Galveston County Daily News (Internet / Print) 06/12/06 William O’Brien, a professor and chief of the AIDS pathogenesis research program at the University of Texas Medical Branch, said the hidden epidemic of STDs and the continued infection rate of diseases such as genital herpes should be a major concern to the population. “The rise in these STDs can help spread the infection of HIV,” said O’Brien. “Obviously there is some serious sex education that needs to be done in the country. Abstinence certainly works, but is not practical for a lot of people.” According to the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention, people infected with STDs are at least two to five times more likely than uninfected people to acquire HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, during sexual contact. And an HIV-infected person who also has another STD is more than twice as likely to have HIV present in genital secretions.