I would like to address an issue that I find very few PUAs addressing- STDs. Is it because all PUAs are naturally safe and always use condoms (highly doubtful) or because most PUAs have much less sex then they what they say (highly likely) I do not know. What I do know is that STDs are a serious problem for anyone who is having sex and you should know the facts about many STDs, how to prevent them and how to deal with them if you do get them.
Remember, many STDs do not have symptoms or take a while till they show any, so you should have yourself screened regularly.
So here I've made some copypasta so you can get some more information about some of the biggest STDs out there (more information can be found at http://std.about.com
is the most common curable sexually transmitted disease, and it is caused by the obligate intracellular parasite Chlamydia trachomatis. Hundreds of thousands of new cases are reported every year, but that probably represents less than half of all infections. This is because half of all chlamydia cases in men, and three quarters of chlamydia cases in women, have no symptoms. Scientists estimate that in the U.S. alone there are 3-4 million new cases a year
The primary infection site for chlamydia in men is the urethra, the tube inside the penis that carries urine and sperm. Infection of the urethra is known as urethritis. Chlamydia symptoms in men may include:
* burning pain on urination
* discharge from the opening of the penis (the urethra)
* pain in the testicles
* pain in, or discharge from, the rectum
Treated with prescription antibiotics, the infection usually clears up in one to two weeks. During this period, however, you are still potentially infectious and should continue to use safer sex precautions.
is an extremely common sexually transmitted disease in the United States, infecting around 700,000 new people a year. It is caused by the bacterium Neisseria gonorrhoeae, and it can be spread by oral, vaginal, or anal sex. It can also be passed from a mother to her child during a vaginal delivery.
* yellow, white, or green urethral discharge
* burning on urination
* pain and swelling of the testicles
* rectal pain
* rectal discharge
* rectal bleeding
* painful bowel movements
Gonorrhea is treated with antibiotics. Because people who are infected with gonorrhea once are likely to become infected again, many doctors recommend that patients with a gonorrhea diagnosis return 3 months later for a check up.
is considered to be a genital ulcer disease. The chancres, or sores, that are the first symptoms of syphilis provide an easy route of entry into the body for other viruses, specifically HIV. Genital ulcer diseases put a person at an increased risk of HIV/AIDS, and it is extremely important for you, and your sexual partners, to be treated for syphilis if you have been exposed to the disease. Although throughout the 1990s the rates of syphilis had been declining, in recent years many cities have seen a surge in the number of cases.
* one or more chancres appear at the site where the syphilis bacteria enters the body.
o normally round, firm, and painless
o will heal on their own in 3-6 weeks
o usually show up within 3 months of infection
* If untreated will lead to secondary syphilis.
* skin rash
o frequently on palms of hands and soles of feet
o usually rough, red and brown spots
o rash can occur in other colors and places
* genital ulcers
* flu-like symptoms
* Symptoms will resolve on their own, but if untreated will become tertiary syphilis.
* difficulty making muscles move correctly
* gradual blindness
* Can eventually lead to death.
The human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)
is a virus that attacks the cells of the immune system. Although infections may show no clinical signs for years, over time the virus reduces the strength of the immune response and leaves HIV-positive individuals susceptible to other diseases. HIV itself usually causes few to no symptoms . It is devastating, instead, because it lowers the body's defenses against other diseases. The diseases that take advantage of HIV's effects on the immune system are known as opportunistic infections.
HIV is not transmitted through casual contact. You can't get it from hugging, shaking hands, sharing food, or even a casual kiss. Because HIV is such a fragile virus, it doesn't live long outside the body. You are therefore also not at risk of the virus if you use public restrooms, drinking fountains, doorknobs or any other public facilities. HIV is a relatively difficult virus to transmit.
