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Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs)

Bacterial STIs Spread By Body Fluids

Chlamydia

  • Facts: Fairly common on college campuses.
  • Symptoms: Often silent. If symptoms, genital discharge, burning with urination, abdominal or testicular pain
  • Consequences: Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), infertility
  • Treatment: Antibiotics, can be cured, partner may need to be treated.
  • Prevention: Condoms offer good protection, partners may need to be treated

Gonorrhea

  • Facts: Fairly common in US but not as common on college campuses.
  • Symptoms: Can be silent, especially in women. If symptoms, genital discharge, painful urination, abdominal or testicular pain
  • Consequences: PID, infertility, arthritis, heart problems.
  • Treatment: Antibiotics, can be cured, partners need to be treated.
  • Prevention: Condoms offer good protection


Other bacterial STIs: Spyhilis, Chancroid, Trichomoniasis, Bacterial Vaginosis (not always contracted sexually)

Viral STIs Spread By Blood and Other Body Fluids

HIV (Human Immunodefiency Virus) & AIDS

  • Facts: Increasing fastest among young people
  • Symptoms: Most people show no symptoms for many years but can still transmit the virus.
  • Consequences: Development of opportunistic infections and full blown AIDS, death.
  • Treatment: No cure. Many antiviral drugs can decrease viral load in the body, stave off infections and death.
  • Prevention: Condoms offer good protection. No sharing of needles/syringes or other body fluid to open skin/muucus membrane contact.

Hepatitis B

  • Facts: Much more readily infectious than HIV
  • Symptoms: Some people have no symptoms. If symptoms: fatigue, nausea, jaundice and dark urine.
  • Consequences: Can become chronic carriers, can cause progressive liver disease, sometimes death.
  • Treatment: Rest, good nutrition, symptom relief
  • Prevention: Vaccine preventable. If partner is infected, condoms offer some protection. No sharing of needles/syringes or other body fluid to open skin/muucus membrane contact.

Other viral STIs: CMV (not always contracted sexually), Molluscum Contagiosum

Viral STIs Spread By Surface Contact

Human Papilloma Virus (Genital Warts, HPV)

  • Facts: Possibly the most prevalent STI on college campuses
  • Symptoms: Can be silent. If symptomatic, soft warts shaped like miniature cauliflower florets
  • Consequences: Some strains cause cervical cancer in women, can cause genital cancer in males
  • Treatment: No cure. There are several methods for controlling/treating the warts.
  • Prevention: Condoms offer some protection, but uncovered skin might shed the virus even with no visible lesions.

Herpes Simplex Types 1 and 2

  • Facts: Very prevalent on college campuses. Type 2 usually associated with genital herpes but type 1 can be present on genitals.
  • Symptoms: Often silent. If symptomatic presents as painful blistery sores, sometimes associated with fever/swollen glands in groin.
  • Consequences: Recurrent episodes, problems for babies of infected mothers
  • Treatment: No cure. Anti-viral medications control or decrease symptoms.
  • Prevention: No sexual contact during active stage. Condoms offer some protection, but uncovered skin might shed the virus even with no visible lesions.

Other STIs

  • Pubic Lice
  • Scabies

Both can also be spread by close but not necessarily sexual contact