Carrying on from my previous post on STD’s or STI’s, here are a few more of these dreaded diseases and what you can do to avoid getting infected or passing on the infection to your partner.
1. HIV/AIDS : Perhaps the most researched STD, in our times. The HIV virus affects the human immune system and weakens the body’s defense against infections. The virus is spread by unprotected sex, needle sharing and by an infected mother to her newborn. The problem with detecting HIV is that it may not show any visible symptoms for years after someone is infected. Some of the early symptoms include flu-like symptoms,canker sores, fever, fatigue and swollen glands.
There are antiviral drugs that can help prevent HIV from turning into full blown AIDS, but these need to be started as soon as possible. The only way to be sure if someone is infected with this virus is to get a blood test done.
2. Hepatitis B : If left untreated this virus infection can cause some serious liver damage including liver cirrhosis and liver cancer . This infection is caused by contact with blood and other body fluids, so it can be spread through sexual activities, sharing of needles and razors, and even by sharing of toothbrushes. The symptoms include stomach ache, fatigue, yellowing of the eyes or skin, dark urine and nausea.
There is a vaccine which can protect you from hepatitis B and it is a good idea to get vaccinated as there is no cure for this disease, though there are medicines that can keep the virus in check.
3. Trichomoniasis : This is a disease which is caused by a parasite and is spread during sexual contact. It’s symptoms in men include mild discharge from the penis and burning sensation during urination. The symptoms for women include painful sex, vaginal itching and discharge with a strong odour. This disease can be easily treated with prescription drugs.
4. Chanchroid : This STI is caused by a bacteria, it causes painful genital sores. These may develop into pus-filled open sores. Fortunately antibiotics can easily cure this infection.
If you think that you are not at risk for an STD, think again. Anyone who is sexually active is at risk regardless of age, gender, social class or sexual orientation.
So in order to lower your chances of acquiring STD’s, you need to take a few precautions; First of all if you are sexually active with multiple partners then your risk increases when compared to someone who is in a monogamous relationship.
Ask your partner to get tested for STD , practice safe sex and be sure to get yourself tested as well. If you or your partner test positive for any of the STD’s or STI’s start treatment immediately for both partners and abstain from having sex.
It is important for pregnant women to get tested for STD’s early on in their pregnancy as treatment during pregnancy can help cure some STD’s and reduce the risk of passing these infections to the newborn baby.
Finally if you are in any doubt, get in touch with your doctor or a sexologist who can guide you properly and recommend the tests that need to be done according to your symptoms.