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What is STD?

June 13th, 2013

What is STD?

What Is STD? – New Super Bugs and More

With the alarming rise in the numbers of newly diagnosed STD all around the world, especially new “super bugs” resistant to first line antimicrobial treatments, it is important to know what STDs are, where they are coming from, what the danger and consequences are, and which treatment is appropriate.
Being in private office for more than 30 years now, I have seen, diagnosed, and treated many patients with STDs; In my opinion, patient and general education is the most important and effective way to prevent STDs from spreading and to cure STDs in timely manner in order to prevent further epidemics. I have heard this question a lot of times: “What is STD?”

Now, What Is STD?

STD stands for Sexually Transmitted Disease, sometimes also referred to as Venereal Disease (VD). STD is caused by bacteria, viruses, or other parasites  which are transmitted by human sexual behavior during oral, vaginal  or anal sex, but also by the use of used IV drug needles, during childbirth, and breastfeeding.  While the term STD has been used for a long time, more recently STD is preferably referred to as STI (Sexually Transmitted Infection) as a human being might be infected, transmit the disease to others, but never show a sign of infection.

Which “Bugs” Are Responsible For STDs/STIs?

What is STD? A better question is Which bugs cause STDs? Sexually Transmitted Disease (STD) or Sexually Transmitted Infection (STI) may be caused by different species of bugs, including bacteria, viruses, and many more. The following is a comprehensive list of causative organisms and I would like to briefly address each regarding route of infection, preventative measures, and treatment.



What is STD? Cause: Viruses

Micrograph showing the viral cytopathic effect of herpes (ground glass nuclear inclusions, multi-nucleation). Pap test. Pap stain.


  • Crab louse, colloquially known as “crabs” or “pubic lice” (Pthirus pubis)
  • Scabies (Sarcoptes scabiei)


  • Trichomoniasis (Trichomonas vaginalis), colloquially known as “trich”

Now we know what is STD. I will discuss about these bugs and their treatments in the upcoming weeks.

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