facts to Know

The Top 5 Most Common STDs- Important Facts to Know

Are you having a safe sex? If your answer is “no” or “sometimes”, consider getting tested for STDs. STDs stands for sexually transmitted diseases. Every year, more than 19 million adults in the United States contract an STD. According to recent studies, there are 422,147 STDs in the world. Some of the most common STDs do not cause symptoms and some can be fatal. Learning about STDs can help protect yourself from serious health problems. If you still think that these kinds of diseases can’t happen to you, here are important facts you need to know.

The top 5 most common STDs

Chlamydia, gonorrhoea, HPV or genital warts, syphilis and HIV are the most common STDs. Here’s what you need to know about them.

Genital warts

Facts: Genital warts are the most common STD in the United States. It currently affects more than 14 million American adults each year. Genital warts are caused by HPV (the Human Papillomavirus). There are 40 types of HPV that can infect the genitals. Some of these types can infect the mouth and throat. People who are sexually active will get HPV at some point in their life.

Symptoms: Genital warts are visible. They can be described as raised, flesh-colored bumps that appear inside or around:

  • The vagina
  • The penis
  • The anus
  • The scrotum
  • The groin
  • The thighs
Genital warts are one of the most common STDs in the United States

The Top 5 Most Common STDs: Genital Warts

Other symptoms of genital warts include:

  • Itching or discomfort in the affected area
  • Pain or bleeding with intercourse
  • Changes in cervical cells (which can only be seen by smear tests)

Risks: Genital warts are highly contagious. Although they can go away on their own within 2 years, they cause some serious health problems. To treat genital warts, there are several options, including:

  • Topical genital wart treatment (Vidarox)
  • Minor surgery (excision, cryosurgery, electro-cautery, laser treatment)

Vidarox is one of the best topical treatments for genital warts. Many people completely get rid of their warts after a few weeks of use. But, the effectiveness of topical treatment may depend on individual’s conditions. If this treatment doesn’t help, ask a doctor for further treatment.

Read more: How Can I Treat Genital Warts at Home


Facts: Chlamydia is the second most common STD in the United States. It currently affects 3 million American adults each year. Chlamydia is caused by the bacterium chlamydia trachomatis. It’s contagious and can spread through sexual contact and during childbirth. Chlamydia can return. Even after complete treatment, you can get the infection again.

Symptoms: Chlamydia generally causes no symptoms. But when symptoms are apparent, they may appear several weeks after exposure. These include:

  • Vaginal or penile discharge
  • Burning during urination

Risks: Chlamydia can be treated with antibiotics. If left untreated, it can lead to serious health problems. These may include infertility, ectopic pregnancy and pelvic inflammatory disease.

Read more: Everything You Need to Know about Chlamydia Infections

Chlamydia is one of the most common STDs in the United States

The Top 5 Most Common STDs: Chlamydia


Facts: Gonorrhoea is also one of the most common STDs in the United States. Every year, it affects more than 800,000 American adults. Gonorrhoea is caused by the bacterium Neisseria gonorrhoeae. These bacteria usually infects the lining of the female reproductive tract. Also, they can affect some other areas of both men and women, including:

  • The mouth
  • The eyes
  • The throat
  • The urethra
  • The anus

Symptoms: Most people with gonorrhoea don’t have symptoms. But sometimes, they can experience:

  • White, yellow or green vaginal/penile discharge
  • Pain during urination
  • Pain in the testicles
  • Bleeding after sex and pelvic pain
  • Vaginal bleeding between periods

These symptoms usually develop 2 to 14 days after exposure.

Risks: Gonorrhoea can be treated with two different antibiotics. Without treatment, it can cause infertility and blindness in a new born baby.  In many women, pelvic inflammatory disease is the most common risk.

Read more: Gonorrhea No Longer Treatable

Gonorrhea is one of the most common STDs in the United States

The Top 5 Most Common STDs: Gonorrhea


Facts: Syphilis is fourth most common STD in the United States. Every year, it affects about 55,000 American adults. Syphilis is caused by the bacteria Treponema pallidum. It’s highly contagious and can spread through:

  • Sexual activity (typically oral and anal sex)
  • Prolonged deep kissing
  • Close bodily contact

Syphilis cannot be transmitted through inanimate objects like toilet seats or eating utensils.

Symptoms: Symptoms can appear 90 days after exposure. Generally, they last for weeks or even years and have 4 stages. These are primary, secondary, latent and tertiary stage.

  • Early or primary stage: sores or painless ulcers. These sores can occur on the mouth or genitals.
  • Secondary stage: skin rashes can develop. Usually, they appear on the palms of the hands and on the soles of the feet.
  • Latent stage: the bacteria lie dormant and cause no symptoms.
  • Tertiary stage: if syphilis isn’t treated, it can progress into serious problems. They include dementia, blindness, paralysis, brain damage and even death.

Risks: Syphilis is treated with antibiotics. Without treatment, the disease can be fatal.

Syphilis is one of the most common STDs in the United States

The Top 5 Most Common STDs: Syphilis


Facts: HIV or Human Immunodeficiency Virus is the virus that causes AIDS. This disease is considered one of the most common STDs in the United States. It currently affects more than 41,000 Americans each year. HIV can enter the body and attack the immune system. As a result, it destroys the human system and stops the production of white blood cells. HIV is highly contagious and it can spread through some ways below:

  • Sharing needles with an infected person
  • Having contact with bodily fluids, typically blood, semen
  • Sexual intercourse
  • During pregnancy or while breastfeeding

Symptoms: HIV symptoms often develop 2 to 6 weeks after infection. They are flu-like symptoms, including fever, fatigue, joint pain, sores, rashes and cough.

Risks: There is no cure for HIV. But, medication can help reduce symptoms and limit the chances of spreading HIV to others. If left untreated, the disease can become fatal.

Read more: HIV And AIDS- Silent Killers: Causes, Symptoms and Treatment

HIV is one of the most common STDs in the United States

The Top 5 Most Common STDs: HIV

The information above are all about important facts of the top 5 most common STDs in the United States. Some can cause symptoms while some don’t. That’s the reason why you need to get tested for STDs if you think you may have one. The fact that STDs are highly contagious and dangerous. But, detecting and treating them early can help prevent many serious health problems. And you should know that having a safe sex is the best way to protect yourself from STDs. So, don’t forget to use protection.

Read more: Top 10 Natural Treatments for Sexually Transmitted Diseases

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