A sexually transmitted infection (STI) is an illness that is primarily spread through sex whether through vaginal, anal or oral. With over 30 sexual transmitted infections persons need to be aware so as to protect themselves and seek treatment if they were exposed.
Facts on STIs
Your risk of getting an STI begins the first time you have
sex. The more partners you have, the greater your risk.
You can have an STI and don’t know. Early diagnosis and treatment can either cure you or help you avoid most of the serious complications.
In women, STIs can lead to cancer, infertility, long-term
pain, and ectopic pregnancy (a pregnancy in which the
fetus grows outside the womb).
Men can also suffer long-term problems, such as infertility,
heart disease, and arthritis.
Mothers can pass STIs on to their babies before,
during, or after birth.
There is no cure for STIs caused by viruses, like herpes, HPV –Human Papilloma Virus and HIV.
Common signs/symptoms of STIs
- Itching around the vagina and/or discharge from the vagina for women
- Discharge from the penis for men
- Pain during sex or when urinating
- Pain in the pelvic area
- Sore throats in people who have oral sex
- Pain in or around the anus for people who have anal sex
- Chancre sores (painless red sores) on the genital area, anus, tongue and/or throat
- A scaly rash on the palms of your hands and the soles of your feet
- Dark urine, loose, light-colored stools, and yellow eyes and skin
- Small blisters that turn into scabs on the genital area
- Swollen glands, fever and body aches
- Unusual infections, unexplained fatigue, night sweats and weight loss
- Soft, flesh-colored warts around the genital area
Protection against STIs
The only 100% form of protection is abstinence . However if persons choose to be sexually active they can use these forms of protection male condoms, female condoms and dental dams. All are used as barriers between the penis, mouth, vagina or rectum.
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