S.T.I. Info

Be in the Know

Sexually Transmitted Infections aren’t something to play around with

It’s important that you get TESTED for STIs if you’re sexually active – not all are contracted only by intercourse (see below)! Skin-to-skin contact and oral sex are a few of the ways you can contract an STI.

Check out some of the Not-so-Hot Consequences of Passion

Ask your doctor or find a local health clinic to be tested for STIs!

“When you have sex with someone, you are having sex with everyone they have had sex with for the last 10 years, and everyone they and their partners have had sex with for the last 10 years.” – C. Everett Koop, M.D., Former U.S. Surgeon General

S.T.I. Information

Human Papillomavirus (HPV)
What is it?

  • Most commonly acquired viral STI
  • Infects skin & mucus membranes, primarily in genital area

How do you get it?

  • Skin-to-skin contact (including some skin that condoms don’t cover) during sex (vaginal, anal or oral) or during other intimate genital contact (such as mutual masturbation); contagious even without symptoms.

How will I know if I’m infected?

  • Most don’t know they are infected
  • Some have warts in their genital area
  • Most strains clear the virus naturally within two years
  • Certain strains cause cervical cancer

How is it treated?

  • Warts can be treated, but they sometimes return
  • A Pap test can detect cervical cancer in early treatable stages
Chlamydia and Gonorrhea
What is it?

  • Chlamydia: Most commonly reported bacterial STI
  • Gonorrhea: Second most commonly reported bacterial STI

How do you get it?

  • Sex (vaginal, oral or anal) with infected person; contagious even without symptoms

How will I know if I’m infected?

  • Most don’t know they are infected
  • Those who are sexually active need to be tested for these infections at least once a year
  • Symptoms can include pain when urinating or a discharge coming from the penis or vagina
  • Infection can lead to pelvic inflammatory disease (PID)
  • PID can cause severe abdominal pain and difficulty in getting pregnant

How is it treated?

  • Can be treated with antibiotics
  • Treatment of infertility is expensive and not always successful
Trichomoniasis
What is it?

  • Extremely common parasite that causes genital infection

How do you get it?

  • Contact with infected body fluids during vaginal sex; contagious even without symptoms

How will I know if I’m infected?

  • Most don’t know they are infected
  • Females may notice a thin, watery vaginal discharge, vaginal irritation and pain during sex
  • Both females and males may have burning when they urinate

How is it treated?

  • Can be treated with oral medication
Genital Herpes
What is it?

  • Common infection caused by herpes simplex virus

How do you get it?

  • Sex (vaginal, oral or anal) with an infected person or during other intimate genital contact (such as mutual masturbation); contagious even without symptoms

How will I know if I’m infected?

  • Most don’t know they are infected
  • Symptoms can include blisters or sores in genital area, pain and burning during urination
  • Symptoms may also include cold sores and fever blisters around the mouth
  • If you have one painful skin outbreak, you almost always have other outbreaks

Antiviral medications help, but can’t cure the disease

Syphilis
What is it?

  • Highly contagious bacterial infection

How do you get it?

  • Direct contact with highly infectious sores or patches; these are usually on the genitals or mouth
  • Sex (vaginal, oral or anal) with an infected person or during other intimate genital contact (such as mutual masturbation); contagious even without symptoms

How will I know if I’m infected?

  • You may get a painless, unnoticed ulcer that goes away in a few weeks
  • Next you may have flu-like symptoms and a rash
  • Advanced untreated syphilis can cause paralysis, blindness, bursting of major blood vessels and death

How is it treated?

  • Can be treated with antibiotics
  • Treatment can prevent further damage but will not repair any damage already done
HIV/AIDS
What is it?

  • HIV is a virus that invades the immune system and destroys it over time; this reduces a person’s ability to fight off infections and cancer.
  • People with HIV usually develop AIDS, which can be fatal

How do you get it?

  • Contact with infected blood or from body fluids during anal, vaginal or oral sex; contagious even without symptoms
  • Risk is greatly increased if you have anal sex, multiple partners or shoot drugs
  • Having other STIs increases the risk of getting HIV

How will I know I’m infected?

  • At first, you may have flu-like symptoms (tiredness, fever, aches); you may have no other symptoms for years
  • If you develop AIDS, you may get multiple infections that other people fight off easily

How is it treated?

  • Most people with HIV can prolong their lives by taking several medications every day for the rest of their lives; these drugs are expensive and may have side effects
Hepatitis B
What is it?

  • A common viral bloodborne infection

How do you get it?

  • Sex (anal or vaginal); contagious even without symptoms
  • Needle sharing when shooting drugs
  • Tattoos or body piercings with a previously used (unsterile) needle

How will I know if I’m infected?

  • Many don’t know they are infected
  • May cause liver damage, which may make your skin and eyes turn yellow (jaundice), and make you feel tired and nauseated
  • Can cause cancer and death

How is it treated?

  • There are a few antiviral medications that can be tried; these medications are expensive, have to be used for a long time, may have side effects and don’t always work
Hepatitis C
What is it?

  • The most common viral chronic bloodborne infection in the U.S.

How do you get it?

  • Needle sharing while shooting drugs (most common)
  • Tattoos or body piercings with a previously used (unsterile) needle
  • Sex (anal or vaginal); contagious even without symptoms
  • Having other STIs increases the risk of getting Hep C

How will I know if I’m infected?

  • Most don’t know they are infected
  • May cause liver damage, which may make your skin and eyes turn yellow (jaundice), and make you feel tired and nauseated
  • Can also cause cancer and death

How is it treated?

  • There are a number of medications that can be tried; these medications are expensive, have to be used for a long time, may have side effects and don’t always work

** All STI information is from The Medical Institute **