Protected sex can cause HIV
Department of Health care
Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs) are a group of infectious diseases (viral, bacterial, parasitic) and their incidence has increased significantly in recent years.
Sexually transmitted diseases are an important health problem (severity, possible chronification and the associated harm to those affected). They also cause high health costs - be it for diagnosis or treatment (chronic hepatitis, HIV infections / AIDS). Sexually transmitted diseases can affect fertility and cause damage to the fetus in the womb. Some, such as the papillomavirus, play a special role in the development of cervical cancer. Because the disease is often asymptomatic, it is even more delicate because the diagnosis is delayed. HPV occurs mostly at a young age.
The control of STD is a priority of the World Health Organization and other health institutions: their strategy is primarily preventive measures, such as promoting responsible sexual behavior and responsible sexual practices (information, precautionary measures for casual sex and the use of condoms). In any case, if an STD is suspected, the medical examiner should be contacted.
HIV and AIDS
It is an infection caused by the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). The acute infection is often without symptoms or remains undetected because of its similarity to flu-like infections. This is followed by a chronic phase which, without treatment, leads to a progressive weakening of the immune system until, after about 10 years after the transmission, it is no longer able to protect the body against viruses, bacteria, parasites or tumor cells. AIDS (acquired immunodeficiency syndrome) is understood to mean the occurrence of severe infectious and tumor diseases in people whose immune system is very weakened by HIV.
The virus is present in the blood and in almost all biological secretions. The most common routes of infection are unprotected sexual intercourse such as vaginal, anal and oral intercourse with heterosexual and homosexual infected persons, contaminated syringes during intravenous drug use and perinatal transmission during childbirth.
Transfusions and transplants today are safe and controlled.
The virus cannot be transmitted through body contact in everyday social interaction or through kissing.
4-12 weeks until the onset of the acute phase. AIDS occurs 2-15 years after being infected.
Signs and symptoms
Acute phase: fever, muscle pain, diarrhea, headache, sore throat, rashes, swelling of the lymph nodes and sweating.
Chronic phase: persistent fever, weight loss, diarrhea, weakness, oral or genital fungal infections.
AIDS: this phase is characterized by severe infectious diseases and tumors; In addition, inflammations in the area of the meninges, the brain, the retina, the lungs, the esophagus, the intestine, etc. can also occur.
Protected sexual intercourse through the use of condoms; Use of sterile needles, treatment of HIV-positive pregnant women from the 3rd month and the newborn in the first few weeks; Use of artificial baby food; Avoid exchanging infected needles and other cutting devices.
In the event of risk exposure, antiretroviral drugs can be administered at short notice. There is no effective HIV vaccination. HIV screening of all pregnant women.
Serological test for risk exposure, accidental needlestick injuries; medical assessment if the symptoms described above occur, which cannot be explained otherwise; HIV screening in all pregnant women.
The treatment consists of the combination therapy of at least three drugs, the consumption of which slows down the multiplication of the viruses and the course of the disease. There are currently more than 20 antiretroviral agents available. HIV-infected people are cared for by specialist centers.
Hepatitis B is a type of inflammation of the liver caused by the hepatitis B virus (HBV). The acute form is often symptom-free. The diagnosis is often made incidentally or because of the appearance of symptoms in the chronic phase.
The virus is found both in the blood and in other body fluids. It is transmitted through unprotected sexual intercourse, use of infected syringes during intravenous drug use, accidental needlestick injuries, use of non-sterile devices when performing tattoos / piercings and perinatally (i.e. during childbirth), during breastfeeding and from acutely infected and healthy or diseased virus carriers.
Signs and symptoms
Hepatitis B usually goes unnoticed. Those where the disease is evident have vague abdominal discomfort, weakness, nausea, malaise, nausea, mild fever, often jaundice (i.e. the yellowing of the skin and mucous membranes), dark urine, and pale stools. Acute hepatitis almost always heals. It can rarely develop into a fulminant form that is fatal. In 5-10% of cases, it develops into a chronic form, which is often symptom-free and stable for years. Cirrhosis of the liver can develop in 10% of the chronically ill within 10 years. Cirrhosis impairs the structure and function of the liver, which is usually fatal. Liver cancer is a far more serious complication.
