Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs)

This information is useful for children, adults, and older adults
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Why Yale Medicine?
  • Our clinicians and researchers are exploring new ways to prevent and treat STDs, including vaccines.
  • Yale’s Center for Interdisciplinary Research on AIDS is New England's only National Institute of Mental Health-funded AIDS research center.
  • We offer primary and consultative care, counseling and testing, and social services to women and men of all ages affected by STDs.

Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) might be difficult to talk about, but it’s important to realize the risks they pose and how common they are. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the total combined cases of reported chlamydia, gonorrhea and syphilis reached the highest number ever in the United States in 2015.

The increase in those three STDs, also called sexually transmitted infections, or STIs, is affecting teens and young adults the most. More than half of gonorrhea and chlamydia cases are in people under the age of 25, and nearly one in four teenage girls has an STD, the CDC reports.

“What’s often not understood is that many of these STDs can have long-term consequences, especially for women,” says Sangini S. Sheth, MD, MPH, a Yale Medicine obstetrician-gynecologist. Having had an STD puts a woman at higher risk for a wide range of conditions, including pelvic pain, fertility problems and increased risk of ectopic pregnancies (when the fertilized egg implants outside the uterus). For men, STDs raise the risk for lifelong infections, infertility and possibly cancer.

Since many STDs have no symptoms, people can unknowingly spread infections to their sexual partners. At Yale Medicine, we diagnose and treat women, men and young adults with STDs, and our physicians are involved in numerous research projects related to improving protection from various STDs.

Clinical Trials

New treatments for many conditions are tested in clinical trials, which ultimately bring lifesaving new drugs and devices to the patients who need them most. By participating in a clinical trial, you may get access to the most advanced treatments for your condition, and help determine their benefits for future patients.