Hiv And Stds Are Spread In The Same Ways
You can get HIV or an STD by having sex without a condom with a person who is already infected. HIV and some STDs can be passed from a mother to her baby while she is pregnant, during birth or through breast feeding. HIV and some STDs can also be spread by sharing drug “works” with someone who has HIV or an STD.
What Is The Difference Between An Std And Sti
The term STD is often used interchangeably with the term sexually transmitted infection . But despite this common misconception, STDs and STIs arent exactly the same. Each term has a specific meaning:
- STI. An STI is a sexually transmitted infection and doesnt cause any symptoms. Instead, an STI refers to the presence of the virus, bacteria, or other pathogens in your body.
- STD. An STD is a sexually transmitted disease, which does cause symptoms. It happens when the pathogens in your body have led to the cell damage that produces symptoms.
Put simply, an infection just means the presence of the pathogen is in your body, while a disease means youre having symptoms. A condition is only considered an STD if there are symptoms.
This might seem like a small difference, but the distinction is important. This is especially true for STIs that rarely cause symptoms, like chlamydia or gonorrhea. For many people, these STIs wont ever progress to STDs.
Protecting Your Sexual Partners
If you have HIV, are taking ART, and achieve and maintain an undetectable viral load, you have effectively no risk of passing HIV to your sexual partners. This is true even if you have an STI other than HIV. However, having an undetectable viral load will not prevent you from transmitting other STIs to your sexual partners.
If you have HIV and you do not have an undetectable viral load, untreated STIs may make it more likely that you will spread HIV to a sexual partner. But you can protect your partner from HIV by using condoms and choosing less risky sexual behaviors.
And if you have an HIV-negative partner who has another STI, they may have skin ulcers, sores, or inflammation that may increase their risk of getting HIV during sex.
An HIV-negative partner can take medicine to prevent HIV, called pre-exposure prophylaxis, or PrEP, but PrEP does not protect against other STIs. PrEP is an HIV prevention option for people who dont have HIV but who are at high risk of becoming infected with HIV. PrEP involves taking a specific HIV medicine every day to reduce the risk of HIV infection.
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Does Treating Stds Prevent Hiv
Not by itself. Given the close link between STDs and HIV in many studies, it seems obvious that treating STDs should reduce the risk of HIV. However, most studies that have treated STDs to prevent HIV have not lowered the risk of HIV.6, 15-23
Screening for STDs can help assess a persons risk for getting HIV. Treatment of STDs is important to prevent the complications of those infections, and to prevent transmission to partners, but it should not be expected to prevent spread of HIV.
Whats The Treatment For Chlamydia
Chlamydia is usually easy to get rid of. Your nurse or doctor will get you antibiotics to treat the infection. Sometimes you only have to take one dose of medication. Another chlamydia treatment lasts for 7 days. Your doctor will help you figure out which treatment is best for you.
If youre treated for chlamydia, its really important for your sexual partners to get treated also. Otherwise, you can keep passing the infection back and forth, or to other people. Sometimes your doctor will give you medicine for both you and your partner.
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How Can A Person Reduce The Risk Of Getting An Std
Sexual abstinence is the only way to eliminate any chance of getting an STD. But if you are sexually active, you can take the following steps to lower your risk for STDs, including HIV.
Choose less risky sexual behaviors.
- Reduce the number of people you have sex with.
- Do not drink alcohol or use drugs before and during sex.
Use condoms correctly every time you have sex.
- Visit this website from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to learn how to use condoms correctly.
Chlamydia Test For Women
To diagnose the infection, your doctor can use a few different chlamydia tests. Your doctor will likely ask you about your symptoms and why you think you have the infection. When this happens, its important to be as honest as possible.
Your health care provider will probably use a swab to take a sample from the cervix and send it to a lab to be analyzed. If theres a possibility the bacteria is in your throat or anus, these areas may be swabbed as well. Other tests include a chlamydia urine test to check for the presence of the bacteria.
Although many physicians do it, a chlamydia test is not automatically done at the time that a Pap test is done.
For this reason, its important for women, especially sexually active women aged 25 and under, to ask their health care provider whether theyre getting tested for chlamydia every year.
If you think you may have been exposed to an STD, youll have to ask for a screening.
Fortunately, chlamydia is easy to treat. If you suspect that you have it, youll need to:
- See your health care provider immediately before the infection does damage to your reproductive organs.
- Listen to your doctor and take all of your medicine. Even if your symptoms go away, you should finish your pills.
