What is the Most Common STD in the World?

Human Papillomavirus (HPV) is the most widespread sexually transmitted disease (STD) in the world. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), nearly 80 million people in the United States are infected with HPV, including 14 million teenagers. This infection usually has no symptoms, although some people may experience warts on their genitals, mouth, or throat. HPV can cause some health effects that can be prevented with vaccines.

It is important to be aware of the symptoms of STDs and to get tested regularly in order to protect yourself and your partner. Fortunately, all of these common STDs can be treated and most can be cured.


is the most commonly reported STD in the United States. It is mainly spread through vaginal or anal sex, but it can also be contracted through oral sex.

About 25% of women and 50% of men have symptoms, which include a strange discharge from the vagina or penis, or pain or burning when urinating. Chlamydia is caused by bacteria, so it is treated with antibiotics. After receiving treatment, it is important to get tested again within one to three months to make sure the infection is gone.


is easily treated with antibiotics.

Syphilis is a complicated disease with four stages. In the primary stage, the main symptom is a sore. Syphilis is sometimes called the great imitator because the sore may look like a cut, ingrown hair, or a harmless lump. The secondary stage begins with a rash on the body, followed by sores in the mouth, vagina, or anus.

Symptoms usually disappear in the third stage or in the latent phase. This stage can last for years or for life. Only about 15% of people with untreated syphilis will develop the final stage. In this last stage, syphilis can cause damage to organs and nerves and can also cause brain problems.

Your doctor may prescribe antibiotics to treat syphilis. The sooner you start treatment, the fewer antibiotics you need and the faster they will work.

Genital Herpes

is a virus that can be transmitted through skin-to-skin contact, including areas that a condom does not cover. You are most contagious when you have blisters, but you do not need them to transmit the virus. Because herpes is a virus, it cannot be cured.

However, you can take medicines to control it. More women than men get trichomoniasis, caused by a tiny parasite. Men and women can get infected through contact between the penis and vagina and women can infect each other when their genitals touch each other. Only about 30% of people with trichomoniasis have symptoms that include itching, burning, or pain in the genitals as well as a foul-smelling discharge from their vagina or penis. It is important to repeat the test within three months after treatment even if your partner has also received treatment.

Human Papillomavirus (HPV)

is one of the most common STDs in the world and it can be contracted through vaginal, oral, or anal sex as well as skin-to-skin contact.

Most types of HPV do not cause any harm and do not show symptoms; however, it is still important to get tested as some strains of HPV can cause genital warts or cancer of the mouth, throat, penis, or cervix. A Pap smear is recommended to detect cervical cancer caused by HPV. There are three recommended vaccines (Cervarix, Gardasil 9, and Gardasil) for HPV infection and CDC recommends that people ages 11 to 26 get vaccinated against HPV. The most common sign of HPV is genital warts; these are small raised white bumps found in the genital area. Some HPV infections are asymptomatic and resolve on their own without treatment.


is one of the most commonly contracted STDs on college campuses and it can be transmitted through vaginal or anal sex as well as oral sex.

If left untreated chlamydia can develop into pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), which is a serious pelvic infection that requires antibiotic treatment and can affect your ability to have children.


sometimes has no obvious symptoms; however you may experience painful burning when you urinate or an unusual discharge from your vagina or penis. If gonorrhea isn't detected or treated it can cause fertility problems.


is a tiny parasite that affects women more often than men and it can be transferred through contact from penis to vagina or women can transfer it when their genitals touch each other. Like other STDs trichomoniasis only causes symptoms in approximately 30% of infected people; therefore many people do not get tested for it even though it is estimated that nearly 7 million people in the United States have trichomoniasis and are not aware of it.

Genital Herpes

affects an estimated 18.6 million people in the United States; there are two strains of this virus: HSV-1 (oral herpes) and HSV-2 (genital herpes). The main symptoms of genital herpes are irritating and painful blisters around the vagina, penis, or anus.


is a very serious illness that rarely has symptoms but if not detected early it could turn into organ damage and even be life-threatening; it can last until the end of your life which is why it's important to get tested regularly as 15% of people with untreated syphilis go to its final stage where syphilis can develop into brain organ and nerve damage.

Ethel Kosowski
Ethel Kosowski

Passionate explorer. Avid pop culture evangelist. Amateur food buff. Amateur pop culture lover. Amateur beer trailblazer.

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