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 Sexually Transmitted Infections

(also called Sexually Transmitted Diseases, or Venereal Diseases)
A Chart of Definitions, Symptoms and Treatments
Related Conditions, and Where To Get Tested and Treated

Bacterial Vaginosis (BV)
BV is a curable infection that results from a bacterial imbalance in the vagina. It occurs when the vagina's natural, healthy bacteria count is overwhelmed by negative bacteria.

 

Symptoms

Unusual vaginal discharge which may be grayish white or creamy Unusual or foul odor

Itching

 
Swelling


No symptoms may occur

Transmission
Transmission of BV is not entirely understood, but the probability of developing it are increased by the following:

Wiping from the anus to the vagina with toilet paper.

Douching.

Switching between anal and vaginal sex without properly cleaning the penis.

The unhygienic use of sex toys or prophylactic aids which have not
been properly cleaned.

What Can Happen Without Treatment
BV can lead to PID (pelvic inflammatory disease

Treatment

Antibiotics

Risk Reduction Strategies
Test for BV during your annual pelvic exam.

Avoid wiping the vaginal and urethral areas with toilet paper contaminated by feces.

Do not switch from anal to vaginal sex without thoroughly cleaning the penis or dildo.

 

Make certain that any sexual aids or toys are thoroughly and properly cleaned before vaginal contact or penetration.

 

Use a new condom every time you have switch from one orifice to another.

 

Never douche unless your doctor has specified a medical reason to: douching undermines the vagina's natural cleansing cycle and removes healthy native bacteria.

Candida Albicans
(Diploid Fungal Infection)
Candida is curable fungal infection that occurs when the vagina loses its proper acidic balance and becomes too alkaline. Excessive yeast then proliferates, causing infection.

Men may contract and transmit Candida.

 

Symptoms
Itching, irritation, swelling of the vagina and vulva, or of the penis, testicles, or rectum

Thick white discharge, sometimes with a cottage cheese like appearance

 

Genital odor like yeast or baking bread

 

Mouth ulcers

 

A creamy white appearance of the mouth and tongue

 

Dry mouth

 

No symptoms may occur

Transmission

Yeast infection can be passed between partners during vaginal, anal and oral sexual contact.

What Can Happen Without Treatment
Continued discomfort

Increased susceptibility to HIV/AIDS

Treatment
Women: a cream or suppository tablet inserted into the vagina, often combined with a soothing topical cream for the vulva to relieve swelling and itching

Men: topical antifungal cream

Risk Reduction Strategies

Testing by both partners before engaging in a sexual relationship is the first line of defense, with follow-through testing on a regular basis.  

Candida is highly contagious. If diagnosed with it, avoid sex until cured.

Chancroid
Chancroid is a curable bacterial infection that produces genital sores. Symptoms generally occur within a week or so of exposure.

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/c/c2/Chancroid_lesion_haemophilus_ducreyi_PHIL_3728_lores.jpg/157px-Chancroid_lesion_haemophilus_ducreyi_PHIL_3728_lores.jpg

Symptoms
Men: Painful open sores on the genitals

Swollen lymph nodes around the groin

Women: Painful urination
Pain during intercourse
Rectal bleeding
Unusual vaginal discharge

Transmission
Direct genital, anal or oral contact with a chancroid sore.

What Can Happen Without Treatment
Painful symptoms continue.

Scarring from chancroid may be permanent.

Treatment
Antibiotics

Risk Reduction Strategies
Do not make physical contact with sores.

Avoid genital sex until cure is complete.

Chlamydia
Chlamydia is a curable infection caused by bacteria. Many people with Chlamydia have no symptoms. If symptoms appear, they typically do so 7 – 28 days after infection.  

Symptoms
Women: Discharge from the vagina

Bleeding from the vagina between periods

Pain, burning or itching during urination

I
ncreased urination


Pain during intercourse

Abdominal pain, possibly accompanied by fever and or nausea.

Conjunctivitis (eye infection)

No symptoms may occur
 
Men: Pain, itching or burning during urination

Increased urination

Discharge from the penis

Swollen or sore testicles

Conjunctivitis (eye infection) 

No symptoms may occur

Transmission
Chlamydia is spread during oral, vaginal and anal sex with an infected partner. It can also be spread to the eyes and other susceptible different body parts by contact with infected body fluids, the hands, and materials such as contaminated toilet paper.

A pregnant mother can transmit Chlamydia to her baby during child birth.

What Can Happen Without Treatment
Heart problems may occur.

PID (pelvic inflammatory disease) may occur, causing damage to the reproductive organs and infertility.

Conjunctivitis may result in blindness.

Chlamydia can be transmitted from mother to infant during childbirth, causing conjunctivitis, pneumonia and other, potentially fatal complications.

Chlamydia may lead to Reiter’s Syndrome, which involves eye-infection, arthritis, and urethritis. One in three men who develop Reiter’s become permanently disabled.

