Sexually Transmitted Infection Information
Hey Gophers, with spring fast approaching love is in the air, but before you go willy-nilly into the night, please remember to use some form of barrier protection. Other forms of birth control go a long way to prevent pregnancy but do very little to protect either party from Sexually Transmitted Infections (STI). Recent University statistics place the lifetime diagnoses rate for students at eight percent, meaning that around 4,000 students on campus have been diagnosed with a STI. It is very important that students know the dangers facing them and know that there are simple actions that can be taken to reduce their chances of getting a STI. First and foremost, one of the easiest ways to avoid catching a STI is to avoid sexual contact. Second, use a barrier protection. Condoms and dams go a long way to prevent the spread of STI. Third, get yourself and your partner tested if it is possible you may have a sexually transmitted infection. If you are contemplating foregoing condoms because you trust your partner. Read what Go Ask Alice as to say on this at http://www.goaskalice.columbia.edu/0675.html .
Here are some STIs and their symptoms (Important note that many of the diseases listed are not just spread by genital to genital contact, many can be spread through anal and oral contact as well):
Human Papillomavirus (HPV) or genital warts:
-Prevalence: Officially 1.3 % of the student population; estimated to be closer to 50+% but due to the frequent lack of symptoms HPV often goes undiagnosed.
-Symptoms: Itching, burning, or tingling in or around the genital area, burning and/or pain when urinating vaginal or penile discharge, a rash, bumps, blisters, cuts, or sores in or around the genital area, aches or pains in or around the genital area
-Treatment: Unfortunately HPV is extremely difficult to destroy and there is no active treatment to rid the body of HPV, however there are treatments to control outbreaks and to remove individual warts. For some, HPV will clear itself naturally.
-Prevalence: 2.4% of the student population
-Symptoms: thick yellow or clear discharge from the penis or vagina, pain or burning during urination, pain during sex, for women, bleeding between periods and during or after sex
Most women and some men experience no symptoms at all.
-Treatment: Chlamydia trachomatis is treatable with an antibiotic prescription
-Prevalence: 4.4% of the student population
-Symptoms: open sores on genitals, blisters that rupture to form lesions (IMPORTANT NOTE: GENITAL HERPES CAN BE TRANSFERRED BY ORAL CONTACT AS WELL AS DURING VAGINAL AND ANAL INTERCOURSE)
In addition, it is possible to spread genital herpes before sores are present.
-Treatment: there are no permanent cures for genital herpes, but there are some prescriptions available to decrease the frequency of breakouts
Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV):
-Prevalence: .2% of the student population
-Symptoms: (important note: HIV can spread through genital to genital, anal to genital, and bodily fluid to bodily fluid contact, but has not been shown to be able to spread by oral contact) In early stages HIV has few noticeable symptoms and it is in fact possible for an individual to live his/her entire life HIV+ without knowing it. In its later stages patients notice increased fatigue, increased infection rates, inclination toward bruising, fever, night sweats, loss of appetite, fatigue, and formation of sores on gums. As HIV progresses to Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS) these symptoms will increase until the immune system ultimately fails and the body is left vulnerable to common infections, like the flu or pneumonia
-Treatment: currently there are no cures for HIV, however there are combinations of medication available to help slow the progression from HIV to AIDS
-Prevalence: .5% of the student population
-Symptoms: White, yellow, or green pus from the penis with pain, burning sensations during urination that may be severe, swollen testicles, bleeding associated with vaginal intercourse, painful or burning sensations when urinating, yellow or bloody vaginal discharge
-Treatment: Gonorrhea is treated with an antibiotic prescription
WebMD: symptom checker-STI http://www.webmd.com/hw/std/hw102111.asp