​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​What Are STDs? 

Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs)​, also known as sexually transmitted infections or STIs, are very common. STDs are passed from one person to another through sexual activity including vaginal, oral, and anal sex. They can also be passed from one person to another through intimate physical contact, such as heavy petting, though this is not very common.

 STDs are preventable. If you have sex, know how to protect yourself and your sexual partner from STDs. To learn more about STDs, click HERE.​​

​Can STDs Be Cured? ​

Depending on the type of STD, treatment is available​. Many can be cured. In some cases, the infection can be controlled but not cured. It is essential to treat all infected or exposed sex partners before resuming sexual relations. Otherwise, the cycle of infection will continue. To learn more about STD Treatment Options, click HERE.


Why Is It Important to Know About STDs? 

STDs can have serious consequences, including infertility, adverse effects on unborn children, and even death. An increased risk of cervical cancer has been linked with at least one type of STD. It is important to diagnose and treat STDs, both to preserve the health of the individual and to prevent the spread of the disease to others.


How Can I P​revent STDs?​

The most reliable way to avoid STDs is to not have sex (i.e., anal, vaginal or oral). For individuals engaging in sexual activity, there are steps people can take to limit their risk of STDs.

  • Practice Abstinence
  • Using Condoms
  • Getting Vaccinated
  • Talking to Your Partner(s)
  • Getting Tested ​

Young people can protect themselves from STIs

​​While sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) affect individuals of all ages, STDs take a particularly heavy toll on young people. Young people account for a substantial proportion of new STIs. CDC estimates that youth ages 15-24 make up just over one quarter of the sexually active population, but account for half of the 20 million new sexually transmitted infections that occur in the United States each year. Sacramento County Public Health wants to elevate youth through information, education, resources, and advocacy.​

Young People can protect themselves from STIs​​​​​​​

Online Sexual Health Resource for Youth

Bedsider: Free online birth control support network that helps women find a method that's right for them. http://bedsider.org/​​

TeenSource: Online hub for teen-friendly sexual and reproductive health information and resources, TeenSource.org features accurate and reliable information about STDs, birth control, healthy relationships, and teen rights to accessing sensitive services in California. www.teensource.org/

Go Ask Alice!: Question and answer website containing a large database of questions about a variety of reproductive and sexual health concerns. www.goaskalice.columbia.edu

Scarleteen: This website provides a wealth of information for teens and young adults about sexuality, sex, and relationships, as well as advice and support, and even a safer sex shop. www.scarleteen.com/

AMAZE: AMAZE leverages the expertise of master sexuality educators, the creativity of animation professionals, the input of young people, and the power of the internet to create and market engaging, educational, age-appropriate, often humorous sex education videos for young adults. https://amaze.org/


Advocates for Youth: Works with youth leaders to ensure that all young people's rights are respected and that we have the tools we need to protect ourselves from STIs, HIV, and unintended pregnancy. www.advocatesforyouth.org

Sex, Etc.: Created for teens, by teens. Website provides honest and accurate sexual health information. http://sexetc.org/


Love is Respect: Visit www.loveisrespect.org, text “LOVEIS" to 22522, or call 1-866-331-9474 to talk with a peer advocate to prevent and end abusive relationship.

National Sexual Assault Hotline: Visit www.rainn.org to chat or call 800-656-HOPE (4673) to get connected with a trained staff member from a sexual assault service provider in your area.​

Trevor Project: Visit www.thetrevorproject.org, or text or call 866-488-7386 to receive crisis intervention and suicide prevention services for LGBT young people.

Planned Parenthood: Visit https://www.plannedparenthood.org/online-tools/chat, or text "PPNOW" to 774636 (PPINFO) to get answers to sexual health questions.​

Know Your Rights 


  • Youth ANY AGE can consent for their own birth control
  • Youth age 12 and up can consent for their won STD/HIV services (including testing, treatment, vaccines, PrEP, and PEP)

For more information on youth rights, Minor Consent and Family Pact visit https://www.teensource.org/know-your-rights.