Treatment
Cured with antibiotics, but damage can be permanent.

Risk Reduction Strategies
Testing by both partners before engaging in a sexual relationship is the first line of defense, with follow-through testing as necessary.

If diagnosed with Chlamydia, avoid sex until cured. 

Consistently use properly applied barriers – male condoms, female condoms, dams, gloves, and finger condoms (or cots) – combined with effective topical microbicides.  

Consistently protect your sexual health by using wise safer sex practices –
every time you have sex.

Cytomegalovirus (CMV)

Cytomegalovirus is an incurable herpes class virus that infects over 50% of the adult population by age forty.

 

Symptoms
Body ache

 
Fatigue


Flu-like symptoms

Mononucleosis-like syndrome (see mononucleosis)

Prolonged fever

Mild hepatitis

In premature infants, a sepsis- like syndrome

Most healthy people with CMV have no signs or symptoms of the disease, but for people with compromised immune systems or new born infants, it can pose a serious health threat.

One out of every five babies born with congenital cytomegalovirus will be disabled. In the United States, one child an hour is born disabled by CMV.

 

No symptoms may occur

Transmission
CMV is transmitted through oral, anal, or genital sex; infected body fluids such as urine, mucus, saliva, blood, breast milk, semen, vaginal secretions, excrement, or tears; transferred contact with infected body fluids on the hands and objects such as a diaper or toothbrush; blood and bone marrow transfusions, and organ transplants.

CMV can also be transmitted in utero, or to an infant during birth via contact with their mother’s infected genital secretions.

 

Young children with CMV often shed the virus for months. One in five parents or caretakers caring for a child with CMV will get the virus within a year.

CMV has been known to spread among young children at day care centers and among family members.

What Can Happen Without Treatment
Ongoing symptoms

In infants born with cytomegalovirus may have learning disabilities, problems with hearing and vision, and in rare cases, death may occur.

People with compromised immune systems such as organ and bone marrow transplant recipients, cancer patients, patients receiving immunosuppressive drugs, and people infected with HIV or AIDS may incur severe or life-threatening diseases.

Treatment
The only treatment for CMV is prevention.

Risk Reduction Strategies
Test for CMV before engaging in any sexual acts.

A single test on a pregnant mother is not definitive. 

Avoid contact with infected semen, vaginal secretions, urine, saliva, tears, mucus, breast milk, blood, feces, or other infected bodily secretions and excretions. 

Avoid contact with contaminated objects such as diapers, tissues, toothbrushes, and children’s toys. 

Wash your hands with soap for 15-20 seconds immediately after changing diapers, feeding a young child, wiping them after urination or defecation, wiping their nose or wiping drool, or handling children’s toys. 

Clean countertops, toilet seats, toys, tables, and other surfaces that come into contact with children’s urine or saliva.

Do not put a used pacifier in your mouth. Avoid getting children’s urine and saliva on your hands, mouth, nose or eyes.

Do not share food, drinks, or eating utensils with young children.

Gardnerella Vaginalis
Gardnerella vaginosis is a curable bacterial infection. It ensues when the ratio of naturally occurring vaginal bacteria increases disproportionately inside the vagina.

 

Symptoms
Unpleasant smell to vaginal odor or discharge
. 

No symptoms may occur in women, and symptoms do not occur in men, but men can catch and transmit the infection.

Transmission
Gardnerella is transmitted through vaginal sex.

What Can Happen Without Treatment
Unpleasant symptoms continue.

Additional nonspecific infections occur.

Treatment
Metronidazole

Risk Reduction Strategies

Testing by both partners before engaging in a sexual relationship is the first line of defense in prevention, with follow-through testing as necessary. If Gardnerella is diagnosed, avoid sex until cured.

Gonorrhea
Gonorrhea is a curable infection caused by bacteria. If symptoms occur, they generally manifest
2 –10 days after infection.   

Symptoms
Discharge from the vagina, penis or rectum.


In women vaginal discharge tends to be a thick yellow or gray.
In men penile discharge tends to be a thick yellow or greenish drip.

In women, abnormal bleeding between periods.

In men, painful or swollen testicles.

Anal infection
Sore throat after fellatio
Fever and chills

 

Cramps and pain on one or both sides of the lower abdomen.


Constipation
Swollen lymph glands

Rectal bleeding

Vomiting

Pain in the joints


Burning or pain during bowel movement or urination.


No symptoms may occur.

Transmission
Gonorrhea may be spread by oral, vaginal or anal sex with an infected partner.

It can also be transmitted during childbirth by an infected mother to her newborn infant, causing serious, potentially fatal complications.

What Can Happen Without Treatment
Reproductive organs can be damaged, causing infertility

Heart problems

Skin disease

Acute arthritis

Blindness

Meningitis

Death

In women, gonorrhea can lead to PID (pelvic inflammatory disease), which can cause many complications, including sterility, and may adversely affect pregnancy.

Treatment
Cured with antibiotics, but damage can be permanent.

