Guide to Sexually Transmitted Diseases
Prevent Infection and Spread of STD’s
Use common sense and avoid sex with anyone who has genital sores, rashes, discharge, or other symptoms.
- Get tested together with any new partner - National HIV and STD is a site that makes getting tested easy! All anyone has to do is enter their zip code and you can find somewhere near you to get tested.
- Use latex condoms throughout sexual activity - Condoms can be purchased at any drug store, but if for some reason you are too embarrassed or don’t feel like driving, you can purchase condoms online in a few clicks. Undercover Condoms is one site that makes buying condoms simple and easy in the comfort of your own home.
- Use only water-based lubricants – Lubricants are another item that can be easily purchased at the drug store, however if for some reason you’d prefer to order them online there are plenty of places. DrugStore.com is one such site that allows one to purchase water based lubricants online.
- Don’t share your towel or underwear with anyone - WebMD shares commonly overlooked prevention tips like this one and more. When it comes to STD’s it is better to be safe than sorry, so make sure to check this site out.
- Wash before and after intercourse - Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is a great STD resource to check out. CDC gives you tons of great hygiene tips for STD prevention that are simple and can be incorporated into your everyday routine.
- Vaccination for hepatitis B - Getting vaccinated for Hepatitis B is not something that everyone thinks about. Immunize is a site that helps you answer the big question, “should I get vaccinated?”.
- Get tested for HIV and other commonly occurring, difficult to detect diseases – HIV is a disease that is not commonly understood, as well as the process of getting tested for HIV. HIVInSite is a website that helps put some light on this commonly misunderstood disease.
- Common conditions can be asymptomatic - Although someone may have an STD they may show no symptoms of it. So, getting tested regularly is important in making sure to get early treatment if one catches an STD.
If You Think You Have an STD
- Stop having sex - Abstaining can be difficult if you are used to having sex on the regular, but if you think you have an STD this is the best way to prevent spreading it to others. Check out National Prevention Information Network for more great prevention tips like this one.
- Seek medical treatment - Don’t try and “play it off” if you think you have an STD. The best way to prevent getting an STD is to be safe and cautious. Mayo Clinic is a great resource to check out for all things STD prevention related.
- Use condoms with partners - Using condoms may seem like common sense prevention, but in the heat of the moment some people lose their head and forget to use this commone sense practice. Check out STD Prevention Online to find more commonly overlooked prevention practices.
- Make sure that your partners are aware and receiving treatment - Don’t let your emotions prevent you from being smart with your prevention practices. Make sure that your partner is taking care of themselves so that you don’t end up with an unwelcome surprise. AIDS.gov gives you plenty of information on treatment so that you can your partner can stay up to date on all things STD related.
COMMON SEXUALLY TRANSMITTED DISEASES
Common as it is curable, Chlamydia infects the cervix in women, and the penile urethra in men. According to a 2010 study by the CDC, Chlamydia is the most common STD among persons under the age of 25.
Symptoms: Pain during sex, and discharge from the penis or vagina. Chlamydia is difficult to diagnose because it can be carried for several months without symptoms. That incubation period has helped lead to an increased rate of infection
Treatment: The use of antibiotics Dexacycline and Tetracycline for seven days and persons with Chlamydia should abstain from having sex during the course of treatment.
Gonorrhea, or “The Clap,” is a bacterial STD that is very common among sexually active teens and young adults. Gonorrhea is often found to with Chlamydia. There are more than 700,000 new cases a year in the United States. Condoms are a great preventive measure. But be aware that because this is a bacterial infections oral transmission is possible, often resulting in gonorrhea of the throat.
Symptoms: “The Clap” is commonly recognizable by burning during urination. For men, there is also a common penile discharge usually colored white or yellow, but can sometimes come through green discharge.
Treatment: CDC recommends that uncomplicated gonorrhea be treated only with the antibiotic ceftriaxone — given as an injection and in combination with either azithromycin or doxycycline both of which are oral antibiotics.
Treponema pallidum, the bacteria that causes syphilis can become a very serious battle for your body if left untreated. Syphilis is transmitted by syphilis sores, which can appear on the external genitals mouth, the vagina and rectum. Be sure to give your partner a once-over before going into direct physical contact. Because the sores are not only on the genitalia, the condom use that prevents most STD’s will only reduce your risk.
Symptoms: Lesions on the palms and the tops of the hands, and later several red bumps running along the back.