- Tell your sexual partner. They should know about the infection so that they too can be tested and treated.
- Avoid having sexual intercourse until you and your partner have been cured.
Since chlamydia is a bacteria, your doctor will prescribe you antibiotics.
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Is There Anything Else I Need To Know About A Chlamydia Test
Chlamydia testing enables diagnosis and treatment of the infection before it can cause serious health problems. If you are at risk for chlamydia due to your age and/or lifestyle, talk to your health care provider about getting tested.
You can also take steps to prevent getting infected with chlamydia The best way to prevent chlamydia or any sexually transmitted disease is to not have vaginal, anal or oral sex. If you are sexually active, you can reduce your risk of infection by:
- Being in a long-term relationship with one partner who has tested negative for STDs
- Using condoms correctly every time you have sex
Other Complications Of Untreated Chlamydia In All People
- Conjunctivitis, spread by touching the infected area and then touching the hand to the eye
- Inflammation of the mucous membrane of the rectum , if the chlamydia is from anal sex
- Varied symptoms, such as joint and eye inflammation, caused by bacterial infection
- Lymphogranuloma venereum, or LGV. This is caused by a type of chlamydia that is usually rare in the United States, but it is becoming more common in men who have sex with men. It causes open sores in the genital area, headache, fever, fatigue, and swelling of the lymph nodes in the groin. It also causes proctitis in people who get chlamydia through anal sex.
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What Do I Need To Know If I Get Treated For Chlamydia
If youre getting treated for chlamydia:
- Take all of your medicine the way your nurse or doctor tells you to, even if any symptoms you may be having go away sooner. The infection stays in your body until you finish the antibiotics.
- Your partner should also get treated for chlamydia so you dont re-infect each other or anyone else.
- Dont have sex for 7 days. If you only have 1 dose of medication, wait for 7 days after you take it before having sex. If youre taking medicine for 7 days, dont have sex until youve finished all of your pills.
- Get tested again in 3-4 months to make sure your infection is gone.
- Dont share your medicine with anyone. Your nurse or doctor may give you a separate dose of antibiotics for your partner. Make sure you both take all of the medicine you get.
- Even if you finish your treatment and the chlamydia is totally gone, its possible to get a new chlamydia infection again if youre exposed in the future. Chlamydia isnt a one-time-only deal. So use condoms and get tested regularly.
What Is The Treatment For Chlamydia
Chlamydia can be easily cured with antibiotics. HIV-positive persons with chlamydia should receive the same treatment as those who are HIV-negative.
Persons with chlamydia should abstain from sexual activity for 7 days after single dose antibiotics or until completion of a 7-day course of antibiotics, to prevent spreading the infection to partners. It is important to take all of the medication prescribed to cure chlamydia. Medication for chlamydia should not be shared with anyone. Although medication will stop the infection, it will not repair any permanent damage done by the disease. If a persons symptoms continue for more than a few days after receiving treatment, he or she should return to a health care provider to be reevaluated.
Repeat infection with chlamydia is common. Women whose sex partners have not been appropriately treated are at high risk for re-infection. Having multiple chlamydial infections increases a womans risk of serious reproductive health complications, including pelvic inflammatory disease and ectopic pregnancy. Women and men with chlamydia should be retested about three months after treatment of an initial infection, regardless of whether they believe that their sex partners were successfully treated.
Infants infected with chlamydia may develop ophthalmia neonatorum and/or pneumonia. Chlamydial infection in infants can be treated with antibiotics.
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What Can You Do To Prevent Getting Stis
If you have HIV, the best thing you can do to stay healthy is to take HIV medicine daily as prescribed and get and keep an undetectable viral loada level so low that a lab test cant detect it.
But even if you are on ART and your viral load is undetectable, it will not prevent you from getting other STIs, such as gonorrhea, chlamydia, or syphilis.
The only 100% effective way to avoid getting other STIs is to not have vaginal, anal, or oral sex. If you are sexually active, you can do the following things to lower your chances of getting other STIs:
- Reduce the number of people you have sex with.
- Dont drink alcohol or use drugs before and during sex.
Use condoms correctly every time you have sex.
- Use a new condom for every act of vaginal, anal, and oral sex throughout the entire sex act .
Condoms are highly effective in preventing STIs, but not foolproof. Read this fact sheet from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on how to use condoms correctly.
Chlamydia Is Really Common
Chlamydia is a SUPER common bacterial infection that you can get from sexual contact with another person. Close to 3 million Americans get it every year, most commonly among 14-24-year-olds.