Gonorrhea can be particularly difficult to diagnose in women. Ideally it should be cultured from four sites – cervix, urethra, vagina, and rectum – to maximize the chance of detection. Even with these measures, a false-negative may occur. If symptoms persist, tests should be repeated.

Risk Reduction Strategies
Testing by both partners before engaging in a sexual relationship is the first line of defense, with follow-through testing as necessary. If diagnosed with gonorrhea, avoid sex until cured. 

Diligently use properly applied barriers – male condoms, female condoms, dams, gloves, and finger condoms (or cots) – combined with effective topical microbicides.  

Consistently protect your sexual health by using safer sex practices – every time you have sex.

Hepatitis B (HBV)
Hepatitis B (HBV) is a virus that attacks the liver. Many people recover from HVB, but some people do not and suffer chronically from its effects. If symptoms occur, they generally manifest 1-9 months after infection.

Immunization can prevent this dangerous infection. There is now a very effective vaccine that can protect people from contracting hepatitis B.

 

Babies are particularly susceptible to HBV and should receive this vaccine at birth, but it is important that adults become immunized as well.

A baby born to an infected mother should be vaccinated immediately and treated with hepatitis B immune globulin, which contains hepatitis B antibodies to help fight HBV infection.

Symptoms
Loss of appetite

Jaundice (yellowing of the skin and/or the whites of the eyes)

Dark feces
Pale urine
Fatigue
Diarrhea
Joint pain
Abdominal pain
Nausea
Flu-like feelings that persist

No symptoms may occur.

Transmission
Hepatitis B is transmitted during oral, vaginal or anal sex with an infected partner.

It is also spread by sharing needles or contaminated body piercing instruments with infected parties, or contact with infected blood.

HBV can also be transmitted by a pregnant mother to her baby during birth.

What Can Happen Without Treatment
Permanent, potentially fatal liver damage

Liver cancer

Immune system problems

Treatment
There is no cure for Hepatitis B, but many people recover with treatment.

Two treatments are available: interferons, natural proteins found in the body which boost the immune system, and antivirals.

If you have hepatitis B get vaccinated against hepatitis A, a virus that also attacks the liver. 

Treatment also includes good nutrition to help keep the liver functioning properly. A diet that is low in salt, sugar, and fat is important. High doses of vitamins containing iron, vitamin A, or vitamin D can harm the liver.

Avoid alcohol, smoking, and recreational drugs. The liver filters out drugs and poisons and a liver weakened by hepatitis B cannot tolerate these toxic factors.

Risk Reduction Strategies
Testing by both partners before engaging in a sexual relationship is the first line of defense, with follow-through testing as necessary.

Diligently use properly applied barriers – male condoms, female condoms, dams, gloves, and finger condoms (or cots) – combined with effective topical microbicides.  

Consistently protect your sexual health with safer sex practices – every time you have sex. 

Never share needles with other people.

Use only sterile, plastic wrapped new or medically sterilized needles.

Avoid contact with contaminated body piercing instruments. 
 
Avoid contact with infected blood, including menstrual blood, bleeding gums and blood from  transfusions.

Herpes Simplex I and ll
Herpes is an incurable infection caused by the herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1, oral herpes) and type 2 (HSV-2, genital herpes). An individual can have one or both viruses. If symptoms occur, they generally appear in 1 – 30 days or longer after infection.

Symptoms
One or more blisters or other sores on or around the genitals, anus, buttocks, mouth, thighs or hands which may clear up in 1 – 3 weeks but can return chronically

Lesions resulting from burst blisters or sores

Flu – like feelings
Malaise
Myalgia

Itching, burning, and/or pain in genitals, legs or buttocks

Pressure in abdomen

Swollen glands in neck or groin

Rash on genitals

Stiff neck

Pain and burning when urine touches open sores

No symptoms may occur

Transmission
Herpes spreads through oral, vaginal, or anal sex, and contact with the skin and body fluids from an infected person. The first outbreak of herpes is called the Primary Episode and is highly contagious. During the Primary Episode and all subsequent (Secondary) outbreaks, the virus remains most contagious during active (shedding) symptoms, but is potentially contagious at all times.

What Can Happen Without Treatment
Individual cases of herpes vary. Some people experience only one Primary outbreak, while others experience periodic or routine Secondary outbreaks for the rest of their lives. In all cases herpes remain chronically contagious.  

A pregnant mother may transmit the herpes simplex during childbirth, causing the newborn infant serious, potentially fatal complications.

Treatment
Herpes cannot be cured, but medication may help mitigate its effects, making it less painful, less frequent, and less contagious.


Pregnant women may elect a course of anti-viral therapy to help suppress the virus and reduce the risk of transmitting the infection to their infant during birth.

If a pregnant woman is experiencing a Primary outbreak, active genital lesions, or symptoms indicating impending outbreak, she may choose cesarean birth to diminish the risk of transmitting the virus to their newborn. Herpes may be transmitted during childbirth when no symptoms are evident.

