HIV & STDs: The Link
HIV/AIDS is an STD but a lot of people don't think of it that way. Did you know that having an STD can make it more likely to get infected with HIV?
Sexually transmitted diseases, or STDs, can make it 2-5 times more likely to acquire or transmit HIV. STDs can cause open sores that can make it easier for HIV to get into the bloodstream.
There are other reasons too. If you're HIV negative and have an STD, your body is already fighting off one infection, so it's easier to get infected with another. If you're HIV positive, having an STD can cause viral shedding and can lead to an increased viral load, both of which make transmitting HIV to someone else much more likely.
An important fact to note is that most STDs appear without symptoms. Getting tested for STDs every three to six months is an effective way to maintain your sexual health. Using latex or polyurethane condoms is still the most effective way to protect yourself from HIV and STDs.