There is an effective and well-tolerated hepatitis B vaccine that is mandatory for all newborns in Italy. Vaccination is also recommended for high-risk groups such as drug addicts, life partners of virus carriers, high-risk jobs, homosexuals, etc.
The use of condoms and caution when handling instruments are also recommended.
Blood samples (liver function test and specific serological tests) are recommended in people at risk or if the symptoms described above occur. Chronically infected patients require further examinations such as liver biopsy and radiological examinations. A hepatitis B test is recommended for unprotected sexual contact with people at risk.
There is no specific therapy, but physical rest and therapy against possible symptoms is recommended. Treatment of the chronic form is carried out with various drugs, which normally inhibit virus replication and thus prevent the occurrence of more severe forms. In rare cases, the virus can be combated. In the case of liver cirrhosis or tumor, further measures are necessary, such as liver transplantation.
Hepatitis A is a form of inflammation of the liver caused by hepatitis A virus (HAV). It proceeds either in a clinically acute form or, especially in adolescents, without symptoms.
The transmission of hepatitis A viruses occurs oro-fecally: the virus is transmitted through contaminated drinking water and food (raw or uncooked food, especially mussels that are grown in contaminated water) and is excreted in feces. There is also the possibility of contamination through oro-anal intercourse. The virus can be detected 7-14 days before and up to a week after the first symptoms appear, while it can only be detected in the blood for a few days.
Signs and symptoms
Hepatitis A lasts for 2-3 weeks. Jaundice develops, i.e. yellowing of the skin and mucous membranes, dark urine and pale stools, weakness, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting and fever. Although most people recover well, serious complications or, in rare cases, hepatitis characterized by a fatal outcome can occur.
An effective vaccine against HAV is available and is protected after 14-21 days from the first vaccination dose. With a complete vaccination cycle (2 doses) the vaccination protection lasts about 25 years. Vaccination is recommended for all people at risk: people with chronic liver disease, homosexuals, travelers in risk areas, drug addicts, high-risk workplaces (laboratory, sewage treatment plant, etc., contact with people with acute hepatitis A). It is important to prevent oro-fecal transmission through hygiene measures (e.g. hand washing, personal hygiene, washing and cooking vegetables, cooking the mussels) and monitoring mussel farming.
The diagnosis is made when the anamnesis regarding food consumption and unprotected oro-genital intercourse is taken through a medical examination with blood samples (transaminases and serological test).
There is no specific therapy, however, physical rest and therapy against the symptoms is recommended.
It is a type of liver inflammation caused by the hepatitis C virus (HCV). The infection is rarely symptomatic in the acute phase; in most cases the course is without clinical signs and is usually only diagnosed in the chronic phase.
HCV is transmitted in the same way as the hepatitis B virus. Hepatitis C is transmitted parenterally via blood, via contaminated needles, from health workers if the prescribed preventive measures are not followed. Compared to HBV, maternal-fetal transmission is lower in HCV; the sexual transmission route is described, but less so than via the parenteral form, as HCV is less present in biological tissue.
Signs and symptoms
Acute HCV infection proceeds without symptoms in about 2/3 of the cases. However, acute cirrhosis of the liver can develop with muscle pain, nausea, vomiting, fever, stomach pain, jaundice, dark urine, light-colored stools. In around 85% of cases, the disease takes a chronic course and 20-30% of chronic patients develop cirrhosis of the liver within 10-20 years. Every year 1-4% of all those affected with liver cirrhosis develop a liver tumor.
An effective HCV vaccination does not yet exist. The use of sterile needles and protected sexual intercourse are the most important preventive measures.
A medical visit and blood samples (liver function test and serological test) are recommended in the event of risky behavior or if the symptoms described above occur.
The treatment has been effective for a few years, is well tolerated and only lasts for a short time, approx. 3 months. It guarantees complete healing in 90-95%. With the new treatment options, HCV can definitely be combated.
syphilisSyphilis, also known as syphilis, is a bacterial infection that spreads around the world. The causative agent is the bacterium Treponema pallidum is.
