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Wellness Center

Risky Business


Every time you have sex you should know what you are getting into.

Check you your partner. Look at their genitals. Does anything look wrong? Is there any discharge? Or sores? You wouldn’t sign a contract without reading it, would you? Then why are you not checking over your partner? After all it’s only your body that is at risk.

Ultimately it is your decision how, when, and with whom you have sex, but if you take a few minutes and think before you act, you may not live to regret it.

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More than Just HIV


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All about STDs


STD Transmission Symptoms Treatment Incidence Highest risk group*
Males Females
Chlamydia
Chlamydia trachomatis A bacterial infection.
Vaginal, and anal sex most common May have discharge, burning or itching around urethra, Many have no symptoms Abnormal discharge, burning during urination, Many have no symptoms Antibiotics, usually one dose or a week of treatment 2,291,000 people in the U.S. ages 14-39 are infected Only half of these were reported Young people 13 to 24
Gonorrhea
Neisseria gonorrhoeae A bacterial infection.
Vaginal, anal and oral sex, Can also spread to eyes, mouth and throat. If symptoms appear they include burning during urination or a whitish to greenish discharge from the urethra Many men have no symptoms. Similar to bladder or urinary tract infection, bleeding between periods. Symptoms are vague and many people are unaware. There are several antibiotics used. It is very important to take all prescribed antibiotics as drug resistant strains have emerged. 700,000 new cases per year Young people 13 to 24, African Americans
Genital Warts HPV
Human papillomavirus
Vaginal and anal sex Very few HPV infections develop into genital warts, many have no symptoms and continue to spread the virus Many women are unaware of their status. Pap smears can help detect low and high risk (cancer causing) types. Actual warts can be treated and removed. Pap smears monitor cervical changes in women. The virus cannot be cured but a vaccine is available that lowers the risk for high risk strains. 6.2 million people become newly infected each year. At least 50% of sexually active men and women acquire genital HPV infection at some point in their lives. Any sexually active person
HIV
Human immunodeficiency virus
Anal and vaginal sex, Intravenous drug use, breast feeding About 2 weeks after infection symptoms for HIV infection can arise and they are very similar to the flu. Most people are unaware of the virus at this time. HIV can be present in the body for many years before a person develops AIDS or an opportunistic infection. There is no cure but antiretroviral therapy is available for persons with HIV which can prolong life and health. It is estimated that there are 55,400 new cases of HIV in the US each year Men who have sex with men, Black and Hispanic heterosexual females
Syphilis
Treponema pallidum
Vaginal, anal and oral sex Primary Stage: single raised painless sore near the infection site. Usually goes away within 3 weeks. Secondary Stage: A rash usually appears, typically on the palms of the hands and feet. Other symptoms include hair loss, fatigue, fever, muscle and headaches. Latent Stage: Treated with penicillin. Treatment cannot reverse damages caused by the disease but can prevent further complications. 9,756 new cases of primary and secondary, and 17,644 cases of latent syphilis women 20 to 24 years of age and men 35 to 39 years of age, higher number of cases in men who have sex with men

*This table includes the highest risk group for illustrative purposes but by no means designates any risk group as “safe”.

For more information about rates in the city of Chicago visit: Std, Hiv and Aids; Chicago.pdf

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