Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) are serious issues. If you are sexually active and have not been tested in the past year – InnerVisions HealthCare will happily provide FREE STD testing for you and/or your partner. These services are confidential and without judgment.
STDs can be viral or non-viral. Non-viral STDs can be treated and cured if caught in a timely manner. Viral STDs are not curable, meaning they may be with you for life. Many of the symptoms of non-viral STDs may be treatable; however, it is something that you may have to deal with for the long haul.
HPV is an STD that is caused by human papillomavirus (HPV). Human papillomavirus is the name of a group of viruses that include more than 100 different types. More than 40 of these viruses are sexually transmitted and they can infect the genital area of men and women including the skin of the penis, vulva (area outside the vagina) or anus and the linings of the vagina, cervix or rectum. Most people who become infected with HPV will not have any symptoms and will clear the infection on their own. However, some of the viruses are called “high-risk” types and may cause abnormal Pap tests. They may also lead to cancer of the cervix, vulva, vagina, anus, penis, throat or mouth. Others are called “low-risk” types and they may cause mild Pap test abnormalities or genital warts. Genital warts are single or multiple growths or bumps that appear in the genital area of men and women. HPV can also be found in the mouth and throat including the cancerous kind.
HIV is the virus that causes AIDS. This virus may be passed from one person to another through sexual or blood-to-blood contact. This happens when a person’s infected semen, vaginal fluids, or blood come in contact with an uninfected person’s broken skin or mucous membranes. A mucous membrane is wet, thin tissue found in certain openings to the human body. These can include the mouth, eyes, nose, vagina, rectum and opening of the penis. In addition, an infected pregnant woman can pass HIV to her baby during pregnancy or delivery, as well as through breast-feeding. Some of the people who have HIV infection will develop AIDS as a result.
Genital Herpes is an STD caused by the herpes simplex viruses type 1 (HSV-1) and type 2 (HSV-2). Most people have few or no signs or symptoms of the infection. When signs do occur, they typically appear as one or more blisters on or around the genitals or rectum. The blisters break, leaving tender ulcers (sores) that may take two to four weeks to heal the first time they occur. Typically, another outbreak can appear weeks or months after the first, but it is almost always less severe and shorter than the first outbreak. Although the infection may never leave the body, the number of outbreaks tends to decrease over a period of years.
Chlamydia is a common STD caused by bacteria (Chlamydia trachomatis). It can damage a woman’s reproductive organs, even causing her to be unable to have a child. Because symptoms of chlamydia are mild or absent, it can cause permanent damage that cannot be undone before a person even knows about it.
Hepatitis C is a liver disease caused by the hepatitis C virus (HCV), which is found in the blood of persons who have the disease. HCV is spread by contact with the blood of an infected person. Hepatitis C can be sexually transmitted.
Gonorrhea is a common STD caused by Neisseria gonorrhoeae, a bacterium that can grow and multiply easily in the warm, moist areas of the reproductive tract, including the cervix (opening to the womb), uterus (womb) and fallopian tubes (egg canals) in women and the urethra (urine canal) in both women and men. The bacterium can also grow in the mouth, throat, eyes, and anus.
Syphilis is an STD caused by a type of bacteria (Treponema pallidum). It has often been called “the great imitator” because so many of the signs and symptoms are exactly like the symptoms of other diseases.