Resource Topics

Sexually Transmitted Infections

STIs (also known as STDs) are infections that can be spread by sexual contact. Gonorrhea and syphilis rates are very high among gay and bi guys, and gonorrhea strains are growing resistant to antibiotics. Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) infections can result in cancers in your throat, penis, or anus. Some STIs, like herpes and HIV, have no cure. Many STIs have no symptoms.

Condoms are great at preventing most STIs. Vaccines for HPV and Hepatitis A and B can stop infection before it starts. Antibiotics effectively treat most bacterial infections. Be sure to get tested at least once a year, any time you think you have symptoms of an STI, or if a sex partner has said you were exposed. It’s important to treat all STIs because many of them make it easier to acquire or transmit HIV.

Find local resources in

Find local resources in

More Information


Bacteria that infect the throat, penis, or anus; curable by antibiotics

  • Chlamydia

    Facts by Public Health - Seattle & King County

Genital Herpes

Viral infection that causes blisters, irritation, and sometimes no symptoms; treatment can reduce symptoms and infectiousness; no cure available


Bacteria, sometimes called “the clap,” that infect the throat, penis, or anus; curable by antibiotics

  • Gonorrhea

    Facts by Public Health - Seattle & King County


Several viral infections that harm the liver

  • Hepatitis

    Facts by Public Health - Seattle & King County

  • Hepatitis A

    Viral infection spread by oral contact with fecal matter, usually via improper hand washing after bowel movement, but also by rimming. Get the Hep A vaccine to protect yourself and others!

  • Hepatitis B

    Viral infection spread by contact with blood, semen or other body fluids via sex or shared razors, toothbrushes or drug injection equipment. Get the Hep B vaccine to protect yourself and others!

  • KNOW More Hepatitis

    Hep C information and testing campaign sponsored by CDC

  • Viral Hepatitis and MSM

    CDC Factsheet

  • Hepatitis C

    Viral infection spread by blood-to-blood contact and sometimes via sex; no vaccine available, but 85-90% of cases can be cured with new treatments

HIV - Human Immunodeficiency Virus

See our HIV page

HPV - Human Papillomavirus

A collection of dozens of viruses, some sexually transmitted, that cause genital warts and/or cancer in the throat, penis, cervix, or anus. If you’re 26 or younger, get the HPV vaccine to protect yourself and others!

Pubic Lice aka “crabs”

Parasites that lay their eggs in pubic hair and cause irritation

  • Pubic Lice

    Facts by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC)


Mites that burrow under the skin and form itchy bumps

  • Scabies

    Facts by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC)


Bacteria easily spread through any form of anal sex, including intercourse, rimming and fingering. Symptoms include diarrhea (often bloody), stomach cramps and fever.

Health Alert: Currently Shigella is on the rise in King County, particularly among gay and bi men and their sex partners. If not properly treated, Shigella can be dangerous – especially to HIV+ individuals. If you’ve had diarrhea for 48 hours or longer, go see your doctor right away and get tested for Shigella. Refrain from sexual contact until advised by your physician.


Bacteria spread by oral, vaginal, or anal sex, skin contact, or contact with blood; curable by injected antibiotics; on the rise among gay/bi men, especially men who have HIV

Other STD Information

Find information about other STDs and how STDs affect men who have sex with men