Risk Reduction Strategies
Testing by both partners before engaging in a sexual relationship is the first line of defense, with follow-through testing as necessary.

Diligently use properly applied barriers – male condoms, female condoms, dams, gloves, and finger condoms (or cots) – combined with effective topical microbicides. 

Consistently protect your sexual health by using wise safer sex practices – every time you have sex. 

Wash hands after touching infected areas before touching other susceptible body parts.
 

Avoid sex whenever active symptoms appear and take medication right away. 

Avoid stress and fatigue, which can activate or exacerbate herpes.
 

Avoid excessive hot sun, which can activate or exacerbate herpes. 

Avoid exchange of blood, including blood in the mouth from bleeding gums, and menstrual fluid.
 

Use separate personal items such as toothbrushes, towels, washcloths, drinking glasses – especially during episodes of viral shedding.  Use a separate toilet than other family members. 

Be aware that herpes can be contagious to areas of the body not covered by prophylactics during sex, and avoid contact.

Human Immunodeficiency Virus/Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (HIV/AIDS)
Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and Acquired immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) are the two stages of an incurable virus that attacks the immune system, ultimately rendering it incapable of defending the body against invasive infection and disease.

The HIV virus attacks white blood cells called T41 lymphocyte cells, or "helper cells", which are the core of the autoimmune defense system. As the "helper cell" count is lowered by this attack, the immune system attempts to protect itself by producing antibodies to fight off the HIV infection. When these antibodies fail, HIV gradually destroys the immune system by taking over its cellular genetic material, leaving it unable to defend itself from infection by opportunistic diseases.

When this process is complete and a person's immune system is entirely incapable of protecting itself, they have reached the full blown AIDS stage of the virus.

 

Symptoms
HIV/AIDS generally manifests symptoms in four stages:

Stage 1
Fever and Flu-like symptoms
Muscle and joint pains
Lack of appetite
Nausea
Diarrhea
Sore throat
Headache
Rash
Eye pains and /or sensitivity to light
Irritability
Depression 

Stage 2
After two or three weeks all or most symptoms may disappear. The immune system cells have been invaded and their genetic material overtaken to reproduce the HIV virus. Up to 12 years or longer may pass in this relatively asymptomatic stage before Stage 3.  

Stage 3
After the Stage 2 dormant period, more serious symptoms occur. These may include:

Swollen glands for three months or more (lymphadenopathy)

Karposi’s Scarcoma (a form of cancer)

Pneumonia
White spots on tongue
Lesions anywhere on the body
Persistent infections
Diarrhea
Weight loss
Fatigue
Night sweats
Fever 
 
Stage 4
The fourth stage is full-blown AIDS. This occurs when the immune system is entirely overrun by the virus and can no longer defend the body from opportunistic infections. Symptoms may include:

Cancer
Tumors
Nervous system disorders
Organ failure
Dementia and memory loss
Blindness
Paralysis

Transmission
HIV/AIDS is transmitted through oral, genital, or anal sex with an infected partner.

It is also spread by sharing needles with infected parties, using contaminated body piercing instruments, or contact with infected blood or bodily fluids.

HIV/AIDS can be transmitted in utero or through breast-feeding.

What Can Happen Without Treatment
The immune system loses its ability to fight infection from opportunistic diseases, which cause devastating symptoms and eventually death.

Treatment
Life may be prolonged for many years through treatment with antiretroviral agents. 

A healthy lifestyle improves prognosis, too, when added to an antiretrovirus treatment course.

Post Exposure Prophylaxis (PEP) is a course of medication that may be taken immediately after known exposure to the virus. PEP is thought to be approximately 79% preventative when applied accurately. It is often used by medical personnel who have been accidentally exposed to the virus.

Risk Reduction Strategies
Testing by both partners before engaging in a sexual relationship is the first line of defense, with follow-through testing on a regular basis.  

Consistently use properly applied barriers – male condoms, female condoms, dams, gloves, and finger condoms (or cots) – combined with effective topical microbicides.  

Consistently protect your sexual health with safer sex practices – every time you have sex. 

Avoid contact with infected blood, including menstrual blood and blood transfusions. 

Avoid any exchange of infected body fluids.

Avoid contact with any open wounds, sores, cuts or lesion's.

Never share needles with other people.

Use only sterile, plastic wrapped new or medically sterilized needles. 

Avoid contaminated surgical or body piercing instruments of any kind. 

Be aware that HIV/AIDS can be contagious to areas of the body that are not covered by prophylactics during sex, and take precautions.

Human Papillomavirus (HPV) including Genital Warts
HPV infection is caused by a group of viruses that include more than 100 different strains or types. There is no cure for HPV, but it may clear up on its own.

Genital warts, and/or cervical, vulvar, anal, throat or prostate cancer, may result from specific strains of HPV, and may reoccur.

Genital warts generally appear 1 – 8 months after infection.

