STDs are Sexually Transmitted Diseases and VD stands for Venereal Diseases. Until the 1990s, STDs were commonly known as venereal diseases: Veneris is the Latin genitive form of the name Venus, the Roman goddess of love.
The term VD is not used by the medical community now. A person may be infected but may not have a disease e.g. HIV positive but not suffering from AIDS. So the term STI (sexually transmitted infection) is preferred over STD.
STDs can be transfered form any partner male or female via blood, semen, or other bodily fluid contact. Symptoms could range from irration and rashes, to bumps or pus-filled sores, to pain in said area.
Many infectious diseases, including the common cold, influenza, pneumonia, meningitis, and most others that are transmitted person-to-person can also be transmitted during sexual contact. However, even though these diseases may be transmitted during sex, they are not considered STDs. An STI is an infection that has a negligible probability of transmission by means other than sexual contact.
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The most effective way to prevent STIs and STDs is to avoid contact of body parts or fluids which can lead to transfer with an infected partner. It is advisable to always have safe sex, with a condom. Although a condom is effective in limiting exposure, some disease transmission may occur even with a condom. Condoms and female condoms only provide protection when used properly as a barrier, and only to and from the area that it covers. Uncovered areas are still susceptible to many STDs.
Vaccines are available that protect against some viral STIs, such as Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B, and some types of HPV. Vaccination before initiation of sexual contact is advised to assure maximal protection.