What are STDs? STDs is the acronym for sexually transmitted diseases. STDs are passed from one person to another during sexual contact. The term STD is also known as STI (sexually transmitted infection). Some STDs can also be passed to another person through other means, such as through blood transfusions or from an infected mother to her baby during pregnancy or childbirth. STDs are very common, especially among young people ages 15 to 24. There are about 19 million new cases of STDs in the United States each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (Source: CDC). STDs include: Chancroid Chlamydia Genital herpes Genital warts Gonorrhea Hepatitis HIV/AIDS Human papillomavirus (HPV) Pubic lice (crabs) Scabies Syphilis Trichomoniasis Most STDs are highly preventable. If diagnosed early, some STDs, such as gonorrhea and chlamydia, can be quickly and easily treated and cured before serious complications develop. Other STDs, such as HIV/AIDS and genital herpes, are not curable, but prompt diagnosis and treatment can help reduce or delay the onset of serious complications, improve the quality of life, and minimize the spread of the disease to others. Any person who engages in sexual activity can contract and pass on an STD. This includes heterosexual, homosexual, and bisexual men and women. Untreated STDs can lead to serious complications, such as pelvic inflammatory disease, opportunistic infections, and complications in newborns. Using safer sex practices, seeking regular medical care, and seeking early, regular prenatal care can help reduce the risk of serious complications of STDs.