A vaccine called Gardasil can help protect against some of the common strains of HPV specific to cancer and genital warts (types 6, 11, 16 and
18), especially in people
ages range 9 through 26.

Symptoms
Symptoms of genital warts may include:
Warts internally or externally on the sex organs, mouth and anus (warts may be alone or in groups).

Moist, tender swelling or bumps in or around genital and rectal area which may be pink, large or small, or look like a cauliflower.

Itching or burning around the genitals, mouth and anus.

Irritated pink areas.

Transmission
The human papillomavirus, including the strains which cause genital warts and cancer, can be spread during anal, oral and vaginal sex and genital touching with an infected partner.

A mother with genital warts can transmit them to her infant during childbirth.

What Can Happen Without Treatment
Genital warts may disappear permanently, remain unchanged, spread and grow, or disappear and reoccur later.

Treatment
Warts may be removed by surgery, cryosurgery (freezing with liquid nitrogen or cryoprobe), lasers, or an electric needle.

HPV related cancer is potentially fatal and should receive immediate treatment for optimal prognosis.
Cancers may be treated through various methods. Both may return after treatment.
 

Risk Reduction Strategies
Testing by both partners before engaging in a sexual relationship is the first line of defense, with follow-through testing as necessary.  

In women, abnormal Pap smears may detect some HPV viruses. Make sure a Pap smear is performed during your annual pelvic exam. 

Diligently use properly applied barriers – male condoms, female condoms, dams, gloves, and finger condoms (or cots) – combined with effective topical microbicides. 

Consistently protect your sexual health by acting using wise safer sex practices – every time you have sex. 

Be aware that genital warts can be contagious to areas of the body not covered by prophylactics during sex, and  avoid contact
. 

Internal Parasites
Giardia, cryptosporidia, amoebas, and other parasites can infect the intestinal tract and may spread through the body's  internal systems. The condition is curable.

Symptoms
Diarrhea
Abdominal pain or cramps
Unexplained weight loss
Fatigue
Bloating

Transmission
Spread primarily through oral-anal sex.

What Can Happen Without Treatment
Persistent discomfort.

Weakened immune system.

Treatment
Prescription drugs kill parasites.

Risk Reduction Strategies
Testing by both partners before engaging in a sexual relationship is the first line of defense in prevention, with follow-through testing as necessary.  

Never have oral anal sex (anallingus) without placing a protective dam over the anus to prevent transfer of fecal bacteria to the mouth. 

Consistently protect your sexual health with safer sex practices – every time you have sex.

Molluscum Contagiosum (MCV)
Molluscum cantagiosum is a treatable virus that is a member of the poxvirus family. It usually manifests within 2-7 weeks, but may take as long as 6 months to appear.

Symptoms
Small painless papules that may become raised to pearly, flesh-colored nodules, often with a central dimple

Lesions
Red rash

No symptoms may occur

Transmission
Frequently sexually transmitted, MCV is transmitted through direct contact with an open lesion, skin-to-skin, or with contaminated objects such as towels, wash clothes, and clothing. It can affect any part of the body except the palms and soles.

What Can Happen Without Treatment

Scarring

 

Ongoing pain

Treatment
In people with normal immune systems, MCV often goes away on its own in months or years.

In persistent cases or to prevent transmission, it can be removed from the skin by cryotherapy, laser surgery, cutterage, or electrocoagulation.

Risk Reduction Strategies
Avoid any contact with lesions, papules, rashes, or contaminated objects.

Don't shave areas with bumps

Don't share towels or wash clothes

Cover bumps with tape or a band aid

Mononucleosis ("mono" or "the kissing disease")Mononucleosis is a curable infection caused by the Epstein-Barr virus. No symptoms may occur. If symptoms do occur, they generally manifest within a month of infection.

Symptoms
Fever
Swollen glands

Weight loss
Lack of appetite
Extreme fatigue
Sore throat

No symptoms may occur

Transmission
Mononucleosis is most easily spread by contact with the mucus or saliva of an infected party, which is why it is called the “kissing disease”.

It can also be spread by close contact such as sharing glasses or cutlery, or by being coughed on by someone with the virus.

What Can Happen Without Treatment
Without proper rest mononucleosis will be prolonged and can lead to a general weakening and degradation of the system, making the body vulnerable to more severe illness.

Treatment
Lots of rest, tender loving care, and sufficient time will allow the illness to run its course and leave the system. This may take anywhere from a week to a month or more, but if you don't patiently allow yourself enough rest, the illness will persist and you may become dangerously worn down.

Risk Reduction Strategies
Avoid kissing, intimate contact and fluid exchange with anyone you know to actively have, or who has been exposed to, a case of mononucleosis, until you're sure they are cured.  

Don't use the same drinking glasses, plates or utensils as an infected party - and stay out of their coughing range!

Nongonococcal Urethritis (NGU)
NGU is a curable bacterial infection of the urethra. It is often caused by another STI, most commonly Chlamydia.

