TeenHelp
Support Forums Today's Posts

Get Advice Connect with TeenHelp Resources
HelpLINK Facebook     Twitter     Tumblr     Instagram    Hotlines    Safety Zone    Alternatives

You are not registered or have not logged in

Hello guest! (Not a guest? Log in above!)

As a guest on TeenHelp you are only able to use some of our site's features. By registering an account you will be able to enjoy unlimited access to our site, and will be able to:

  • Connect with thousands of teenagers worldwide by actively taking part in our Support Forums and Chat Room.
  • Find others with similar interests in our Social Groups.
  • Express yourself through our Blogs, Picture Albums and User Profiles.
  • And much much more!

Signing up is free, anonymous and will only take a few moments, so click here to register now!


Reply
 
Article Tools Search this Article Rate Article
 
Old
Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs) and Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs)
by Mel May 23rd 2009, 06:38 PM

Article featured in Avatar - Volume 1, Issue 5 (Sept. 2007).

Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs) and Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs)
by drowningangel


Several times a week, the TeenHelp staff gets questions regarding sexually transmitted diseases and infections: what they are, how to prevent them, and the symptoms you may have if you do contract one. This month, we are addressing what is becoming a commonplace issue for teenagers around the world - STDs and STIs.

Differences

The language regarding sexually transmitted diseases and infections are regularly used interchangeably, but there are subtle differences between the two. The term sexually transmitted disease is generally used to describe a sexually transmitted infection that has progressed into a disease without being treated or naturally cleared from the body. Also, some countries have chosen to make one term the legal standard. Both are able to be passed on to others through a variety of situations including sexual contact, dirty needles, and breast-feeding.

For the purpose of this article sexually transmitted infection will be the standard of language, as it is the more inclusive term.

STIs

Below is a list of some common STIs, along with slang names (if any), common symptoms and their type of testing, treatment and STI. Note that not all STIs show symptoms.

There are four types of STIs: bacterial (B), viral (V), parasitical (PA), and protozoan (PR). They will be noted in parentheses beside the name of the STI.

Chlamydia (B):
About 75% of women and 50% of men show no symptoms. Women that do may have abnormal vaginal bleeding, pain in the lower abdomen, pain during urination and/or pain during and after sexual intercourse. Men showing symptoms may have pain during urination, pain in the testicles, tinging inside the penis, and/or watery or cloudy discharge from the penis.
Testing is done by vaginal or urethral swab, but for men there is usually the option of a urine test instead. Treatment consists of taking antibiotics for several days.

Untreated, chlamydia can lead to infertility in both sexes. In women, it can develop into PID (Pelvic Inflammatory Disease) and can cause ectopic pregnancies.

Chancroid (B):
This infection begins with small bumps on the genitals or anus approximately 5 days after contact with an infected person. These bumps eventually burst and ooze discharge. They may also bleed.

Testing is done by taking a sample from an open ulcer, and treatment consists of antibiotics.

Untreated in men, the ulcer can grow so large that the only solution is amputation of the penis.

Gonorrhea (B):
AKA the clap, the drip, and the/a dose.

Symptoms are not present in every case, and can appear and disappear. Symptoms are similar to those of chlamydia, but unlike chlamydia, discharge is generally yellowish/green instead of cloudy or white. If infected in the throat the only symptom is a sore throat, but most people never develop this symptom. If infected in the anus, symptoms can include anal discharge, itching, and bowel disorders, but again most people never present symptoms.

Testing may include vaginal, anal, oral and/or urethral swabs. Treatment is composed of antibiotics.

Syphilis (B):
Syphilis has three stages, with different symptoms in each. In the first stage, (a) small painless sore(s) develop on the mouth, anus, or genitals. In the second stage, symptoms are flu-like and include fever and fatigue. A rash on the hands, feet, and/or all over the body is another common symptom. In the third stage, syphilis may cause heart disease, brain damage, or death.

Testing is usually done through a blood test, and the treatment is one or more penicillin injections.

Human Immunodeficiency Virus, or HIV (V)
:
HIV is the virus that progresses into Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS). HIV attacks the body’s immune system making it more susceptible to other illnesses. HIV and AIDS do not kill, what causes death are the illnesses contracted because of a lowered immune system.

