Well it’s no secret that if you want to guarantee that you won’t get an STD/STI, then don’t have sex!Well, don’t have sex with anyone other than your partner I mean. Everyone in the scene knows this yet we all come out to play and that’s because it’s pretty easy to play safe and stay safe.
The scene in general is very responsible with clubs all providing condoms, lube and promoting safety, and most couples also bring their own which I’d highly recommend anyway.
So the main ones are Syphilis, Herpes, HIV/AIDS, Chlamydia and Gonorrhea. Herpes and HIV/AIDS are not curable but the rest can be treated with antibiotics as long as you treat them early. Most are transmitted through direct contact with the sores that come with the infection but I’ll go into a little more detail for you.
Syphilis is a bacteria infection that has 3 stages of deterioration and it’s only contagious in the first 2 stages. The symptoms include painless sores that can appear where the infection started (genitals, mouth, anus and rectum), usually between 9 and 90 days after having sex with an infected person, and then flu-like symptoms and a rash can appear in the second stage. If Syphilis is left untreated it can cause serious health problems such as heart disease, blindness, paralysis, brain damage, and death.
Herpes isn’t curable and is a viral infection. Ulcers/sores appear on and around the genitals for both men and women (sometimes around the mouth if contracted through oral sex). Itching or tingling in the genital area might appear from a few days to one week. It’s then followed by a cluster of tiny blisters which burst and leave painful sores lasting from 2 to 4 weeks. The symptoms can be treated and the sores will heal but can come back from time to time. If you come into contact with them before you realize, wash with hot soapy water and see your GP. (NB:Hot soapy water won’t help if it’s Syphilis).
Chlamydia and Gonorrhea can be cured, but are more serious if left untreated. They have almost identical symptoms and are spread the same way. Often people are treated for both if they test positive for one.
Many people don’t get symptoms early on however, both men and women may experience a new or different discharge from their genitals (for men it will be a watery or milky drip unless it’s Gonorrhea which produces a thick creamy, yellow-green discharge), sometimes a burning sensation while urinating, pain in the abdomen for women or in the testes for men, and/or pain during sex. Since many are symptom free early on, it’s not until the infection has spread to the sexual organs that pain can show up and lead to hospitalization and sterility. Chlamydia can be spread to the anus, often resulting in pain, discharge and bleeding, and symptoms take from 1 – 3 weeks to show up. If any symptoms are going to show up for Gonorrhea they will within 3 – 5 days after being infected.
These STI’s can be transmitted through oral, vaginal and anal sex and ejaculation doesn’t need to occur in order for it to be transmitted.
HIV/AIDS is one of the harder STI’s to get but one of the most deadly. HIV is the virus that causes AIDS and can go undetected for up to 12 weeks. Some people have strong symptoms and some have none at all. Those who do have symptoms generally experience fever, fatigue, and, often develop a rash. Other common symptoms can include headache, swollen lymph nodes, and a sore throat. These symptoms can occur within days or weeks of the initial infection. Since the symptoms mimic a typical cold/flu, it’s easy for it to go undetected for some time.
It is also not as easily transmitted as other STI’s; you can’t get it from saliva so oral is low risk. It only transmits through blood and semen getting into the blood stream, which can happen if there isn’t enough lubricant during anal or vaginal sex and small tears occur in the lining of the rectum, penis or vaginal wall. If a person has another STI with sores or ulcers, then it significantly increases the changes of that person contracting HIV.
If somehow you contract an STI, get treated straight away and inform your playmates so they can get tested and treated too but it’s pretty easy to keep yourself safe. All you need to do is know the signs and symptoms (hence the article) so you can treat it early or be able to detect it in others, get tested every 3 – 6 months (more often if you are more active), and use condoms!
So play safe to stay safe and have fun!
Copyright © 2010 Chantelle Austin International
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