|Miss Know It All|
What to Look For
If you have a persistent itch, discharge or discomforting rash, blisters, lesions, or unusual lumps, blood in the urine or pain when urinating, an unexplained rash or persistent sore throat, you may have an STI. Remember, not all Stis turn into a disease. Some STIs are curable, while others are manageable. However, you will not know what treatment is needed, if indeed you do have one unless you get it checked out by a doctor. Because some STIs show no symptoms at all, it is best to make it a habit to be regularly screened, especially if you are part of a high-risk patient group, which includes:
- Individuals who have multiple sex partners
- Men who have sex with other men (MSM)
- People who do not use condoms consistently
Types of STIs
STIs come from different sources and require a variety of treatments:
Bacterial infections - include Chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis, and other STIs, which stem from bacterial infections, and are easily cleared up by antibiotics.
Viruses - viruses that cause Genital herpes (HSV), genital warts (HPV), and hepatitis A, B, and C can be managed with various antiviral treatments and preventative care for partners, such as antiviral and vaccinations. A retrovirus causes the well-known human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), which weakens the immune system. Though HIV no longer automatically leads to AIDS, it still requires strict management from an infectious disease specialist.
Insects and germs - pubic lice (crabs) and scabies are infestations of tiny insects that live in the more textured body hairs of the pubis or within the skin itself, where they then lay eggs. They can only be spread through intimate, skin-to-skin contact, and can often be easily treated with over-the-counter or prescription medications. Finally, trichomonas vaginalis (TV) is the result of a microscopic germ. TV presents a fishy odor and yellowish or greenish discharge and is successfully treated with antibiotics.
Who is at risk?
If you have pain, bleeding, itching, discharge, burning during urination, or sores anywhere near the genital or the anal region, you may have contracted an STI. While it may be tempting to ignore or deny your symptoms out of fear or embarrassment, the best response is to be tested, immediately.
You may have a urinary tract infection (UTI) or a case of food poisoning. If you have oral, anal, or genital sex without protection, have multiple sexual partners, or know a partner who has an STI, then you are at risk. If you use unwashed sex toys, you may be accidentally infected.
If you suspect you have an STI, or if you simply want to know your status before having sex with a new partner, make an appointment to have the appropriate testing/screening done. #
Source: CityMD Urgent Care