STDs / STIs: What You Need to Know About Sexually Transmitted Infections

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STDs / STIs

Sexually transmitted infections (STIs), formerly known by the acronym STDs (sexually transmitted diseases), are infections transmitted between human beings during sexual intercourse. The origin of the infection can vary; it can be bacterial, viral, or parasitic in nature.

There are more than thirty STIs, of which 8 are more widespread: syphilis, chlamydiosis, gonorrhea, trichomoniasis, HIV (or human immunodeficiency virus, responsible for AIDS), genital herpes, hepatitis B, and human papillomavirus.

When reading about STIs on the internet you can also find another STI commonly referred to as blue wafflé disease, which may look scary but is nothing more than an internet joke. However, we are going to talk about the real diseases and how to deal with them

STD / STI: the main symptoms

STDs/STIs are characterized by different symptoms that you can discover in more detail by consulting the guide dedicated to each of them. In general, pay attention to the following manifestations which may be a sign of dysfunction that may result from an STD / STI:

  • Unusual discharge of fluids from both male and female genital regions.
  • Lymph nodes in the groin.
  • Skin lesions in the area of ​​the genitals.
  • Swelling and/or redness in the vulva or scrotum.
  • Pain in the lower abdomen.
  • Fever.
  • Abnormal tiredness.

Some STIs, such as HIV, might go unnoticed for a long time; if you receive a dangerous report, don’t wait for symptoms to show before getting tested.

Screening and diagnosis of STIs

Most countries have both government and private clinics and institutions that offer free, anonymous, and rapid screening for STDs/STIs. The diagnosis is established after local sampling (vaginal, anal, pharyngeal…), urine analysis, clinical examination (for genital herpes), or blood test depending on the infection sought.

The methods of care vary institution to institution and country and if you feel you are not getting a proper diagnosis at any of the free clinics etc. then we suggest going to a self-paid clinic because under no circumstance you should let your STIs go untreated.

Treatment of STIs/STDs

Some STIs, especially those caused by a bacterium or a parasite (syphilis, chlamydiosis, gonorrhea, trichomoniasis) can be treated very well if they are taken care of quickly. Others are more difficult, even impossible to eradicate from the body (HIV, herpes, hepatitis B, and papillomavirus). Whatever STI you have contracted, it needs to be treated quickly.

Treatment for STIs takes a variety of forms. It can be:

Medications

  • Chlamydia, mycoplasma, gonorrhea, and syphilis antibiotics.
  • Antivirals for genital herpes and in some cases hepatitis b.
  • Antiparasitics for trichomoniasis.
  • Antiretroviral therapy (art) for HIV, consisting of 3 drugs (triple therapy). Note: if you have taken a risk of HIV infection, you must go to the emergency room to take post-exposure treatment (TPE) within 48 hours. This treatment significantly limits the transmission of the human immunodeficiency virus.

Vaccines

Vaccines currently exist against hepatitis B and the human papillomavirus. Infants born after January 1, 2018, must be vaccinated against hepatitis B in most countries.

To ensure proper healing of the disease and prevent its spread, scrupulously follow your doctor’s prescription, wear a condom during each intercourse, inform your partners and ask them to be tested and treated, and make a check-up visit to your doctor after treatment to confirm recovery.

STI / STD: The importance of prevention

While some STIs are benign and can be easily treated, not all are. To avoid contracting or spreading sexually transmitted infections, prevention is essential:

  • Wear a condom until you and your partner have tested completely and negatively.
  • Get vaccinated, if possible, against hepatitis b and the human papillomavirus.
  • Get tested regularly and systematically after a risky relationship.
  • If there is a risk of STIs, seek treatment as soon as possible and inform your former and current partners.