All Children's Hospital Logo

Health Information Library

Teens > Q&A > Birth Control, Pregnancy & STDs > What Are the Chances of Having an STD?
What Are the Chances of Having an STD?

If people are sexually active and not using condoms, what is the possibility of them having a disease?
- Kamyra*

Unfortunately, it's quite likely. People who have sex without using condoms are at high risk of getting sexually transmitted diseases (STDs).

It doesn't matter how many people the person has had sex with. Even if someone has only had one sexual partner, that partner could have a disease. Of course, the chances of getting STDs (also called sexually transmitted infections, or STIs) are even higher if a person has unprotected sex with lots of different partners.

Many people who have STDs do not have obvious signs or symptoms. Because of this, they may believe they're "clean" and tell partners there's no need to use a condom. But that's not safe. For example, about 6 out of 10 young people with HIV don't know they're infected. So they risk passing the virus, which causes AIDS, on to others.

Even getting treatment isn't a completely foolproof way to stop STDs from spreading. Some STDs (like trichomoniasis) can be treated so they go away, but other infections (like herpes or HPV) will always be in a person's body, even if that person has been treated. Plus, if someone has been treated for an STD like chlamydia and it goes away, that same person can still get re-infected if exposed to the STD another time.

Anyone who is planning to have sex, or who has had sex, should be tested for STDs. And always use condoms for protectionevery time.

Reviewed by: Julia Brown Lancaster, RN
Date reviewed: January 2013

*Names have been changed to protect user privacy.

Related Articles
T    5 Myths About STDs
T    About Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs)
T    Can You Get HIV From Having Sex With Someone Who Has AIDS?
T    Condom
T    How Do I Find Out If a Guy I Had Sex With Has an STD?
T    Talking to Your Partner About Condoms
Note: All information is for educational purposes only. For specific medical advice, diagnoses, and treatment, consult your doctor.
© 1995-2014 The Nemours Foundation/KidsHealth. All rights reserved.

Additional Info

Pocket Doc Mobile App
Maps and Locations (Mobile)
Programs & Services
Employment
For Health Professionals
For Patients & Families
Contact Us
Find a Doctor
News
CME

All Children's Hospital
501 6th Ave South
St. Petersburg, FL 33701
(727) 898-7451
(800) 456-4543

Use Normal Template
© 2014 All Children's Hospital - All Rights Reserved