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Sexually Transmitted Infections

STIs - Sexually Transmitted Infections

·Anyone can be infected with an STI

·Most STIs can be cured, others controlled

·ALL STIs ARE A SERIOUS HEALTH CONCERN


Contents:

Health Concerns of STIs

Modes of Transmission

Risky Behaviour

Lowering Risk

Needle & Syringe Disinfection

Chancroid

Chlamydia

Genital Warts (HPV)

Gonorrhea

Hepatitis B Virus (HBV)

Herpes

HIV/AIDS

Molluscum Contagiosum

Nongonococcal Urethritis

Pelvic Inflammatory Disease

Pubic Lice & Scabies

Syphilis

Vaginitis


The health concerns of STIs are:

·with some people, especially women, there are no signs. This lack of outward symptoms may lead to long-term complications; such as, scarring of the fallopian tubes and problematic pregnancies in women, sterility and even cancer.
·a person can contract more than one STI at a time
·there are no vaccines available, except for hepatitis B. This failure to vaccinate against infection may leave a person open to reoccurrences of infection(s).
·The best "cure" is abstinence and the best current defense is prevention.
STIs are transmitted when infected blood, semen, or vaginal fluid enter the bloodstream.
Modes of transmission include:
·having unprotected oral, vaginal, and/or anal sex with someone who is already infected
·sharing needles during drug use with an infected person
·infected blood or blood products transfusions
·from mother to child during pregnancy or at birth
·If you or your partner are NOT infected with an STI, and you are only having sex with each other or sharing needles with each other, then there is no risk of contracting an STI.
·However, when engaging in sexual activity or drug activity with a partner or partners whose history(s) you are unsure of, then the best form of prevention is safe thinking. Engage in safer sex activities and/or safer needle use. If you engage in risky behaviour, than you are at risk.
Risky behaviour includes:
·having sex without a condom
·sharing sex toys without using a condom
·having more than one sex partner
·having sex with a person whose history you are unsure of
·having sex with partner whose has multiple sex partners
·sharing needles/syringes with injection drugs
To lower the risk:
if sexually active:
·always use a latex condom with plenty of water based lubricant during vaginal or anal intercourse
·always use a latex condom when engaging in oral sex with a man or dental dam (or latex condom cut open) when engaging in oral sex with a woman
·always carry extra condoms
·never use a condom more than once
·if using sex toys, use a latex condom or thoroughly clean and disinfect them before using
if engaging in drug activity:
·always carry and use your own needle/syringe
·have extra needles/syringes available
·* disinfect the needle/syringe before using
* To disinfect a needle or syringe:
1. Draw fresh water through the needle tip into the syringe until filled and squirt out.
2.Draw fresh household bleach through the needle tip into the syringe until filled and squirt out. Repeat once.
3.Draw fresh water through the needle tip into the syringe until filled and squirt out. Repeat once.

Sexually Transmitted Diseases

Transmission
how the disease in contracted. The two types of transmission are fluids and contact. Fluids indicates contact with infected semen, mucus, saliva, and /or blood. Contact indicates transmission through touching the area of infection.
Symptoms
most common symptoms.
Potential complications
if left untreated what are the consequences.
Treatment
type of treatment.
Prevention method
measures that you can take to lower your exposure/risk of contraction an STI.

Chancroid

Transmission
Contact
Symptoms
Rare but will exhibit only a few broad, deep and extremely painful ulcers when symptoms occur.
Potential complications
Secondary bacterial infection, fistulae, and recurring ulcers.
Treatment
Antibiotics
Prevention method
Total absence of any touching. Barrier methods are only partially protective as lesions may exist in areas not covered.

Chlamydia

Transmission
Fluids (semen or mucus)
Symptoms
Rare but if present may include for women: pain or dull aching from cervix, heavy feeling in pelvic area, pain upon urination or intercourse, heavier menstrual flow, breakthrough bleeding, heavy cervical discharge. For men: urethral discharge, pain upon urination, epididymitis.
Potential complications
Can be serious for women. If infection spreads to fallopian tubes, can cause scarring, increased risk of tubal pregnancy, infertility, pelvic inflammatory disease (PID.)
Treatment
Antibiotics.
NOTE: Partners must also be treated.
Prevention method
Condoms, casual contact.

Genital Warts (HPV)

Transmission
Contact
Symptoms
Internal symptoms are rare. Lesions on the cervix can be seen only through magnification and the use of 5% acetic acid. External lesions on the vagina, tip of penis or rectum may itch or burn.
Potential complications
Warty lesions and pre-cancerous cell formation. If not treated until an advanced stage, cancers may form.
Treatment
On the cervix: cryo (freezing), laser, and LEEP (electrosurgical excision procedure). External: cryo, laser, liquid N, and other various chemicals and creams. The visual presence of the lesions can be eliminated, however, viral particles remain for life.
Prevention method
Total absence of any touching. Barrier methods are only partially protective as lesions may exist in areas not covered.