Treponema pallidum is usually transmitted directly through sexual contact. It is also transmitted from the mother to the fetus during pregnancy.
3-90 days, an average of 15-20 days.
Signs and symptoms
Painless ulcers appear where the bacteria have penetrated the skin or mucous membrane, i.e. in the genital, anus and mouth areas. The neighboring lymph nodes swell. The ulcers heal by themselves in a few days (primary stage). If left untreated, the secondary stage occurs, with reddish spots appearing in the hand, foot and thorax area after a few weeks, which heal again after a few months. Without treatment, severe skin, heart and brain damage occurs after 10-20 years, in the so-called tertiary stage. As a result of materno-fetal transmission, malformations can occur in newborns, especially in the skin, eyes and nervous system.
Using condoms during sexual intercourse can prevent the likelihood of syphilis being transmitted. A screening test is carried out on all pregnant women.
The diagnosis is established through clinical and blood tests. In the event of risky behavior, it is always advisable to contact a doctor for the necessary examinations.
Syphilis is successfully treated with penicillin, which gives a complete cure.
Genital herpes is caused by the herpes simplex virus.
After the initial infection, the disease can appear several times over the course of life because the virus remains in the body. The virus can reactivate itself in the following situations: a weakened immune system, intermittent or chronic illnesses, trauma and psycho-physical stress, etc.
The virus is transmitted through unprotected sex.
It can take 2-20 days from infection to occurrence.
Signs and symptoms
The disease consists in the formation of small blisters and painful ulcers in the genital and anus areas. The initial infection causes itching, tingling or burning sensation, and occasionally fever and swelling of the neighboring lymph nodes. With relapses, the symptoms are less intense and heal faster.
Using condoms during sexual intercourse can reduce the likelihood of transmission.
The diagnosis is made through a medical visit and specific blood tests.
The treatment of genital herpes consists of the local or oral administration of antivirals (Acyclovir and derivatives).
Urethritis and vaginitis
It is mainly bacterial inflammation triggered by chlamydia, mycoplasma, gonococci (gonococci are dealt with separately).
It is transmitted through unprotected vaginal, anal and oral sex.
Between 2-15 days.
Signs and symptoms
The symptoms are characterized by burning sensation, secretions, problems urinating, pain. Sometimes those affected show no symptoms despite the infection.
If these infections are not treated, they can cause complications such as sterility, whether in men or women, joint pain, inflammation of the ovaries, pelvic inflammation, etc.
In the event of infection during pregnancy, damage to the newborn can result.
Chlamydia and gonococci can also cause pharyngitis, proctitis (inflammation of the mucous membrane in the ano-rectal area) with secretion, itching and pain.
Condoms should be used during sexual intercourse.
In the event of infection, it is necessary that the partner is also treated.
Medical history, medical visit, a swab of the secretion or from the area of inflammation.
Treatment consists in the administration of antibiotics (ceftriaxone, azithromycin, doxicycline, ofloxacin) under medical supervision.
Gonorrhea is a worldwide spread bacterial infection that can only be sexually transmitted to humans. It is found in the genital secretion and is caused by the pathogen Neisseria gonorrhoeae, Gonococci.
The pathogen is transmitted directly through unprotected sexual contact in the oro-genital area or during the birth process.
2-7 days, sometimes longer.
Signs and symptoms
The most common signs and symptoms are yellowish purulent discharge in the genital area, proctitis (i.e. inflammation in the rectum-anus area) and sore throat, depending on sex practices. The clinical picture is more visible in men than in women. Without adequate treatment, infertility can develop, especially in women.
Prevention consists in using a condom during sexual practices. Abstinence is necessary until complete healing.
The diagnosis is made by a doctor's visit and a swab of secretions from the area of inflammation.
The disease is treated with antibiotics (ceftriaxone) and quickly leads to a complete cure. It is important that the partner is also treated.
Scabies, also known as scabies, are parasites (sarcopters) that drill passages into the skin and lay eggs there.
