Sexually transmitted infection (STI). This is any kind of infection caused by a bacteria, a virus or a parasite that gets passed on through sex acts (and sometimes other ways). Many people still call them STDs (sexually transmitted disease), which is an old term: we now talk about infections because people often don’t have symptoms when they have an STI. You may see the term STBBI too, which is for sexually transmitted and blood-borne infections, as some STIs get passed on through infected blood. This can happen when people share tattoo or piercing needles, syringes, and other injection or body modification equipment.

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