Hesperian Health Guides

Chapter 5: Preventing Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs)

Every day 20,000 people visit the HealthWiki for lifesaving health information. A gift of just $5 helps make this possible!

Make a giftMake a gift to support this essential health information people depend on.


HealthWiki > Health Actions for Women > Chapter 5: Preventing Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs)


Sexually transmitted infections, or STIs, are illnesses that pass from one person to another during sex. All STIs can be prevented, but prevention is difficult for many people, especially women.

To prevent STIs, it is important that people become comfortable thinking about and talking about STIs without embarrassment or shame. Discussing STIs in a group can help people talk about these infections as easily as they talk about health problems that are not related to sex, such as diarrhea or the flu. Group discussions can also help people understand how an STI never harms just one person. Learning about STIs with a group can help spread prevention throughout the whole community!

2 women having a conversation.
Please tell me what’s wrong, Clara. I can see you’re not feeling well.
I am embarrassed, but I will tell you. Esteban returned from the city 2 weeks ago, and I was so glad to see him. But now having sex is painful and it even hurts when I pee. I almost want him to go away again! I don’t know what to do.