STI gang members


Sexually transmissible infections (STI) like gonorrhea (left, in gray) and syphilis (right, in pink) often travel in packs – and not just to sniff flowers (as above) but to do things to your genitals and reproductive organs. Eek! 

If you have one STI, you just might have another so make sure to get tested for everything you might be at risk for – which depends on what kind of sex you’ve done (ask your healthcare provider for more info).

In part, STIs travel in packs because inflammation or sores from one STI can make your body more vulnerable to infection if you come into contact with another STI. Another reason people sometimes have more than one STI at a time is because they might do more than one thing that puts them at a higher risk, for example having sex with multiple partners and/or using needle drugs and/or not getting tested (either because they avoid testing, don’t think about it or have education about it, or because they don’t have money or insurance to get tested). Learn more about STI testing through local county or state health departments, Planned Parenthood or the Centers for Disease Control.

The plush STI dolls (pictured above) can be found at

About Dr. Debby Herbenick

Dr. Debby Herbenick

Dr. Debby Herbenick is a sex researcher at Indiana University, sexual health educator at The Kinsey Institute, columnist, and author of five books about sex and love. Learn more about her work at