Sexually Transmitted Infection (STI)

The use of a condom is essential to protect yourself and your partners against STDs. If you have any concerns, you should have an STD screening test. In the event of an infection, follow the treatment correctly and inform your sexual partner/partners. 

What is an STD?

Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs) are caused by bacteria, viruses and parasites that are primarily transmitted during sexual relations without using a condom (vaginal, anal and oral).

Some STDs can also be transmitted by:

  • skin-to-skin contact during sexual caresses
  • from mother to child, during pregnancy and birth
  • through blood (taking intravenous drugs, grafts and transplants).

STDs can have serious consequences for your health (infertility, cervical cancer, etc.)

The most frequently diagnosed STDs

Bacteria Virus Parasite

(Chlamydia trachomatis)

(Neisseria gonorrhoeae)

(Treponema pallidum)

  • Chancroid

(Haemophilus ducreyi)

  • Mycoplasma genitalium

(Herpes simplex virus)

(Human papillomavirus)

(Human immunodeficiency virus)

(Hepatitis B virus)

(Hepatitis C virus)

  • Trichomoniasis

(Trichomonas vaginalis)

DID YOU KNOW? The expression “sexually transmitted infections” (STIs) tends to replace “sexually transmitted diseases” (STDs). In fact, the term “disease” excludes certain infections which cause no symptoms and therefore can go unnoticed. STDs have also been called “venereal diseases”, in reference to Venus, the Roman goddess of love.

Sciensano compiles two reports each year documenting the evolution of STIs in Belgium. The reports are based on information provided by data-collection networks.

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