What with all the allegations of celebrities passing around STIs and stuff, it’s only right we look at some of the most common STIs out there.
Crabs (pubic lice)
Crabs are not classed as an STI as such but they can definitely be passed on during sexual intercourse or wherever there is close bodily contact.
Crabs are mini crab like lice/insects that live in pubic hair in the genital area and/or armpit.
Itching, irritation and sometimes inflammation
Seeing 2mm six legged lice or pale brown eggs attached to the base of the hair
A black powder like substance in your underwear – this is lice droppings
Use an over the counter lotion or anti lice shampoo
Ensure all clothing and bedding is washed in hot water to kill off any ‘survivors’ or eggs
Very common and known as the silent infection because many men and women are not aware they actually have Chlamydia because in a large percentage of cases, there are no obvious symptoms.
Symptoms can take a couple of weeks to show and can be any of the following:
Pain when peeing
Pelvic and lower abdominal pain
Bleeding during or after sex
Heavy periods or bleeding in between periods if you’re a woman
Abdominal pain during sex if you are a woman
Painful and swollen testicles if you are a man
Itching and burning of the genitals if you are a man
Once diagnosed with Chlamydia, your doctor will prescribe either a single dose of azithromycin or doxycycline twice daily for 7 to 14 days.
With the above treatment, the infection should clear up in about a week
Once diagnosed and receiving treatment, you should abstain from sex (vaginal, anal and/or oral) even with a condom until both you and whoever else you may be sleeping with, has finished the course. Should you have been prescribed with the single dose, you will still need to avoid all types of sex for at least a week after taking the tablet.
Highly contagious and very easily spread!
Herpes is a virus that can be treated but as it stands, there is no cure!
The infection remains in the body after treatment and outbreaks are often experienced down the line.
The very first outbreak of Herpes after contracting the virus is the worse usually lasting between 2-4 weeks.
Small fluid filled blisters that pop and leave painful, small, red sores
Vaginal or urethral discharge
Pain when passing urine (urine passing over the sores)
Stinging, tingling or itching in the genital/anal area
Flu like symptoms e.g. fever, headaches
As mentioned before, there is no cure for Herpes but an outbreak/symptoms can be treated with antiviral medicines. It is also crucial to use condoms during sex to prevent the spread of the virus.
HIV is a virus that attacks the body’s immune system thus leaving it unable to combat any infections.
‘Late stage HIV’, otherwise known as AIDS is the infection in its final stages which means the body can no longer fight off life threatening infections.
HIV is most commonly passed through vaginal or anal sex
If diagnosed early enough and treated, most people will not develop AIDS.
Flu like symptoms including a raised temperature, sore throat and/or a body rash
Joint and muscle pain
It is important to note that the above symptoms can also be attributed to other common conditions. If you have HIV, these symptoms may disappear after a few weeks but the virus will still be active in your body causing progressive damage. It may well be a several years before the virus causes any more problems. To be on the safe side, the best course of action is to take regular HIV tests if you are sexually active.