Sexually transmitted infections (STIs), which used to be known as sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), are a group of infections similar to one another only in that they can be "caught" through sexual contact. STIs are caused by different organisms, usually bacteria or viruses, and have a wide variety of symptoms. Some can be cured with antibiotics. Others cannot be cured - only controlled. The following are the STIs usually seen in North America.
There are 2 types of human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccines available in Canada. One is approved for girls and young women aged 9 to 45 and boys and young men aged 9 to 26. This vaccine protects against the 2 types of HPV that cause approximately 70% of all cervical cancers (types 16 and 18) and the 2 types of HPV that cause about 90% of all genital warts (types 6 and 11). The other vaccine is approved for girls and young women aged 10 to 25. This vaccine protects against the 2 types of HPV that cause approximately 70% of all cervical cancers (types 16 and 18).
Many STIs can lead to health problems later on if they are not found and treated. Being infected with HPV can increase a woman's risk of cervical cancer. Chlamydia can lead to infertility and long-term pain in women by damaging the fallopian tubes, which are an important part of the reproductive system. HIV/AIDS eventually destroys the immune system, leading to an increased risk of infections, cancers, and death.
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