The transmission takes place through multiple close, intimate contacts, e.g. through sexual practices, through shared intimate laundry and clothes, as well as through bed linen and towels.
Signs and symptoms
There is severe itching, which occurs mainly at night (those affected wake up regularly because of the itching), with papules and injuries mainly on the skin between the fingers, on the front wrist, on the elbow, in the armpit.
The lesions can appear all over the body surface.
Intimate and multiple contact with scabies wearers, the wearing of clothes and intimate washing of those affected are to be avoided; sleeping in beds where people with scabies have slept or using bed linen or general linen.It is necessary that all roommates are treated as well. Clothes and laundry are disinfected.
The diagnosis is made with a doctor's visit, possibly supported with the help of a special magnifying glass.
The treatment consists in the administration of a cream based on permethrin (5%) from the neck down, which is repeated after 15 days; the clothes and bedclothes are changed.
Pediculosis pubis (pubic louse)
It is a parasite (Phthirus pubis), also called pubic louse, which attaches itself to the base of the pubic hair. With strong hair growth, the pubic louse can also be found on the stomach, chest, beard, where they then lay their eggs.
The pubic louse does not attack the hair on the head.
- The head louse, Pediculus humanus capitisthat attaches to the hair follicle of the scalp.
- The clothes louse, Pediculus humanus corporis, that occurs between body hair (except for the head) or in clothing.
How is it transmitted?
Pubic lice are transmitted through sexual contact, shared clothing, bed linen, and towels.
Signs and symptoms
There is intense itching in the pubic area. The lice and eggs can just be seen with the naked eye, better with a magnifying glass, on the pubic hair. Occasionally, small blood stains are observed in the underwear.
Avoid sexual contact and changing clothes. Anyone who has had sexual contact with a person should be treated; Clothes and bed linen are disinfected.
The diagnosis is made clinically.
The affected area is treated with 1% permetrin cream for 10 minutes; the treatment is repeated in 7 days.
Human papillomavirus (HPV) infections
HPV infections are infections caused by a group of HP viruses. There are more than 100 types, some of which cause benign tumors, others can promote cancer development, such as tumors on the cervix, vulva-vagina in women, on the penis, on the scrotum in men, on the anus of both sexes, some on the neck and head area (Oral mucosa, throat and throat).
The infection is spread all over the world and it is also transmitted orally-genitally in adolescence through the first sexual contact, less often via objects such as sex toys, towels, etc.
Signs and symptoms
In most cases self-healing occurs, the majority of infections heal in 1-2 years. If the infection persists, however, depending on the type of HPV with which you have become infected, benign tumors (the chondylomas) can develop in the genital area or, after several years, malignant tumors if you have been infected with an HPV with a higher malignancy. Chondylomas can develop in the external and internal genital areas (vagina, cervix) and in the anal and oral areas. Sometimes itching occurs.
The use of condoms is recommended during sexual intercourse, but it does not guarantee complete safety: it does not cover the entire mucous membrane, as well as the pubic area and the anus. The condom should also be used during oro-genital intercourse.
The main preventive measure is vaccination, which is highly recommended for girls and boys. A high vaccination coverage in both sexes helps prevent the transmission of HPV. If the vaccination is given before sexual activity begins, it is most effective.
The vaccine is effective, but the vaccine does not cover all HP viruses that can cause genital cancer, so women should continue to have the PAP test regularly.
The South Tyrolean medical company will be offering the vaccination free of charge to boys and girls aged 11-18 years from 2017.
For chondylomas, the diagnosis is made clinically. Performing a biopsy can be useful when in doubt. If a cervical cancer is suspected or during regular screening, the so-called PAP test is carried out in women.
Condylomata can be removed by laser, electrocoagulation, cryotherapy, or through the use of imiquimod or podofillin. In the case of cervical cancer, conization (i.e. the removal of a cone of tissue from the cervix) can be carried out in the early stages. In the advanced stage, an extended surgical procedure with chemotherapy and / or radiation therapy is carried out.
Sexually transmitted diseases
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