Sexually Transmitted Diseases Overview

 
*** FAST FACT ***

Oral human papillomavirus (HPV) infection is a cause of throat cancers; young men and women who had ever had oral sex were four times more likely to have oral HPV infection than those who had never had oral sex16

What is an STD? | Are you exposed? | Routine self-exams | Should I get tested? | STD Overview | Ready to start a new life? | HIV/STD Prevention

What is an STD?

Sexually transmitted diseases (STD) are infections generally acquired by sexual contact, but can also be spread from mother to infant during pregnancy or childbirth, blood transfusions, or shared needles. STDs may pass from person to person in blood, semen, or vaginal and other bodily fluids.1

You can have an STD without knowing it. Many STDs do not have symptoms.2

If you don’t get treatment for an STD, the infection can stay in your body and it can lead to serious health problems for you.

To find out if you are at risk to STD exposure, visit www.stdwizard.org or call 1-800-CDC-INFO.

Click here for more information on STDs and their symptoms.

Are you exposed?

We are dealing with an epidemic number of STDs in the United States. The United States continues to remain the #1 industrialized country in the world for STDs.3

"When you have sex with someone, you are having sex with everyone they have had sex with for the last ten years, and everyone they and their partners have had sex with for the last ten years."

C. Everett Koop, M.D., Former U.S. Surgeon General

"Many teenagers, as well as adults, are indirectly exposed to more than one sexual partner each year because their partner has had sex with someone else."

Alan Guttmacher Institute, 1994

Routine self-exams

It is important to get tested for STDs if you have had ANY genital contact- oral, anal, or vaginal- with another person. Remember that many STDs have no symptoms 2, and if left untreated can cause serious health problems for you. The more sexual partners that you expose yourself to, the higher chance you have of contracting an STD. 4

If you see anything that you are unsure of, have it checked out by your health care provider. You may also not have shown any symptoms of the STD until long after your sexual contact and you may want to consider getting checked out on a regular basis.

Circumcised Man Self-Exam
  1. Perform routine self-exams to understand your normal anatomy.
  2. Begin your self-exam on the head of the penis, looking for any sores, bumps, or changes in color.
  3. Look into the urinary opening for light or heavy discharge.
  4. Continue your self-exam around the shaft of the penis in a regular way so that no part of the penis is missed. An STD may be in any part of the penis, so be sure to examine the underside too.
  5. Lastly, carefully inspect the pubic area under your pubic hair. Look for any lumps, sores, pimples or changes in color. The pubic area is where pubic lice or crabs may be.
Uncircumcised Man Self-Exam
  1. Perform routine self-exams to understand your normal anatomy.
  2. Begin your self-exam by pulling the foreskin back so you can see the head of the penis. Look for any sores, bumps, or changes in color.
  3. Look into the urinary opening for light or heavy discharge.
  4. Continue your self-exam around the penis in a regular way so that no part of the penis is missed. An STD may be in any part of the penis, so be sure to examine the underside too.
  5. Lastly, carefully inspect the pubic area under your pubic hair. Look for any lumps, sores, pimples or changes in color. The pubic area is where pubic lice or crabs may be.

Woman Self-Exam Women may have a harder time examining themselves than men, because their sex organs are mostly inside their bodies but they can still check the parts that are outside. You may want to use a mirror to examine yourself.

  1. Perform routine self-exams to become familiar with what your body normally looks like and it will be easier to notice any changes.
  2. Begin your self-exam in the pubic hair area. Using your fingers to spread apart the hair, look for any lumps, sores, rash, redness, discoloration, or pimples. The pubic area is where pubic lice or crabs may be.
  3. Next you should spread apart the labia or lips and look over this entire area for sores, lumps, redness, pimples, or discoloration.
  4. Next check the vaginal opening for any unusual discharge that is coming out. It is normal to have some vaginal discharge and it is important to check yourself routinely. Abnormal discharge may also have an odor and it may be thick white or yellow.
  5. Remember that you can have an STD with little or no symptoms; and if you think you may have come in contact with a sexually transmitted disease, have yourself checked by your health care provider as soon as possible. They should be able to do testing to help diagnose the disease. You may also not have any symptoms of the STD until long after your sexual contact and you may want to consider getting checked out on a regular basis.

Should I get tested?

It is recommended by the CDC (Center for Disease Control) that all sexually active people be routinely tested. A person should be examined and tested in a clinic or health provider’s office if they feel they have any symptoms that could possibly be an STD. Getting tested is a good idea since so many STDs do not have visible symptoms.

STD testing is done at Crossroads - confidentially and free of charge. Call 248.293.0070 and schedule an appointment today!

STD Overview

Girls affected most by STDs

The risk for a girl of contracting HIV from a boy is estimated to be eight times greater than for a boy to contract HIV from a girl. 5 STDs can be passed from a mother to her baby before, during, or immediately after birth; some of these infections of the newborn can be cured easily, but others, if untreated, may lead to mental retardation and death.6

Some STDs such as gonorrhea and chlamydia are more difficult to detect in girls than in boys.7

Many STDs have no cure

Viral STDs have no cure; some can be fatal.8

65 million Americans, or every fifth person in the country, have a viral (incurable) STD.8

Ready to start a new life?