Gonorrhea

Transmission
Fluids (mucus and semen)
Symptoms
Similar to chlamydia. Click here for information.
Potential complications
Can be serious for women. If infection spreads to fallopian tubes, can cause scarring, increased risk of tubal pregnancy, infertility, pelvic inflammatory disease (PID.)
Treatment
Antibiotics. NOTE: Partners must also be treated.
Prevention method
Condoms

Hepatitis B (HBV)

Transmission
Fluids (includes saliva). High risk for health care workers.
Symptoms
Rare, but poor appetite, nausea, vomiting, headaches, jaundice, dark,tea-colored urine, and light-coloured stool when symptoms are present.
Potential complications
Cirrhosis, liver cancer or failure, and even death.
Treatment
None, however, immunization with available current vaccines which are effective.
Prevention method
Vaccination and avoid contact with needles, blood, etc.

Herpes

Transmission
Contact
Symptoms
Rash, fluid -filled blisters or sores around the mouth or genital skin which rupture leaving painful shallow ulcers.
Potential complications
Recurrent painful attacks, chronic pain and urethral strictures. Transmittable during birth to an infant leading to possible severe neurological damage or even death.
Treatment
Antiviral drugs if taken early in prevention. Otherwise prescription drugs are used to treat the blisters. NOTE: the disease once contracted is not curable.
Prevention method
Total absence of any touching. Barrier methods are only partially protective as lesions may exist in areas not covered.

HIV/AIDS

Transmission
Fluids. High risk for health care workers.
Symptoms
various encompassing 4 stages, each stage progressive intensity of symptoms, Including flu-like illness for approximately 2 weeks and then no symptoms for a few months to years to early symptoms of fevers, herpes zoster, yeast infections for a few months to years leading to AIDS and opportunistic infections.
Potential complications
complications associated with the infections and illnesses acquired leading to death. For pregnant women - 20-30% risk that the HIV virus can be passed onto the child in utero.
Treatment
NO cure at present, but antivirals and specific medications to lengthen life span and deal with infections and complications.
Prevention method
Condoms and avoid contact with needles, particularly IV drug use.

Molluscum Contagiosum

Transmission
Contact
Symptoms
Small, round raised lesions with shiny surface and white coloured material filled. Located on genital skin, thighs, abdomen, and chest.
Potential complications
Secondary bacterial infection.
Treatment
Cryo, scraping, chemicals.
Prevention method
Total absence of any touching. Barrier methods are only partially protective as lesions may exist in areas not covered.

Nongonnococcal Urethritis (NGU)

Transmission
Fluids.
Symptoms
Rare, but painful and frequent urination with a possible white discharge when symptoms occur.
Potential complications
Can be serious for women. If infection spreads to fallopian tubes, can cause scarring, increased risk of tubal pregnancy, infertility, pelvic inflammatory disease (PID.)
Treatment
Antibiotics.
Prevention method
Condoms.

Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID)

Transmission
Fluids.
Symptoms
May simmer for years with no symptoms, however moderate to severe abdominal pain, fever, chills, and possible bowel symptoms are present symptoms. May mimic any one of several lower abdominal conditions; such as appendicitis, ruptured ovarian cysts, etc.
Potential complications
Abscesses and scarring leading to infertility, ectopic pregnancy, chronic pain, and even death.
Treatment
Antibiotics. Treatment for gonorrhea and chlamydia. NOTE: Partners must also be treated.
Prevention method
Condoms. Hormonal contraceptive methods (the pill, Depo-provera, Norplant, etc.) Help prevent recurrent attacks by suppressing ovulatory menstrual cycle.

Pubic Lice and Scabies

Transmission
Not necessarily by sexual contact. Can be transmitted by shared items (ie.; Bed linen, towels, clothes, etc.).
Symptoms
Irritation and itchiness.
Potential complications
Secondary infections from scratching.
Treatment
Special creams, lotions, and shampoos. NOTE: partners must be treated and ALL fabrics, blankets, etc, that came into contact must be washed in very hot water, dry cleaned, ironed on high, or stored or frozen for two weeks to destroy insects and eggs.
Prevention method
Avoid contact. ALL fabrics, blankets, etc, that came into contact must be washed in very hot water, dry cleaned, ironed on high, or stored or frozen for two weeks to destroy insects and eggs and prevent reinfection.

Syphilis

Transmission
Fluids and Contact. 50% risk to baby in utero.
Symptoms
3 stages: primary - painless ulcer, secondary - rash lymph node enlargement, spotty baldness, and latent - no clinical signs, but vascular and neurological damage may be occurring.
Potential complications
Severe neurological dysfunction , aortic aneurysm.
Treatment
Penicillin or doxycycline - based on darfield or blood test diagnosis. NOTE: important to treat pregnant women to prevent congenital syphilis and ALL contacts must be treated.
Prevention method
Condoms and spermicides.

Vaginitis

Transmission
Secondary infection from a yeast infection or from trichomonas (T) vaginalis (passed during intercourse) causing inflammation of the vagina.
Symptoms
Women - an abnormal, often foul-smelling, vaginal discharge; itching or pain inside/outside the vagina; redness and swelling on the outside of the vagina; and pain during intercourse or when urinating. Men (yeast infection) - may cause an itch and redness in a uncircumcised man; (T-vaginalis) - rare but may have a slight discharge from the penis and/or a burning sensation when urinating when symptoms occur.
Potential complications
Treatment
Yeast infection - creams. T-vaginalis - creams or pills. NOTE: male partners should be treated to prevent reinfection.
Prevention method
Condoms and avoid wearing tight pants, panty hose or synthetic underwear (ie.; nylon, polyester, acrylics) which prevent fresh air flow.
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