Other Prevalent STDs

HIV/AIDS: HIV is a virus that invades the immune system and destroys it over time, reducing a person’s ability to fight off infections and cancer. Spread from contact with infected blood or body fluids during vaginal or oral sex, and the risk is greatly increased through anal sex, multiple partners or intravenous drug use.

Genital Herpes: Genital herpes is the most common viral STD. More than 60% of those infected show no symptoms. Once you get herpes, you always have herpes. However, some medicines can reduce symptoms such as painful outbreaks of blisters, sores or ulcers. You can also have pain and burning while urinating. Genital herpes infection also increases your chance of getting HIV.

HPV: Human Papilloma Virus is a sexually transmitted viral infection that infects the skin and mucous membranes, including those in the genital area. Some people with HPV have warts on (or in) their genitals, but most with HPV don’t know they are infected. A Pap smear can detect HPV infections is women. Infection with certain strains of HPV causes cervical cancer in women. Abnormal Pap smears and cervical cancer can be treated, but successful treatment depends on finding those problems early.

Trichomoniasis: Very common STI caused by a parasite, spread through sexual contact with an infected person. Most people do not have symptoms, but some will experience irritation with urination. Women can have a vaginal discharge with a strong odor and pain during sex. Can lead to bladder and prostate damage in men. Can cause premature birth for pregnant women and increases the chance of getting HIV.

HEP B: Hepatitus B is a common viral bloodborne disease; about half of all Hep B infections are transmitted through sexual activity. People who share needles when shooting drugs are at high risk for infection. It can also be transmitted if a previously used (unsteriale) needle is used on you for a tattoo or body piercing. About one of every 20 people develop serious chronic infections. The infection causes liver damage, which may make your skin and eyes turn yellow (jaundice), and make you feel tired and nauseated. These infections can also cause cancer and death.

Screening and treatment for these STDs can be done with your doctor or for low or no cost at the County Health Department.