A Sexually Transmitted Infection (STI) is a sickness that is passed on from one person to another during sexual activity.  There are many different types of STIs that can be passed on during oral sex, vaginal sex or anal sex. Some can even be passed on by skin-to-skin genital contact.  It is important to treat STIs as soon as possible and not to spread them. Many can easily be cured, but if an STI is left untreated, it may cause other complications in the body. Some types of STIs can cause infertility or even death.

  • A sexually transmitted infection (STI) is an infection that can be transmitted from one person to another through sexual contact (exchange of semen, vaginal fluid, blood or other fluids). 
  • Blood borne infections (BBI) are transmitted by contact with contaminated blood.  Some infections (for example HIV, hepatitis B and hepatitis C) may be transmitted through both sexual and blood borne transmission routes


STIs can be grouped into three families:

Viral Infections

Viral STIs are caused by viruses passed from person-to-person during sexual activity. In general viral infections involve many different parts of the body at the same time.


HIV     /     AIDS 



Bacterial Infections

Bacterial STIs are caused by bacteria passed from person-to-person during sexual activity.


Parasitic Infections

These STIs are caused by parasites passed from person-to-person during sexual activity. A parasite is a creature that lives off another beings body. Think of a parasite as a little bug that lives off a human but cannot always be seen by the naked eye.