The first sign you have a sexually transmitted disease (STD, also known as a sexually transmitted infection, STI) may be discomfort down there, including burning, itching, discharge or sores. Here are some sobering facts about STDs:

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Gonorrhea is showing signs of resistance to treatment, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). If resistance continues, the agency projects that 800,000 Americans a year will be at risk for untreatable gonorrhea.

There was a 67 percent increase in syphilis from 2011 to 2015 in the United States, according to the CDC. Males account for 90 percent of new cases; the majority (82 percent) occur in men who have sex with men.

The human papillomavirus (HPV) has become the most common sexually transmitted infection. HPV can be contracted through sexual intercourse, touching, kissing or oral sex. The virus often goes away on its own without causing health problems. But when it doesn’t, you can develop genital warts—or even cancer.

“Seventy percent of tonsil and back-of-tongue cancers are caused by HPV,” says Barbara Burtness, MD, a medical oncologist who practices at Yale Cancer Center. Also a professor of medicine (medical oncology) at Yale School of Medicine, she is researching new radiotherapeutic treatment approaches for HPV-induced oral cancers.

HPV can also cause cancers to the penis or anus, and when passed to a female partner, it can cause cervical, vulva or vaginal cancers. “We expect the incidence of this kind of cancer to continue to increase for a number of years,” Dr. Burtness says.

Solutions: If you’re 26 or younger, consider getting the HPV vaccine to help protect yourself from many strains of the HPV virus.

Because HPV can be transmitted in several ways, wearing a condom during intercourse doesn’t offer full protection—but it helps guard you against many other STDs, including HIV infection, herpes, chlamydia, gonorrhea and syphilis.

Another smart move is to get tested for STDs, especially if you are starting a new relationship or if you notice discomfort (such as pain, sores or discharge) in your genital area. Your doctor can test you for STDs, and many can be treated—or managed—with medication.

No matter what male sexual health issue you may encounter, there are treatments to help get your sex life back in gear.

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