It’s never too late to start! The decisions you make today could affect your health for the rest of your life.

Did you know?

  1. Even when an STD has no symptoms, a person who is infected may be able to pass the disease through sexual activity.9
  2. One in two sexually active persons will contract an STD by age 25.10
  3. Eleven out of every 100 women using condoms for protection will become pregnant each year.11
  4. Nearly half (48%) of all STDs occur in people under age 25.12
  5. One in four teens who are sexually active get an STD.13
  6. Every day there are 52,000 cases of STDs in America or 19 million per year.9

You can define your Sexuality..........Or you can let it define you!

Reasons to Wait:
  1. No worries of contracting a sexually transmitted infection or disease.
  2. No emotional risk - sex bonds you to another person for life.
  3. No unplanned pregnancies.
  4. Lower chance for damaged relationships.
  5. There are rewards for waiting to engage in sexual activity.

HIV/STD Prevention

Basic goals for HIV/STD Prevention

  • Monogomy
  • Practice Abstinence
  • Communicate with your partner
  • Take control of your life
  • Ask for help

Monogamy

Practice monogamy (one sexual partner) to make sure that you are safe from the risk of STDs. A monogamous marriage relationship is the safest place for sexual activity to take place for physical and emotional health.

Practice Abstinence

Abstinence means not having sex or any genital contact. Practice abstinence until you are married and choose a partner who has made the same choice. Abstinence from all sexual activity is 100% effective in eliminating the risk of STD transmission. Just because it seems that all your friends are having sex does not mean that they are telling the truth.

Communicate with your partner

Communication is key. Even if your partner says they have been tested for STDs does not mean you will be having safe sex. A person can carry a disease without showing any symptoms and pass the disease to you through sexual contact.

Keep Control of Your Life

Don't get yourself into situations where you may lose control. Taking care of your body is important and that means avoiding unnecessary diseases. Establish goals for your own life and stick to them.

Ask for Help

Do not be afraid to look and to ask for help. Your parents may be the first ones to look to or maybe a teacher or guidance counselor. There is usually a friend or relative or someone at your school to whom you can talk.

At Crossroads we care. Please call to make an appointment to meet with one of our counselors who can help you with these steps. It is never too late to change.

Our STD testing is done confidentially and free of charge.

Call us at 248.293.0070 to schedule an appointment today!

  1. Mayo Clinic, Sexually Transmitted Diseases, February 2011, http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/sexually-transmitted-diseases-stds/ds01123 (Accessed June 22, 2011).
  2. Mayo Clinic, STD symptoms: Common STDs and their symptoms, January 23, 2010, http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/std-symptoms/ID00053 (Accessed August 22, 2011).
  3. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Healthy People 2000: National Health Promotion and Disease Prevention Objectives. Progress Review: Sexually Transmitted Diseases. Division of STD/HIV Prevention internal report, October, 1994, p.267.
  4. Sexual Exposure Chart, http://prabilene.com/exposure.html (Accessed August 22, 2011).
  5. Hillard Weindstock, Stuart Berman and Willard Cates, Jr. Alan Guttmacher Institute. Sexually Transmitted Diseases Among American Youth: Incidence and Prevalence Estimates, 2000. Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health, Vol. 36, No. 1, January/February 2004.
  6. The National Women’s Health Information Center, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Offices of Women’s Health, Sexually Transmitted Diseases: Overview, May 2005.
  7. Kaiser Family Foundation. The Tip of the Iceberg: How Big is the STD Epidemic in the U.S.? December 2, 1998.
  8. Alan Guttmacher Institute. Facts on Sexually Transmitted Infections in the United States, www.guttmacher.org/pubs/fb_sti.html#1 (accessed November 7, 2006).
  9. The National Women’s Health Information Center, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Offices of Women’s Health, Sexually Transmitted Diseases: Overview, May 2005.
  10. Cates JR, Herndon NL, Schulz S L, Darroch JE. (2004). Our voices, our lives, our futures: Youth and sexually transmitted diseases. Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Journalism and Mass Communication.
  11. Food and Drug Administration, December, 2003, www.fda.com.
  12. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. CDC Fact Sheet on Genital HPV Infection, www.cdc.gov/std/healthcomm.fact_sheets.htm (accessed November 7, 2006).
  13. Alan Guttmacher Institute. (1994). Sex and America's Teenagers. New York: Alan Guttmacher Institute.
  14. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Sexually Transmitted Disease Surveillance 2009. Atlanta: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services; 2010. Available at http://www.cdc.gov/std/stats09/surv2009-Complete.pdf. Accessed August 18, 2011.
  15. CDC. HIV Among Youth. US Department of Health and Human Services, CDC; December 2011. Available at http://www.cdc.gov/hiv/youth/pdf/youth.pdf. Accessed July 16, 2012.
  16. Pickard RK, Xiao W, Broutian TR, He X, Gillison ML. The Prevalence and Incidence of Oral Human Papillomavirus Infection Among Young Men and Women, Aged 18–30 Years. Sex Transm Dis. 2012 ;39(7):559-566.

 

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