There are no symptoms unique to HIV - flu like symptoms are common soon after infection, but testing will usually not be accurate at that time. People infected with HIV may look and feel healthy for years after being infected.
Testing for HIV is usually done by a blood test, but an oral swab test may also be available. It’s important to note that HIV has a three to six month long window period. That is, HIV antibodies may not show up on tests until six months after being infected.

While HIV cannot be cured, it can be treated - this is done both by taking “cocktails” of anti-virals and by treating illnesses contracted due to the lowered immune system.

Herpes Simplex, or HSV (V):
There are two types of herpes - herpes simplex-1(HSV-1) and herpes simplex-2 (HSV-2). HSV-1 causes cold sores, and HSV-2 causes blisters on the genitals and/or anus. It is possible to pass HSV-1 to the genitals/anus, however, or HSV-2 to the mouth. The main symptoms of HSV is an outbreak of sores on your skin, often preceded by itching or a burning sensation. However, some people never have an outbreak. It is possible to be contagious without any sores present.
Testing can only be done for HSV if sores are present. It is done by taking a sample of cells from an open sore. There is no cure for HSV. Treatment is focused on keeping outbreaks to a minimum by taking medication, and making them as painless as possible by keeping the area affected clean and dry.

Human Papillomavirus, or HPV (V):
AKA genital warts

HPV is actually a family of viruses. Some strains cause common skin warts, some cause genital warts, and some are associated with cervical cancer.
The symptoms of genital warts are clusters of warts on the genitals and/or anus. They can be painful or itchy, and they can be large or so small you cannot see them with your bare eyes.

As far as testing goes, if you have visible warts, the doctor will likely be able to make a visual diagnosis. If warts are suspected, the doctor may rub a solution on the area that turns the warts white. HPV is also often discovered during a female’s biannual PAP smear. HPV cannot be cured. Treatment focuses on wart removal, through a variety of possible methods. Also, a vaccine that prevents four common strains of HPV is available in many countries for girls aged 9 to 26, but if you already have HPV it does not do anything.

Crabs (PA)
AKA Pubic Lice

Crabs are tiny insects similar to head lice, that live in body hair, especially around the genitals. The insects are grayish brown and about the size of a pencil dot, while the eggs (or ‘nits’) look like tiny white dots. Symptoms include itching in the genital area, skin irritation or inflammation, and small blue spots where bites have occurred.

Scabies (PA)
Scabies are tiny mites that burrow under the skin in the genital area and elsewhere to lay their eggs. They are invisible to the naked eye. Symptoms may consist of intense itching (especially at night), rashes in streaks that are red or grayish, and lesions in the genital area/wrists/arm-pits/other skin folds.

Both crabs and scabies can be treated with medicated lotions or shampoos that can be obtained without prescription.

Trichomoniasis (PR):
AKA trich.

The most common symptom of trichomoniasis in women is a foul-smelling discharge. It may be yellowish-green, white, or foamy. It often causes irritation in the vulva. Pain during sexual intercourse is another common symptom. In men, symptoms are usually not present, but when they are, an itching sensation may be felt at the tip of the penis.

Testing is done by a vaginal or urethral swab, depending on gender. Treatment consists of antibiotics.

Prevention and Testing
The most effective prevention of STDs and STIs is to use a male latex condom. They are not 100% effective, but they offer the most protection against both pregnancy and disease than any other alternative.

It is extremely important to get tested regularly for STDs and STIs. It is the most effective way of catching them as early as possible. The earlier one is caught, the earlier the treatment and better the prognosis. However, if at any time, you or someone you know suspects you may have an STD or STI, visit a physician as soon as possible.

Last edited by Mel; April 4th 2010 at 08:16 AM.
Reply With Quote
Views 12268 Comments 0
Total Comments 0

Comments

Reply

Bookmarks

Tags
diseases, infections, sexually, stds, stis, transmitted

Article Tools Search this Article
Search this Article:

Advanced Search
Rate this Article
Rate this Article:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off




All material copyright ©1998-2018, TeenHelp.
Terms | Legal | Privacy | Conduct | Complaints

Powered by vBulletin®.
Copyright ©2000-2019, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Search engine optimization by vBSEO.
Theme developed in association with vBStyles.