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Sexually Transmitted Disease



Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs) affect more than 15 million men and women in the United States each year.

  • Many STDs are asymptomatic, but can cause complications without symptoms

  • Most STD infections put you at increased risk for HIV and other STDs

  • All pregnant women need to discuss specific risks with health care provider

  • Sexual partners need evaluation and treatment


Prevention of STDs

  • Abstinence- avoid sex- anal, vaginal or oral

  • Vaccines are available for some strains of Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) and Hepatitis Type B

  • Mutual monogamy- You and your sexual partner agree to only have sex with each other

  • Reduce the number of sexual partners you have

  • Condoms- correct and consistent use of the male latex condom. Use a new condom every time you have anal, vaginal or oral sex.  Spermicide is not recommended for use with condoms.  Spermicide can cause tissue irritation which can put you at an increased risk of STDs.

  • Use condoms, natural rubber sheets, dental dams or non-lubricated condoms during oral sex involving penis, vagina or anus.

  • Notify your healthcare provider of history or previous exposure to STDs for appropriate testing and treatment, especially during pregnancy

  • Avoid contact with body fluids, shared needles


Common STD Pathogens

Neisseria gonorrhoeae

  • Estimated 820,000 new infections per year in U.S.

  • Can lead to pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), infertility, ectopic pregnancy (pregnancy in fallopian tube).

  • Common symptoms can include abnormal vaginal or urethral discharge, inter-menstrual bleeding, dysuria (painful urination), lower abdominal pain, dyspareunia (painful intercourse).

  • No symptoms of infection common!

  • Infection treated with appropriate antibiotics

  • All sexual partners need treatment


Chlamydia trachomatis

  • Estimated 2.8 million cases per year in U.S.

  • Can lead to PID, ectopic pregnancy, infertility

  • Symptoms can include abnormal vaginal or urethral discharge, dysuria, cervicitis, inflammation of the Bartholin gland(s)), inflammation of the prostate

  • No symptoms of infection common

  • Infection treated with appropriate antibiotics

  • All sexual partners need treatment


Treponema pallidum (Syphilis)

  • Estimated 55,400 cases per year in U.S.

  • Can cause long-term complications and/or death if not treated correctly

  • Symptoms in adults are divided into stages-primary, secondary, latent and late syphilis

  • Symptoms vary with stage of infection and range from sore(s), lesions, skin rashes, fever, swollen lymph glands, patchy hair loss, muscle aches, fatigue, damage to internal organs paralysis, blindness, dementia, neurological symptoms

  • Treatment with appropriate antibiotics will kill the syphilis bacterium and prevent further damage, but it will not repair damage already done to body.

  • All sexual partners need treatment.


Human Papillomavirus (HPV)

  • Approximately 6.2 million new cases in U.S. per year.  By age 50, at least 80% of the population will have acquired genital HPV infection.  Most infections are asymptomatic.

  • There are more than 100 types of HPV identified. There are 15-20 oncogenetic types which increase cancer risk. Cancers which can be caused by HPV infection include cancer of the vulva, vagina. penis. anus, throat, tongue. tonsils. HPV type #16 (54%) and HPV type #18 (13%) account for the majority of worldwide cervical cancers. HPV type #6 and #11 are responsible for 90% or more of anogenital warts which increase risk of anal cancer.

  • 90% of infections are naturally cleared by the immune system in 2 years.

  • 10% of infections are persistent and not cleared by immune system.

  • HPV Genital Warts may be treated with topical treatments, cryotherapy with liquid nitrogen, surgical removal, laser removal, or interferon.

  • Some health effects caused by HPV can be prevented with vaccines.

  • HPV can be transmitted by having oral, vaginal or anal sex even with someone who has no signs or symptoms.

  • Symptoms can develop years after someone is infected.

  • It is important to get regular gynecologic exams to detect problems early.  Any genital, anal or oral lesion needs to be evaluated by a healthcare provider.


Herpes Simplex Virus Type 1 and Type 2

  • Over 750,000 new cases in U.S. per year.

  • HSV type 2 responsible for 85% of Genital Herpes cases.

  • In the United States, about one out of every six people ages 14 to 49 years have genital herpes.  Most people are not aware they are infected.

  • Most people who have herpes have very mild symptoms. You can transmit herpes to your sexual partner even without symptoms.

  • Symptoms may include painful vesicles and ulcers, local pain and itching, dysuria, urethral discharge, cervicitis, swollen and tender lymph nodes in inguinal area, fever, headache, myalgias.  Usually the first outbreak of herpes is the most painful.  Subsequent outbreaks are usually less severe.

  • Treatment includes taking antiviral medications to decrease the severity and duration of the outbreak.  Antiviral dosing can be prescribed as needed for individual outbreaks and/or episodic treatment.  Antivirals can also be prescribed daily for suppressive therapy to decrease frequency of recurrences and decrease asymptomatic shedding and transmission to sexual partners.  Topical and herbal therapies are not considered helpful.  There is no cure or vaccine for genital herpes.


Trichomonas vaginalis (Trich)

  • Estimated that 3.7 million people in the U.S. are infected.

  • Caused by a protozoan parasite.

  • Only 30% of people infected have symptoms.

  • When Trich is symptomatic, it can range from mild irritation to severe inflammation, itching, burning, soreness, dysuria, abnormal vaginal or penile discharge with odor.

  • Infection is treated with appropriate antibiotics.

  • All sexual partners need treatment.


Viral Hepatitis

  • “Hepatitis” means inflammation of the liver and also defines a group of viral infections that affect the liver.  The most common types of hepatitis are Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C.

  • Approximately 4.4 million people in the U.S. are living with chronic hepatitis; most people don’t know they are infected.

  • Viral hepatitis is the leading cause of liver cancer and the most common reason for liver transplantation.

  • There is a vaccine available for Hepatitis A and Hepatitis B.

  • Consult with your healthcare provider to determine if you are at risk for hepatitis and what testing and treatment is appropriate for you.


Human Immunodeficiency Virus HIV/AIDS

  • Approximately 50,000 people get infected with HIV in the United States per year.  Over 1.1 million people are living with HIV in the U.S. and about 16% do not know they are infected.

  • The Human Immunodeficiency Virus is the virus that causes AIDS.  Testing positive for HIV means that you have been infected with the virus.  Many people with HIV have no symptoms, and do not know they are infected.  AIDS is a disease you get when HIV progresses and destroys your body’s immune system.  Without treatment, the body’s immune system may become so weak that it cannot fight off infections or certain types of cancer.

  • HIV is transmitted through close contact with the blood or body fluids of an HIV infected person through sex, sharing of needles, and receiving infected blood.  HIV can also be passed from mother to baby during pregnancy and breastfeeding.

  • Early diagnosis and treatment of HIV can help keep an HIV infected person healthy.  Treatment during pregnancy can greatly decrease the chance of passing HIV to your baby.

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