Symptoms
Genital discharge
Pain or burning during urination
Genital itching
Genital soreness

Sore throat

Transmission
NGU is spread through oral, vaginal, or anal sex.

What Can Happen Without Treatment
NGU can lead to epididymitis in men, and PID (pelvic inflammatory disease) in women.

Treatment
 Antibiotics.

Risk Reduction Strategies
Testing by both partners before engaging in a sexual relationship is the first line of defense, with follow-through testing as necessary. If diagnosed with NGU, avoid sex until cured. 

Urinate after sex to help clear bacteria from the urethra. 

Avoid fecal contamination of the urethra during sex. 

Diligently use properly applied barriers – male condoms, female condoms, dams, gloves, and finger condoms (or cots) – combined with effective topical microbicides.  

Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID)
Pelvic inflammatory disease is a curable bacterial infection of the female reproductive organs which may involve the uterus, cervix, and fallopian tubes. It is often caused by gonorrhea or chlamydia.

Symptoms
Abdominal pain
Lower back pain
Fever

Tenderness of the uterus and ovaries

Heavy menstruation
Spotting between periods
Unusual vaginal discharge
Fatigue
Nausea
Vomiting
Painful vaginal intercourse
Blood in urine
Pain or cramping during urination
Pain during orgasm
Pain during vaginal penetration

Transmission
PID may be transmitted during vaginal intercourse, or it may be the end result of an earlier infection such as gonorrhea or chlamydia.

PID can also be caused by an intrauterine device (IUD), childbirth, or rectal bacteria introduced into the vagina. 

Men do not get PID, but a male partner may transmit an STI or other bacteria to a woman that results in PID.

What Can Happen Without Treatment
Scarring of the fallopian tubes.

Permanent infertility.

Chronic pain.

Ectopic pregnancy.

Surgery may be required to remove scar tissue or damaged organs.


Treatment
Antibiotics and bed rest.

In serious cases, surgery may be required to remove part or all of the damaged reproductive organs.

 

Risk Reduction Strategies
Testing by both partners before engaging in a sexual relationship is the first line of defense in prevention, with follow-through testing as necessary. If PID is diagnosed, avoid sex until cured. 

Get regular pelvic exams and report any genital persistent pain to your doctor. 

Be certain to treat gonorrhea and chlamydia in their early stages to prevent their development into PID. 

After defecation or urination, never wipe the rectum and then the vagina with the same tissue. 

Avoid anal- to- vaginal sex unless penis or dildo is thoroughly cleaned first, and always use a new condom as well. 

Diligently use properly applied barriers – male condoms, female condoms, dams, gloves, and finger condoms (or cots) – combined with effective topical microbicides.

Consistently protect your sexual health by using wise safer sex practices – every time you have sex.

Pubic Lice ("Crabs")
Pubic lice are parasitic mites that look like tiny crabs under a microscope. They settle in the pubic hair and feed on blood. Scratching may transmit lice to other body parts with coarse hair such as armpits, scalp, eyebrows, eyelashes, legs, beard, chest hair, etc. Symptoms manifest within 1-5 days of contact.

Symptoms
Painful, constant itching in the pubic area

Blue spots may occur where bitten by mites

Transmission
Pubic lice can be transmitted through genital contact, infested bed linens, clothing, towels, or any material that the lice can hold onto.

What Can Happen Without Treatment
Discomfort will continue.

The bites may become seriously infected.

Treatment
Medical shampoos and lotions will kill pubic lice.

All clothing, sheets, towels and other exposed host sites must be washed in extremely hot water to kill the lice.

Risk Reduction Strategies
Barriers and topical microbicides have limited protective value against pubic lice, because the mites jump from pubic hair to pubic hair or other coarse body hair. The best way to avoid them is to avoid sex with an infected partner and to avoid contact with infected clothing or sites.

Since pubic lice itch fiercely, it's hard not to notice them!
Take note if your partner scratches their pubic hair, or has any signs of lice bites, and if they do, ask them to see a doctor for testing and, if necessary, treatment, before having sex with them. Don’t have sex until lice are cured.

Pubic  Scabies
Pubic scabies are a highly contagious infestation caused by the Sacoptes scabiei mite. Symptoms generally manifest within one month.

Symptoms
As the female mite burrows into the skin and matures, eruptions in the skin develop. These may be characterized by wheals, pustules, papules, and secondary infections on the genitals, buttocks, feet, hands, wrists, elbows, and waistline.

Transmission
Intimate physical contact with an infected party, or contact with infested clothing.

What Can Happen Without Treatment
Discomfort continues.

Serious infection may occur.

Treatment
Permithrin cream, an insecticide, is applied to the whole body and left on for 8 hours.

Risk Reduction Strategies
Barriers and topical microbicides have limited protective value against pubic scabies. The best way to avoid them is to avoid sex with an infected partner or contact with infected clothing or sites.

