10 facts on sexually transmitted infections

October 2008

A young couple sit and embrace near the beach at dusk.
Anita Kolmodin

Sexually transmitted infections are caused by more than 30 different bacteria, viruses and parasites and mostly spread by sexual contact. They can lead to chronic diseases, AIDS, pregnancy complications, infertility, cervical cancer and death.

In developing countries this group of infections and their complications are one of the top five reasons that adults seek health care.

In response, WHO and partners are waging a global prevention and control effort. This fact file describes the most common sexually transmitted infections, their effects and ways to stop their spread.

Read more about sexually transmitted infections

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