Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs)

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check our Infectious Diseases page

Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) are infectious diseases that spread from one person to another through any type of sexual contact. Since many STIs don’t show any obvious signs or symptoms at first, it’s important to take precautions to protect yourself and your partner and to get tested regularly.

Prevention is key and the following are all good ways to protect yourself and your partner:

  • Talk about STIs and safe sex with every partner so that you can protect one another
  • Check that you are up-to-date with vaccinations against Hepatitis and HPV
  • Use condoms and/or oral dams

Early detection can also help reduce or avoid health complications and can help minimize the spread of STIs to others.

Chlamydia

Chlamydia is the most commonly reported sexually transmitted infection (STI). It is caused by bacteria, and if untreated, chlamydia can cause infertility in both men and women. Most women and some men show no symptoms of the disease.

Visit Sexual Health Ontario for more information on prevention, symptoms, testing and treating chlamydia.

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Genital Herpes

Genital herpes is a caused by the Herpes Simplex Virus (HSV). There are two main types of HSV: HSV-1 is the virus that typically causes cold sores on your lips and HSV-2 typically infects the genital area. However, it is important to know that these types of HSV can be transferred to both areas of your body through oral sex. Both types of HSV cause sores on your body.

Visit Sexual Health Ontario for more information on prevention, symptoms, testing and treatment of genital herpes.

Gonorrhea

Gonorrhea is a sexually transmitted infection (STI) caused by bacteria. The infection can become serious in both men and women if not treated early.

Visit Sexual Health Ontario for more information on prevention, symptoms, testing and treatment of gonorrhea.

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Hepatitis B

Hepatitis B is a highly contagious virus that can cause a serious infection of the liver. An infection can occur through contact with infected blood or bodily fluids, by sharing personal items or from an infected mother to newborn.

For more information visit our Hepatitis page.

Hepatitis C
Hepatitis C is a contagious virus that can cause a serious infection of the liver. An infection can occur through contact with infected blood or bodily fluids, by sharing personal items or from an infected mother to child.

For more information visit our Hepatitis page.

HIV

HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) is a virus that attacks the immune system. If left untreated, HIV can lead to AIDS (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome). AIDS is a set of symptoms, not a virus. When someone has AIDS their immune system is too weak to fight off infections.

For more information visit our HIV and AIDS page.

HPV
Human papillomavirus, commonly known as HPV, is the most common sexually transmitted infection in Canada. Three out of four sexually active Canadian adults will have at least one HPV infection in their lifetime.

For more information on the HPV vaccine visit our Human papillomavirus page.

Lymphogranuloma Venereum
Lymphogranuloma Venereum (LGV) is a sexually transmitted infection caused by an aggressive strain of the bacteria Chlamydia trachomatis.

For more information visit Health Canada

Syphilis
Syphilis is an STI caused by bacteria. It can damage your body's major organs over time and needs immediate treatment.

Visit Sexual Health Ontario for more information on prevention, symptoms, testing and treatment of syphilis.

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