Take note if your partner scratches their genitals or has any signs of mite bites, and if they do, ask them to see a doctor for testing and, if necessary, treatment, before having sex with them. Avoid sex until scabies are cured.

Syphilis
Syphilis is a curable infection caused by bacteria. No symptoms may occur. If symptoms do manifest, they generally appear 2 - 6 weeks after infection, and occur in four stages.

Symptoms  
Syphilis generally occurs in four stages:
 

Stage 1 (Primary)
A painless sore or sores on or near the genitals, mouth or anus that goes away after 1-5 weeks. 

Stage 2 (Secondary)
1-6 weeks after sore disappears, the following may occur for between a few months and two years:
Rash on hands, feet or anywhere on the body

Flu-like feelings
Headache, fever and a sore throat
Aches in the bones
Swollen joints
Hair loss 

Stage 3 (Latent)
An asymptomatic or dormant period 

Stage 4 (Tertiary)
Heart disease
Organ damage to brain, liver, heart
Blurred vision
Blindness
Insanity
Deafness
Paralysis
Arthritis
Loss of muscular coordination
Memory loss
Dementia

Transmission
Syphilis is spread during oral, vaginal or anal sex, by touching an infected sore, by sharing needles with an infected party or through infected instruments such as those used in body piercing, tattooing, surgery, etc.


Syphilis may also be transmitted in utero or during birth.

What Can Happen Without Treatment
Devastating symptoms leading to severe disability or death.

A pregnant woman with syphilis may miscarry. Her infant may be born dead, blind, diseased, or with organ damage.

Treatment
Cured with antibiotics, but serious damage cannot be reversed. Syphilis is most effectively treated in its' early stages.

Risk Reduction Strategies
Testing by both partners before engaging in a sexual relationship is the first line of defense, with follow-through testing as necessary. If syphilis is diagnosed, avoid sex until cured. 

Never share needles with other people. Use only sterile, plastic wrapped new or medically sterilized needles.

Avoid contaminated body piercing instruments of any kind.

Avoid contact with infected blood, including menstrual blood, bleeding gums and blood transfusions. 

Diligently use properly applied barriers – male condoms, female condoms, dams, gloves, and finger condoms (or cots) – combined with effective topical microbicides.

Consistently protect your sexual health with safer sex practices – every time you have sex.


Be aware that syphilis can be contagious to areas of the body not covered by prophylactics during sex, and avoid contact.

Trichomoniasis
Also called “Trich”, trichomoniasis is a curable infection caused a parasitic protozoa that thrives in moist environments such as the vagina, urethra, or bladder. If symptoms do occur, they typically manifest 3-14 days after infection.

Symptoms
Women: Pungent or foul smell from vagina.

Discharge from vagina which may be yellow, green or gray
Itching, burning, swelling or irritation in the vagina
.

Redness in vagina
Pain during sex
Burning urination 

No symptoms may occur

Men: White Discharge from penis
Burning or pain during urination
Increased need to urinate

Transmission
Trichomoniasis is spread during vaginal sex with an infected partner.  It can then be spread back and forth between partners of any sex.

Trichomoniasis can also be transmitted by sharing damp underwear, towels, bathing suites, or washcloths.

What Can Happen Without Treatment
Complications during pregnancy, including premature birth.

Men can get infections of the prostate.

Discomfort from symptoms may continue.

Treatment
Trichomoniasis is usually cured with antibiotics, but a second round of treatment may be required.

Wear cotton underwear and avoid pantyhose during treatment.

Risk Reduction Strategies
Testing by both partners before engaging in a sexual relationship is the first line of defense in prevention, with follow-through testing as necessary. If diagnosed with trichomoniasis, avoid sex until cured. 

Diligently use properly applied barriers – male condoms, female condoms, dams, gloves, and finger condoms (or cots) – combined with effective topical microbicides.  

Consistently protect your sexual health with safer sex practices – every time you have sex.

The Following Are Conditions That Can Be Caused By STIs: 

Bacterial vaginosis

Bacterial vaginosis is any bacterial infection of the vagina that does not include swelling or discomfort, occurring when invasive bacteria or bacterial overgrowth afflicts the vagina. An unpleasant vaginal odor or foul smelling discharge may be present. It is often asymptomatic. Both women and men can transmit it. 

Cystitis

Cystitis is an infection of the bladder contracted when infectious organisms enter it via the urethra. These organisms may include the herpes simplex virus, E. coli, staphylococcus, and others present in the gastrointestinal tract. It is more common in women because women have a shorter urethral tract then men, allowing organisms’ easier access to their bladders. Symptoms include pain or burning during urination, frequency and urgency of urination, and blood in the urine. Urinating after sex, drinking cranberry juice as a cleaning tonic and practicing wise sexual hygiene are all helpful preventative measures. 

Ectocervictis

Ectocervictis is the infection of the outer surface of the cervix. It can result from infection by the herpes simplex virus, Candida Albicans, cytomegalovirus, Chlamydia, and Trichmoniasis. No symptoms may occur. If symptoms do occur, they may include swelling, discomfort, unusual of foul smelling vaginal discharge, Itching, burning, or pain in the vagina or during vaginal intercourse. 

