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STD Facts

General Facts About STD

Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) are generally acquired by sexual contact. STD’s may pass from person to person through blood, semen, or vaginal and other bodily fluids.

STD’s can also be transmitted non-sexually from mother to infant during pregnancy or childbirth,  through blood transfusions and/or shared needle

You can get an STD from someone who appears perfectly healthy — someone who, in fact, isn’t even aware that they may be infected.  Many STDs cause no symptoms in some people.

The Mayo Clinic is one of the foremost authorities on STD’s in the country.  For more information about symptoms, treatments and other facts about STD’s click here.

Astonishing STD Facts

In this age of easy access to information, it is astonishing to learn that young people are still taking risks when it comes to STD’s.  While condoms can help to prevent the spread of STD’s, regular testing is the only certain way to prevent infection.  At VIP Testing Services our motto is “The only safe sex is a VIP Test”.  That’s right, get tested on Wednesday and show up at your hook-up with your clean VIP test results.

Facts About Chlamydia and Gonorrhea

It is a little known STD fact but women ages 15 to 24 have the highest rates of STD infection. Many may be unaware of this but in a 2015 survey of 1500 sexually active women under 25:

  • More than half did not use a condom the last time they had sex
  • Only 3% believe they are at risk for chlamydia and only 2% believe they are at risk for gonorrhea
  • More than half said they don’t want to be the one to initiate a conversation about sexually transmitted infections (STD’s) with their healthcare provider

STD / HIV in the Gay Male Community

Gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with other men represent approximately 2% of the U.S. population, yet are the population most severely affected by HIV.  In 2010, young gay and bisexual men (aged 13-24 years) accounted for 72% of new HIV infections among all persons aged 13 to 24, and 30% of new STD / HIV infections among all gay and bisexual men. At the end of 2011, 500,002 (57%) persons living with an HIV diagnosis in the U.S. were gay and bisexual men, or gay and bisexual men who injected drugs.

HIV in the Non-Gay Male Communities

In 2010, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that the highest percentage of newly identified HIV-positive results was among transgender people (2.1%). For comparison, the lowest percentages of new identified HIV-positive test results were among females (0.4%), followed by males (1.2%).

Universal sign for no STDS - red cirle witn diagonal lign across black STD text

 

Facts About Gonorrhea

Gonorrhea is an infection caused by  the bacteria Neisseria gonorrhea.  It is a sexually transmitted disease that commonly affects the the genital area but can also infect the rectum and throat.  Common symptoms are discharge, painful urination in men and women.  Men can also have swelling and pain in the testicles.  Women with untreated gonorrhea are at risk for spread to the upper genital tract including the uterus.  This is called pelvic inflammatory disease and can cause severe abdominal and pelvic pain.  Untreated gonorrhea can cause infertility and increase your risk of contracting other STD’s.  Under some circumstances it can spread to the blood and cause infection of the joints.  Gonorrhea can be difficult to treat because of antibiotic resistance but generally is responsive to treatment. For more information about Gonorrhea click here.

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Facts About Trichamonas Vaginalis

Trichomonas Vaginalis is a sexually transmitted disease (STD) that typically causes an unpleasant vaginal odor in women.  It can cause dysuria or pain during urination as well as vaginal discomfort, discharges and pain during sexual intercourse.  It is often asymptomatic in men but can also cause painful urination and discharge.  It is caused by parasitic protozoa.  It is easily treated with antibiotics.  The infection itself is not a serious condition but it can cause other problems and like most STD’s can increase your risk of contracting HIV if exposed.  It is also not something you want to spread to your sexual partner.  For more information about Trichamonas click here.

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Facts About Syphilis

Syphilis is an infection caused by a bacteria known as spirochete.  It’s name comes from the fact that it looks like a spiral under the microscope.  Lyme disease is also caused by a spirochete.  Syphilis causes open sores that when touched spread the infection.  The sores can be located in the genital or rectal areas or the mouth.  Since the sore is painless, an infected person may not know they have the disease.  Left untreated , the infection can over time spread to the entire body.

Syphilis is thought to have infected 12 million additional people worldwide in 1999, with greater than 90% of cases in the developing world. After decreasing dramatically since the widespread availability of penicillin in the 1940s, rates of infection have increased since the turn of the millennium in many countries, often in combination with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). This has been attributed partly to increased promiscuity, prostitution, decreasing use of condoms, and unsafe sexual practices among men who have sex with men. In 2015, Cuba became the first country in the world to eradicate syphilis. For more information about Syphilis click here.

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For more information about syphilis testing click here.

