Remember sitting in health class for that week during middle school or high school where they separated the boys and girls to talk about the dangers of sexual intercourse? Instead of paying attention, you were looking around the room to see who else is uncomfortable or trying your hardest not to laugh because the teacher said, “penis.” It all seemed like a joke back then, but the growing risks of contracting a sexually transmitted disease only proves that we should’ve payed a little bit more attention. In fact, 65% of people will contract herpes in their lifetime. Even worse, 1 out of every 5 females will contract HPV. Sure – we learned that you can help prevent catching one by wearing a condom or where you can go for a confidential STD test, but you probably didn’t pick up on just how dangerous some of these sexually transmitted diseases are.
Also Known As: The Chank
What Exactly Is It? A bacterial infection that leads to painful genital sores/ulcers. It’s generally only found in developing countries…so be careful if you’re sampling the local flavors on those international vacations.
Do You Have It? Probably not. According to the CDC, in 2010 only 24 cases were reported in the US. However, it may also be “substantially underdiagnosed.” So yeah, you may very well have it. But it’s curable with about a week of medication.
Also Known As: Nasty Trich
What Exactly Is It? An infection caused by a protozoan, which somehow seems grosser than a bacterial or viral infection.
Do You Have It? Probably. Men rarely show symptoms (though a whole host of nasty things happen to women’s parts), and eight million Americans are infected with it every year. The infection can be treated with meds.
Also Known As: The Mega Lo
What Exactly Is It? The virus is usually transmitted through saliva, but adults can also get it by exchanging “other” bodily fluids, and generally it shows no symptoms.
Do You Have It? Definitely, but it’s only a problem for people with very weak immune systems. The first infection is usually symptomless and, like chicken pox, prevents reinfection. There’s no cure, but in the event you show symptoms, they can be treated.
Also Known As: : Mollusk mumps
What Exactly Is It? A virus that leaves red welts on the skin around the genitals and thighs.
Do You Have It? Probably not — only a few hundred thousand annual cases in the country — but you’ll know if you have it. The growths can be removed with chemicals, freezing or electric current, as well as medication. Or if you’re a lazy ass, the bumps will eventually go away after a couple years on their own.
Also Known As: Dick Diggers
What Exactly Is It? A mite in the same family as the spider (gah!) that burrows under the skin, causing intense night itching and small curly lines of rashes. It’s basically the evil twin of the bed bug: if you have it, your clothes have it, and your couches and anyone who’s touched any of that. We thought this was some medieval disease or something pirates got after weeks on the high seas. We were wrong.
Do You Have It? Probably not. But if you do, there are creams and shampoos to kill it right quick.
Also Known As: Granny Sores
What Exactly Is It? A bacterial infection that causes painless nodules on the genitals. Sounds tame, right? WRONG. Eventually those nodules burst creating “open, fleshy, oozing lesions” and leaving the infected tissue mutilated, according to Wikipedia.
Do You Have It? Probably not, since it’s another one that is more common in developing nations. It can be treated with antibiotics.