More Common Than You Might Think is Elite Daily's celebration of STD Awareness Month. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that nearly 20 million new infections occur every year in the United States, and half are among people aged 15-24. In other words, STDs and STIs are way more common than you might think, even if the stigma of having one can feel isolating. But the first step to taking control of your sexual health is to educate yourself, so take a deep breath and scroll down.

Here's Everything You Need To Know About Chlamydia, Because Education Is Super Important

By Rebecca Strong
One of the best ways to avoid getting an STD or STI — besides practicing safe sex, of course — is to educate yourself on the different types of diseases and infections. The more you understand them, the better prepared you are to safeguard yourself…

Here's Everything You Need To Know About HPV, Because It's More Common Than You'd Think

By Rebecca Strong
All it took was one panicked text from my BFF to make me realize how little I knew about STDs and STIs. I was on the Amtrak train, blissfully zoning out to a bluesy Spotify playlist when an alarming message popped up on my phone screen: “OMG. I have…

Here's Everything You Need To Know About Herpes, Because Hollywood Doesn't Always Get It Right

By Rebecca Strong
While you may be well aware of herpes' existence, odds are, you don't actually know enough about it. At one point or another, you've likely seen a fictional character in a TV show find out they have it, heard a friend complain about a cold sore, or…

Here’s How To Know If You Have Syphilis, So You Can Treat It ASAP

By Christy Piña
Sex can and should be a fun, consensual experience for everyone involved. Owning your sexuality and not letting anyone tell you who you can and can't have sex with is empowering! But sexually transmitted diseases, which may come about if proper…

I Never Knew I Had HPV Until My "Dream" Job Sent Me To The Doctor

By Iman Hariri-Kia
I used think stress was a purely psychological sensation — an internal battle, where your mind creates a boxing ring and your responsibility and self-doubt get to duke it out for the grand prize. It was easy for me to compartmentalize and dismiss…

4 Totally Normal Things That Happen When You Get Tested For STDs, So You're Not Surprised

By Christy Piña
Going in for STD testing can feel really scary if you've never done it before, but there's nothing actually scary about getting tested. It is such an important part of maintaining your regular sexual health, because ignorance isn't bliss when it…

Lots Of Young Women Don't Want To Discuss STDs With A Doctor & The Reason Why Is So Sad

By Candice Jalili
If you're sexually active, caring for your sexual health means taking on a few key responsibilities: giving and getting consent, practicing safe sex, and getting tested regularly for STDs. Unfortunately, a 2018 study shows that many young women…

It's Possible To Get These STDs From Oral Sex, So Here's How To Stay Safe

By Genevieve Wheeler
I think one of the greatest misconceptions around safe sex — especially when it comes to the spread of sexually transmitted infections — is that you only have to be cautious during vaginal or anal sex. Think again, friends. As far too many sex ed…

Here's Everything You Need To Know About The Difference Between STDs & STIs

By Rachel Shatto
We live in an era of "hookup culture," which can be really fun. There is real power in owning your sexuality and living it, whatever that means for you. But with all that hooking up, there are also increased risks — both emotional and physical. Your…

Condoms Don't Fully Protect You From Herpes, So Here's What You Need To Know

By Sydnee Lyons
In true millennial fashion, I'm not exactly a fan of anything permanent. So essentially, my two major concerns in life are, "I'm locked into this phone plan for how long?!" and, "Do condoms protect against herpes?" I hate to admit it but my sex ed.…

Condoms Don't Fully Protect You From This STD, But There's A Shot To Keep You Safe

By Sydnee Lyons
The list of STIs is just about as long as the receipt you get at CVS after buying exactly one item (like, say, a pack of condoms). There are a lot of them, and the most common STI of them all? Human papillomavirus, or HPV, which if you're at CVS or…

This Is How Often You Should Get Tested For STDs To Stay As Safe As Possible

By Sydnee Lyons
I attended all-girls Catholic school for many, many painful years of my life. Naturally, my religious studies teacher at the time was also trusted with the title of biology teacher, which gave her free rein to teach us all that boys were gross and…

Here's Exactly When You Should Have That Talk About STDs With A New Partner

By Jamie Kravitz
When you're interested in someone new, the possibility of hooking up with them is likely something you're actively thinking about. Discussing getting tested for STDs, on the other hand, is probably not at the forefront of your mind. Whether your…

FYI, Your STD Test Probably Doesn't Include Herpes & Here's Why

By Jamie Kravitz
If you've ever hooked up with anyone — even if you didn't go all the way or if you used a condom — you need to get tested for STDs at least once a year. Period. That's according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) guidelines,…

These 5 STIs Have No Symptoms, So Here's How To Know If You Have One

By Elana Rubin
When you think of sexually transmitted diseases, you usually think of something like warts on your mouth or a rash on your bikini line, right? Well, the reality is that not all STDs manifest in visible ways on your face or your genitalia, but that…

These STDs Have The Same Symptoms As The Common Cold, So Consider Seeing A Doctor

By Sydnee Lyons
I don't think I've ever in my life taken a cold seriously. Sure, I stock up on meds and snacks while I hibernate under the covers, but my healthcare regimen usually stops there. As I binge-watch Gilmore Girls for the millionth time, I'm not exactly…