Facts About Hepatitis C

Hepatitis C is a viral infection at the liver that causes inflammation.  It is contracted by exposure to bodily fluids of an infected person.  This includes sexual contact.  Hepatitis C frequently results in chronic long term inflammation that damages the liver.  People with Hepatitis C often have it for years without knowing it.  It is diagnosed usually by chance when a doctor finds abnormal liver enzyme test results or by a routine Hepatitis C blood test.  There is no vaccine for Hepatitis C but there is effective treatment.  Left untreated, it can result in cirrhosis, liver failure and liver cancer. For more information about Hepatitis C click here.

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For more information about Hepatitis C Antibody testing click here.

Facts About Chlamydia

Chlamydia is a common STD that can infect both men and women. It can cause serious, permanent damage to a woman’s reproductive system, making it difficult or impossible for her to get pregnant later on. Chlamydia can also cause a potentially fatal ectopic pregnancy (pregnancy that occurs outside the womb).

You can get chlamydia by having vaginal, anal, or oral sex with someone who has chlamydia.  If your sex partner is male you can still get chlamydia even if he does not ejaculate (cum).  If you’ve had chlamydia and were treated in the past, you can still get infected again if you have unprotected sex with someone who has chlamydia.  If you are pregnant, you can give chlamydia to your baby during childbirth. For more information about Chlamydia click here.

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Facts About Hepatitis B

Hepatitis B is a serious liver infection caused by the hepatitis B virus (HBV). For some people, hepatitis B infection becomes chronic, meaning it lasts more than six months. Having chronic hepatitis B increases your risk of developing liver failure, liver cancer or cirrhosis — a condition that causes permanent scarring of the liver.

Most people infected with hepatitis B as adults recover fully, even if their signs and symptoms are severe. Infants and children are more likely to develop a chronic hepatitis B infection. A vaccine can prevent hepatitis B, but there’s no cure if you have it. If you’re infected, taking certain precautions can help prevent spreading HBV to others. For more detailed information about Hepatitis B click here.

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Facts About HIV

HIV is the acronym for Human Immunodeficiency Virus.  It is the virus that causes AIDS, or Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome.  HIV is a sexually transmitted infection of the white blood cells.  It can also be spread  by exposure to any infected body fluid, including blood.  Most people who are infected with HIV develop flu like symptoms that may include fever, muscle aches, joint aches, sore throat and enlarged lymph nodes in the neck.  The acute symptoms usually resolve but the virus remains active slowly destroying the white blood cells that fight certain infections.  This process may take up to 10 years but if not treated can result in AIDS.  The 4th generation HIV test (offered by VIP) tests for both antibodies to the HIV virus which may be detected  as early as 1 week after infection and for a protein, P24 which is produced by the HIV virus.  This test is highly sensitive and specific for AIDS infection. For more information about HIV click here.

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For more information about 4th generation HIV testing click here.

Facts About Hepatitis A (testing for Hepatitis A coming soon)

Hepatitis A is a viral infection that causes inflammation of the liver.  It is contracted when the virus is ingested.  This most commonly occurs by eating contaminated food.  However, it can be contracted by intimate contact with an infected person.  In an otherwise healthy adult, it is rarely life threatening and does not cause permanent liver damage.  Unlike Hepatitis C,  it does not cause chronic infection .  If you already have underlying liver disease then the chance of serious infection is much higher.  There is an effective vaccine for Hepatitis A that is often given to people traveling to less developed countries.  So if it is a concern speak with your doctor about getting vaccinated.  For more information about Hepatitis A click here.

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Facts About Herpes Simplex 1/2 (testing for Herpes Simplex 1/2 coming soon)

Herpes Simplex 1 and 2 are viruses that are very closely related.  They both cause pain itching and small fluid filled blisters at the site of infection.  Herpes Simplex 1 or HSV 1 is the virus that generally causes fever blisters.  Herpes Simplex 2 or HSV 2 is the virus that generally causes genital herpes.  There are multiple herpes viruses that cause disease in humans.  Chicken Pox and Mononucleosis are both caused by herpes viruses.  Though HSV 1 is associated with fever blisters and HSV 2 is associated with genital herpes, you can get either virus anywhere on the body.  The virus enters through any open skin or mucous membrane.  There is a very high incidence of HSV 1 with 60-70% or more of adults having the virus.  The incidence of HSV 2 is much lower.  We offer a lab test that can tell you if you have antibodies to either HSV1 or HSV 2 or both.  If you do, this means that you have been exposed to one or both of the viruses.  There is no cure for HSV 1/2 but there is effective treatment if you have outbreaks.  For more information about HSV 1 click here.  For more information about HSV2 click here.

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