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PFS005, August 2015

Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) is the virus that causes acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS). HIV can enter the bloodstream through contact with an infected person’s body fluids, such as blood or semen. This can happen during sex or by sharing needles used to inject drugs. An infected woman who is pregnant can pass the virus to her baby. Women with HIV who breastfeed also can pass the virus to their babies. Once in the blood, HIV attacks the immune system. As the immune system weakens, the body becomes less able to resist disease and other infections. AIDS is diagnosed when a perso...


FAQ125, December 2016

What is hepatitis? Hepatitis is an infection that affects the liver.


FAQ088, September 2015

What is the vulva? The external female genital area is called the vulva. The outer folds of skin are called the labia majora and the inner folds are called the labia minora.


Birth Control Learn about choosing the right birth control method for you. Some examples include the birth control pill, intrauterine device (IUD), patch, condom, or implant. Cancer Screening Learn more about breast cancer, colon cancer, or other types of cancer. Vaccinations Get vaccinations against the flu, human papillomavirus (HPV), and more. Health Screening Get screened for high blood pressure, diabetes, bone density for osteoporosis, and more. Depression Screening Depression is a common but serious illness. Depression can be mild, moderate, or severe. To diagnose depression,...


FAQ042, August 2015

What happens during puberty? When puberty starts, your brain sends signals to certain parts of the body to start growing and changing. These signals are called hormones. Hormones make your body change and start looking more like an adult’s (see FAQ041 “Your Changing Body—Especially for Teens”). Hormones also can cause emotional changes.


6.
September 2016

FAQ054, September 2016

What is genital herpes? Genital herpes is a sexually transmitted infection (STI). It is caused by a virus called herpes simplex virus (HSV). Infection with HSV can cause painful sores and blisters around the lips, genitals, or anus. Sometimes, infection with HSV causes no sores. It is possible to have HSV and not know it. There is no cure, but the infection can be managed.


TFAQ001, February 2016

What does “LGBT” stand for? “LGBT” is an abbreviation for “lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender.” These terms describe a person’s sexual orientation—a person’s emotional or sexual attraction to other people: • “Gay” describes a person (either male or female) who is attracted to people of the same sex. • “Straight” describes a person (either male or female) who is attracted to people of the opposite sex. • A “lesbian” is a female who is attracted to other females. • “Bisexual” describes a person (either male or female) who is attracted to people of both sexes.


8.
June 2017

FAQ072, June 2017

What causes sexual problems in women? Some common causes of sexual problems in women include the following:Aging—A woman’s libido (another term for interest in and desire for sex) and sexual activity sometimes decrease with age. This decrease is normal and usually is not a cause for concern, but problems can arise if one partner in a relationship desires sex more often than the other. Hormonal changes—Changes in hormones at certain times of a woman’s life may cause changes in her interest in or response to sex. For example, decreased estrogen levels (such as during perimenopause and menopaus...


FAQ009, June 2017

What are sexually transmitted infections (STIs)? Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) are infections that are spread by sexual contact. STIs can cause severe damage to your body—even death. Except for colds and flu, STIs are the most common contagious (easily spread) infections in the United States, with millions of new cases each year. Although some STIs can be treated and cured, others cannot.


FAQ191, June 2017

What is human papillomavirus (HPV)? Human papillomavirus (HPV) is a virus. Like all viruses, HPV causes infection by entering cells. Once inside a cell, HPV takes control of the cell’s internal machinery and uses it to make copies of itself. These copies then infect other nearby cells.


American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists
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