HIV prevention is a matter of taking proper precautions. Using a condom correctly every time you have sex, not sharing needles or syringes, and wearing latex gloves whenever you come into contact with blood or other secretions will vastly reduce your risk of becoming infected with HIV. Although proper precautions should always be taken, regular testing is also essential, so that people know their HIV status and can make informed decisions about their HIV risk
Although circumcised men have a reduced risk of HIV compared to uncircumcised men, circumcision is only recommended as an intervention for men who live in areas with a high prevalence of HIV and a low prevalence of condom use. Circumcision does not eliminate the possibility of men contracting HIV from their male or female sexual partners, it only reduces it.
Crabs, Pediculosis pubis
, or pubic lice
are to college students what head lice is to kindergarteners. However, although head lice have been known to spread by an exchange of hats, pubic lice almost always require close personal contact. It is possible to acquire pubic crabs from infested sheets, towels, or clothing, but pubic lice don't live long off the body, and, contrary to rumor, you won't get them from a toilet seat.
* visible public lice or nits
Pubic lice are usually treated with topical pesticides. Any sexual partners you had within a month of showing symptoms should also be examined and treated.
You should decontaminate your clothes and bed sheets by washing them on hot or dry cleaning. Alternatively, no one should touch them for 72 hours. You don’t need to fumigate your house.
Herpes (genital or oral)
infections are characterized by an outbreak of small, painful sores which may be covered with a thin layer of pus. Frequently, just before an outbreak, people will have what are known as prodromal symptoms, which might include itching or tingling at the site of infection. These symptoms vary from individual to individual, but eventually many people with recurrent outbreaks learn what sensations signal that the active sores are about to appear.
Most people with genital herpes will never have any symptoms. In general, if symptoms are going to appear, they will show up within two weeks of the initial time of infection. The first outbreak is usually the worst, and many people who experience symptoms will do so only once. For most others, the severity and frequency of symptoms will decrease over time.
Genital herpes can be spread by oral, vaginal, and anal sex, as well as other intimate contact. Because it is spread by skin-to-skin contact, and not simply through the exchange of bodily fluids, condoms cannot entirely prevent transmission, although they do somewhat reduce the risk. It is important to know that herpes can be transmitted even in the absence of any symptoms, though there is a greater risk of infection when sores are visible. Individuals with genital herpes are usually advised to abstain from sex during an active outbreak, and an active herpes infection can also increase an individual's risk of contracting HIV.
There is no cure for genital herpes, no matter what some may claim, but it can be treated. Anti-viral medications can be used to shorten the duration of outbreaks and reduce their frequency. For individuals with frequent outbreaks, or uninfected partners, daily suppressive therapy may be recommended. In this case, anti-viral medication would be taken constantly to reduce the risk of not only symptoms but transmission. However, even when suppressive therapy is entirely effective at eliminating an infected person's outbreaks, he still may be able to transmit the herpes virus to a partner.
is an extremely common virus. More than 50 percent of sexually active adults are thought to be infected with at least one strain of the virus, and up to 80 percent of sexually active women will have been exposed to the virus by the time they turn 50.
Most people with HPV will never have any symptoms. Others will have one or more outbreaks of genital warts, experience pre-cancerous cervical changes, or even develop one or more HPV-related cancers. Because so many people who are infected will never have problems associated with the virus, doctors do not generally screen for HPV.
Simply knowing you have tested positive for a strain of the HPV virus does not mean you will definitely get cancer, or genital warts, it just means that you have been exposed to the virus and are at risk. In fact, research has shown that the majority of infected individuals will clear the infection within 2 years on their own.
* soft growths in the genital area (see image)
o single or multiple
o white or flesh colored
o small or large
o raised or flat
o may be cauliflower shaped
(Symptoms may appear after weeks, months, or not at all.)
In the absence of symptoms, HPV is not treated. Pre-cancerous cervical changes are treated, by your physician, according to your actual diagnosis. Genital warts can be left untreated, or treated by one of the regimens below. Treatment does not cure HPV infection, and warts may reoccur.