No one likes talking about sexually transmitted diseases, but according to the American Sexual Health Association, nearly half of us will get one at some point in our lifetime. For that reason, it’s important to recognize the signs of an STD so that you can treat the infection before it becomes a serious health risk. Here are the most common STDs among men.

Human Papillomavirus (HPV)

HPV is the most common STD among both genders, and according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly every sexually active man and woman will contract at least one strain of HPV throughout their lifetime. There are many different types of HPV. Some types can cause health problems including genital warts and cancers. Most people with HPV do not know they are infected and never develop symptoms or health problems from it, although some may find out they have HPV when they get genital warts. Thankfully, there is now a vaccine to guard against the virus, but there is no cure for those who have already been infected.

Genital herpes

Although genital herpes is slightly more common in women, around one in a every five men in the U.S. have this STD, most of which are 25 and under. This STD is caused by two different viruses; HSV 1 and HSV 2. You can get herpes by having vaginal, anal, or oral sex with someone who has the disease, even if the infected partner does not have visable sores. Although there is no cure for this STD, it is rarely associated with any serious health risks and usually is just a cause of discomfort.


Although chlamydia is fairly common, it goes completely undetected in around 25 to 50 percent of all male cases because it rarely produces symptoms in men. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, men rarely have health problems linked to chlamydia, although sometimes the infection spreads to the tube that carries sperm from the testicles, causing pain and fever. It is very rare however, for chlamydia to prevent a man from being able to have children. Symptoms in men can include a discharge from their penis, a burning sensation when urinating, and pain and swelling in one or both testicles (although this is less common).Thankfully, it can be treated and cured with a course of antibiotics.


Gonorrhea is extremely common among men and women, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate that there are approximately 820,000 new gonorrhea infections in the United States each year. Many men with gonorrhea are asymptomatic. When present, signs and symptoms of urethral infection in men include dysuria or a white, yellow, or green urethral discharge that usually appears one to fourteen days after infection. In cases where urethral infection is complicated by epididymitis, men with gonorrhea may also complain of testicular or scrotal pain. Gonorrhea is also treatable with antibiotics.


Although syphilis is not as common as other STDS, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in 2014, there were 63,450 reported new cases of syphilis. The disease is also more common among men, particularly men who sleep with men. This infection is treatable through a course of antibiotics.

Syphilis comes in four stages, each with its own symptoms. For example, in the primary stage, syphilis may present itself as a tiny sore on the genitals that can be mistaken for an ingrown hair. In the secondary stage, an infected individual may develop a rash all over their body. In the later stages of the infection, the disease may damage the internal organs, including the brain, nerves, eyes, heart, blood vessels, liver, bones, and joints. Symptoms of the late stage of syphilis include difficulty coordinating muscle movements, paralysis, numbness, gradual blindness, and dementia.