Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) are illnesses that are passed from one person to another through sexual contact. STDs can be spread through any kind of sexual activity, whether it's vaginal, anal, or oral. In some cases, STDs can be passed through skin-to-skin contact or even just touching someone else's body fluids. The most common way to get an STD is through having sex without using a condom or other protection, like birth control. Some STDs can cause really bad health problems, so it's important to take steps to protect yourself. Talk to your doctor about how to stay healthy and safe.