Endocervictis

Endocervictis is the infection of the cervical canal. It is often caused by Chlamydia, Gonorrhea, or the herpes simplex virus. Endocervictis is frequently asymptomatic, although it may causes urethritis symptoms in men. 

Endometritis

Endometritis is infection of the lining of the uterus, or the endometrium. A number of infectious organisms may cause it, including bacteria and viruses, and multiple infectious organisms are often present at once. 

Epididymitis

Epididymitis is infection of the epididymis, two tube-like structures in the male reproductive system that store sperm. It can be caused by Chlamydia, Gonorrhea, or other bacterium. Symptoms may include discharge from the urethra; pain, burning or discomfort during urination; itching at the opening of the urethra; pain, swelling or tenderness in the scrotum, and fever.

Infectious prostatis

Infectious prostatis is the infection of the prostate. Both diagnosing its cause and administering its treatment can be difficult. Symptoms include inflammation of the prostate, difficulty urinating, increased frequency and urgency of urination, burning or painful sensation during urination, and continued urinary discharge after urination. 

Proctitus

Proctitus is an infection of the rectum and anus. It can be caused by various STI infections transmitted by anal sex or spread from other STI infected parts of the genitals to the anus and rectum. Symptoms include mucusol discharge, rectal bleeding, rectal pain, and persistent diarrhea. 

Salpingitis

Salpingitis is an infection of the fallopian tubes. It can be caused by numerous bacteria including gonorrhea, chlamydia, E. coli, Gardnerella vaginitis, and others. Symptoms include pain during vaginal penetration, irregular and/or unusually heavy menstrual periods, lower abdominal pain, tenderness or cramping, unusual cervical discharge, bleeding in between menstrual periods, vomiting, headache, nausea, and pain when the cervix is touched. It can cause sterility when untreated. 

Urethitis

Urethitis is an infection of the urethra, the tube through which urine passes.  It can be caused by the herpes simplex virus, Gonorrhea, Chlamydia, Candida Albicans, Trichomoniasis, E. coli, and other bacteria. Symptoms in women may include urgency to urinate, pain or burning during urination, and pain in the lower abdomin. Symptoms in men may include pain, discomfort or burning sensation during urination, and discharge or dripping from the urethral opening.  

Vaginitis

Vaginitis is an infection of the vagina that causes discomfort and swelling. Common causes fir t include Trichomoniasis and Candida Albicans.  Symptoms may include pain during vaginal penetration, burning, swelling, itching or pain in the vagina, and an unusual or increased vaginal discharge or odor. 

Vulvitis

Vulvitis is an infection of the vulva, or the whole eternal female genital structure. Organisms that are thought to cause vulvitis are the herpes simplex virus, Candida Albicans, and HPV. Symptoms may include lesions or sores on the vulva, increased vaginal discharge, burning, itching or irritation of the vulva, and pain during urination at the urethral opening or in the external genitals during urination.

 

 Where To Get Tested And Treated For STI's:

A public health clinic

The health department

An STI testing center

A family planning clinic

The outpatient department of a hospital

 

For More Information:

 

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

1-800-CDC-INFO (1-800-232-4636) (English)

1-800-344-8922 (Spanish)

1-800-232-6348 (TTY) 

www.CDC.gov/std/

 

American Social Health Association

National Herpes Hotline 1-919-361-8488

National HPV and Genital Warts Hotline 1-9194848

National STD Hotline 1-800-277-8922

National AIDS Hotline 1-800-342-AIDS

www.ashastd.org

 

I Wanna Know

www.iwannaknow.org

Where to find your nearest STI testing provider

 

It’s Your Sex Life

www.itsyoursexlife.org

Where to find your nearest STI testing provider

 

Safer Sex Page

www.safersex.org

 

Hepatitis B Foundation

www.hepb.org

 

HBV Advocate

www.hbvadvocate.org

 

Merck Vaccine Patient Assistance Program

www.merck.com/merckhelps/vaccines/home.html.

Provides free HPV Gardasil vaccine for uninsured people over 19 years old

 

The Sexuality Information and Education Council of the United Stated (SEICUS)

www.thebody.com

Multimedia AIDS and HIV resource

 

The Kaiser Foundation

www.kff.org

HIV/AIDS research

 

Center for Substance Abuse Treatments Referral Service Practices
1-800-662-HELP (4357)

(For assistance in stopping substance abuse, including the dangerous use of STI infected needles) 

 

The Body 

Multimedia AIDS and HIV resource

www.thebody.com/basics.html

 

National Association of People with AIDS

www.napwa.org

240-247-00880


Drug and Alcohol Abuse Hotline

www.samhsa.gov

1-800-821-4357

 

Herpes Resource Center Hotline

415-328-7710

 

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LINK: SAFER SEX

 
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