Sexual Health

The STI Files: Human Papillomavirus (HPV)

As many as one in ten Americans have HPV, and some studies show that at least one-third of all sexually active young adults have genital HPV infections. It is often stated that more than half of all college-age women wil become infected with HPV during their college career.

The STI Files: Herpes

About one in five people in the United States over age 12 -- approximately 45 million individuals -- are infected with HSV-II, the virus that causes genital herpes. Around 50 - 80% of the adult population has oral herpes, which most people contract through nonsexual contact in childhood.

The STI Files: Gonorrhea

In the United States, approximately 75% of all reported gonorrhea is found in people age 15 to 29.

The STI Files: Cytomegalovirus

One member of a group of herpes-type viruses, CMV is transmitted through body fluids, sexually and nonsexually, and from mother to infant during birth. CMV is also incredibly dangerous for people who are immunocompromised or people with HIV.

The STI Files: Bacterial Vaginosis

Bacterial vaginosis (BV) is the most common cause of vaginitis symptoms among women of childbearing age (15-45). However, half the women who meet clinical criteria for BV have no symptoms.

Anal Sex: No Different?

My boyfriend says that anal sex is no different than regular sex. Is that true? He also says we don't have to use a condom? Also, will I still be a virgin if I have anal sex? Will it hurt as much?

10 common Myths, Misunderstandings and Big Ol' Lies About Emergency Contraception

It's amazing that with something as safe, simple, affordable and revolutionary as emergency contraception that it STILL isn't being used by millions of women who could use it, and who would prefer to avoid an abortion or an unwanted pregnancy. In part, that's because so many doctors and clinics still do not inform and educate women about EC. Here's some EC clarity, on the house. Pass it on!

World AIDS Day (2001)

For the past 13 years, people all over the world have used this day to educate, learn, remember and think about and put the focus of the global community for just one day on HIV and AIDS. Saturday, December 1st is no exception.

Not a Faceless Disease

I started to grasp that AIDS hit very diverse people from lots of different backgrounds, but AIDS had no face for me. No real face, I mean. Only a face hidden in a shadow, or behind glasses, with a wig or a base cap and a weird, computerized voice, without a name. But it did get a name for me. And a face.

Emergency Contraception

We get a lot of questions from teens who are wondering if they can prevent pregnancy after intercourse, whether the concern is due to a broken condom or from not using any method of contraception in the first place. Regardless of how it happened, there is something that can reduce the risk of pregnancy if used within 120 hours (or with an IUD, eight days) of your risk. That something is Emergency Contraception.

The HPV Vaccine FAQ

A vaccine is available to help prevent the spread of some types of HPV for people of all genders. Have a click to find out more about it.

10 of the Best Things You Can Do for Your Sexual Self (at Any Age)

If we look at our sexuality one way, it looks a million times simpler than it actually is. If we look at it another way, it appears a million times more complicated. While it's important that we bear everything in mind we need to in terms of infection and disease, birth control, our relationships, our bodies and the whole works, now and then we need to remember the bare bones and the human element of the thing, and keep the essentials in the forefront of our minds.

HPV & Herpes: Why Safer Sex Isn't Always Safe Enough

There are instances in which condom use alone - or the use of dental dams and gloves -- cannot offer the level of STI protection they can in other instances, with STIs which are transmitted not via fluid exchange, but by skin-to-skin contact: namely two of the most common STIs, HPV and Herpes.

Honorably Discharged: A Guide to Vaginal Secretions

Vaginal discharge and secretions are normal and usually healthy. The vagina is a passageway between the outside of the body and the internal reproductive system. Vaginal secretions are how the vagina cleanses and regulates itself -- how amazing is that? -- in the same sort of way that saliva helps keep your mouth clean and healthy and part of the fertility cycle.

The STI Files: Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV)

HIV is a virus that destroys the immune system and thus weakens the body's ability to fight disease and infection, even common infections like flus and colds. HIV usually progresses to AIDS. This makes HIV the most dangerous sexually transmitted infection today. It is the fifth leading cause of death for the young under 40 in the United States. At this time, no one has been cured of HIV or AIDS.

The STI Files: Chlamydia

Chlamydia is the most common bacterial infection (STI) in the United States, with about 3 million new cases reported annually. Chlamydia ("cla-mid-ee-ah") is so common in young women that, by age 30, 50% of sexually active women have evidence that they have had chlamydia at some time during their lives.

Safe, Sound & Sexy: A Safer Sex How-To

What's safer sex? Find out how you can best reduce your risks of STIs and protect your health and how to do it and be supported in it without feeling like the Sex Decency Brigade or bringing on the buzzkill.

On the Rag: A Guide to Menstruation

What's the menstrual cycle? How does it all work? What are periods and options for managing them, and when's it time to check in with a healthcare provider?

Testing, Testing...

Whether you are with a new partner, or are already in a sexual relationship, getting a full STD/STI screening can give you peace of mind and ensure your physical well-being as well as your partners.

Your First Gynecologist Visit

Want to know what to expect at your first gynecologists' or reproductive health exam? We've got the lowdown for you here.

Abortion: One Woman's Story

When I was 16, due to a very irresponsible pairing of an impetuous one-night stand and a few days of partying, I woke up one morning to discover I had mononucleosis and walking pneumonia. As if that wasn't enough, my period was late.