Treatment: For uncomplicated a single dose of intramuscular penicillin G or oral azithromycin does the task. Those who are seeking later treatment will need ten days of heavy IV penicillin
A viral STD, Herpes comes in two common strains — HSV1 and HSV2. HSV1 is the cold sore variety that is common to see around the mouth, while HSV2 is most often associated with genital sores.
Symptoms: Collection of small white bumps clumped on the external genitalia, or in the pubic region. Single large puss-like pustules may form along with scabbing over of the infected area.
Treatment: Herpes is treated with anti-viral drugs, but the virus cannot be cured. People with the herpes virus need to know that they can transmit the virus even when they do not have any sores or other symptoms. Because the virus lives in the nerve endings, a reduction in stress and intense rubbing will prevent further outbreaks. Sleep is also a powerful treatment
Crabs were once the most common STD in existence, but have in recent years become one of the least seen infections. Why? Well, increasingly those who are sexually active are choosing to shave off their pubic hair for an increase in pleasure during sex. The crabs, which are a distant relative of head lice, need to be treated as soon as possible. Safe sex with condoms can help prevent the spread, but will likely do very little since crabs is based in the sharing of the lice across pubic regions, and not external sexual genitalia.
Symptoms: Itching in the pubic area. Small lice appear in the hair of the pubic region, with small eggs implanted just beneath the skin.
Treatment: Lice-killing lotion containing 1% permethrin or a mousse containing pyrethrins and piperonyl butoxide can be used to treat pubic (“crab”) lice. Lindane shampoo is also effective for those with repeat outbreaks.
Not always classified as an STD, the parasite Sarcoptes scabei, causes an extremely itchy rash that gets worse at night. Scabies is most commonly found in folds of the skin, on the wrists and ankles, and in the genital area.
Symptoms: Scabies is incredibly contagious, and the mite can live for days off the human body. It is not only spread by close personal contact, but by skin-to-skin contact in general, shared clothing, towels and bedding. There is often plenty of scratching and red marks around the arms.
Treatment: Permethrin and Ivermectin the most effective treatment for scabies and the treatment of choice. It is applied from the neck down usually before bedtime and left on for about eight to fourteen hours, then showered off in the morning.
Human Papilloma Virus/HPV
HPV is among the most common STD’s in America and abroad, with an estimated 75-percent of all sexually active individuals infected by some strain of the disease. HPV is best known because of it’s connection in causing cervical cancer virus, but many strains also cause genital warts.
Symptoms: HPV is considered incurable, its symptoms can be treated, and many people resolve infections on their own.
Treatment: Recently the government approved a new vaccine to protect young women from the four most common strains of the virus. Cryotherapy can freezing the abnormal cells with liquid nitrogen and conization removes the abnormal areas.
LEEP or Loop Electrosurgical Excision Procedure removes lesions through electrical current.
The scariest of the STD’s, HIV is the virus that causes AIDS, and is transmitted through the exchange of bodily fluids; semen, vaginal secretions, breast milk and blood.
Symptoms: Fever, fatigue and flu-like symptoms. Weight loss and skin rashes along with pneumonia are also common symptoms.
Treatment: Most people with HIV are treated with a combination of drugs known as highly active anti-retroviral therapy, or HAART. These can include NRTI’s (Nucleoside Reverse Transcriptase Inhibitors) which are the drug cocktails that many people refer to when thinking of HIV.
HerpeSite.org- An online community dedicated to the empowerment and connection of people with HSV1 and HSV2.
Herpes-Coldsore.com- If you are affected by the herpes virus, whether it be in the form of genital herpes, herpes gladiatorum, or coldsores, this resource is dedicated to helping you sort the facts from the fiction.
WebMD- This section of WebMD contains a vibrant online community to support those who are newly encountering or coming to grips with an STD.
STDHELP- A support community that includes resources for those seeking to be educated on STDs.
ehealthforum- A forum dedicated to sexually transmitted diseases and the people who have them.
HerpesHomePage.com - Forming in 1995, original Herpes Homepage is here to provide anonymous support for those with this unfairly stigmatized disease.
STD Dating Sites:
PositiveSingles- Though good attitudes are certainly appreciated, the “positive” in the title of this dating site stands for having tested positive for an STD.
STDMatch- An “anonymous, safe, secure, and comfortable” destination for singles with a sexually transmitted disease.
MPwH- A dating community for those suffering from herpes and human papilloma virus.
PositivesDating- A site for individuals who are HIV positive and in search of companionship.
hmates- This free online dating community is geared towards those with herpes, HPV or are accepting and tolerant of those who do.
STDFriends- A dating site dedicated to the community of people infected with an STD.
View more STD dating websites at the Online Dating Database