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HIV and Sexually Transmitted Infections

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Our Department of Epidemiology of Microbial Diseases faculty and scientists are involved in numerous research projects related to improving public health intervention and protection from various STIs that significantly improve the health and well-being of our communities locally and globally. Sexually transmitted infections (STIs), also called sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), are caused by over 30 different bacteria, viruses, and parasites. They are predominantly spread from person to person through sexual contact; however, some STIs can also be transmitted from mother to child during pregnancy, childbirth, and breastfeeding. Still, in other cases, they can be spread by sharing needles used to inject drugs. Early on, there may be no signs or symptoms of these infections. Thus, people can unknowingly spread diseases to their sexual partners. When left undiagnosed and untreated, they can potentially lead to cancer, fertility issues, lifelong illnesses, and even death. Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) might be difficult to discuss, but it’s essential to realize their risks and prevalence. The World Health Organization (WHO) states that “STIs have a profound impact on sexual and reproductive health worldwide.”