Chlamydia is spread through vaginal, anal, and oral sex. The infection is carried in semen , pre-cum, and vaginal fluids. Chlamydia can infect the penis, vagina, cervix, anus, urethra, eyes, and throat. Most people with chlamydia dont have any symptoms and feel totally fine, so they might not even know theyre infected.
Chlamydia can be easily cleared up with antibiotics. But if you dont treat chlamydia, it may lead to major health problems in the future. Thats why STD testing is so important the sooner you know you have chlamydia, the faster you can cure it. You can prevent chlamydia by using condoms every time you have sex.
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How Is Chlamydia Treated
Chlamydia can be easily treated with a short course of antibiotics. You may be able to take all the antibiotics in one day, or over a week.
Its important not to have sex until you and your current sexual partner have finished treatment. If youve had the one-day course of treatment, you should avoid having sex for seven days afterwards. Ask your healthcare professional when its safe to have sex again.
Remember that if youve been treated for chlamydia you can get infected again, so its important to go for regular tests.
If Someone Already Has Hiv And Subsequently Gets An Std Does That Put Their Sex Partner At An Increased Risk For Getting Hiv
If the person living with HIV gets and maintains an undetectable viral load by taking antiretroviral treatment, then an STD does not increase the risk of transmitting HIV.6 However, HIV-infected persons who are not taking antiretroviral treatment may be more likely to transmit HIV when they have another STD.
HIV-negative sex partners of people with HIV can prevent HIV if:
- HIV-positive people use antiretroviral therapy as prescribed. ART reduces the amount of virus in blood and body fluids. People with HIV who take ART, as prescribed, to achieve and maintain an undetectable viral load can stay healthy for many years, and have effectively no risk of transmitting HIV to sexual partners.
- Sex partners take PrEP medications, as prescribed, after discussing this option with their healthcare provider and determining whether it is appropriate.
- Partners choose less risky sex activities.
- Partners use a new condom for every act of vaginal, anal, and oral sex throughout the entire sex act .
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How Is Hiv Diagnosed
An HIV antibody test, either from a blood sample or an oral sample , can tell whether you have been infected. A negative test result means no HIV antibodies were found. This usually means you are not infected. However, if you engaged in behavior that could spread the virus within three months of having the test, antibodies may not be detectable and you should be re-tested. A positive test result means antibodies to HIV were found. This means you are infected with the virus and can pass HIV to others even if you have no symptoms. You are infected for life. Even if you think you have a low risk for HIV infection, consider getting tested whenever you have a regular medical check-up.
Information On Expedited Partner Therapy To Treat Chlamydia
You are getting a prescription for medicine to treat chlamydia, a bacterial sexually transmitted infection , because your sexual partner was diagnosed and treated for chlamydia.
You might have gotten this STI from your partner.
The good news is that chlamydia is usually easy to treat.
Please read the information on this page carefully to learn more about this medicine.
Chlamydia is an STI that you can get from having oral, vaginal, or anal sex with a person who already has it. Many people with chlamydia feel fine and do not have any symptons. Other people may experience:
- Discharge from your penis
- Pain and swelling in testicles
- Burning or painful urination
- Change in vaginal discharge or bleeding between periods/after sex
- Pain during sex
- Lower abdominal pain
Chlamydia can also cause infection in the uterus which can cause infertility.
It is very important that you get treated right away, even if you do not have symptoms. Your partner has given you a prescription for 1 gram of azithromycin , which cures chlamydia. You can fill this prescription at any pharmacy. The pharmacist will give you instructions on how to take this medication and ask you about potential allergies to this medication.
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Letting Partners Know You Have Chlamydia
Sexual partners may be infected too. If you have chlamydia, anyone you have had sex with from the last 6 months needs to be informed, tested and treated.
If they dont know, they could reinfect you or infect someone else if they are not treated. dont receive treatment.
Most people will appreciate being told they may have an infection and it is an important step in preventing further infection in the community.
Your local GP and sexual health centre can help you inform your partners and let them know that they need a test. This process is called partner notification. It can be done anonymously, and your confidentiality is always respected.
You can also anonymously notify your sexual partners of the need to get tested and treated for chlamydia via the Let Them Know website if you feel unable to speak to them personally.
There are also nurses who can help you anonymously notify your partners. They can be contacted on .
What Can Happen If Chlamydia Isnt Treated
Untreated chlamydia can put your health at risk. Make an appointment with your provider immediately if you notice any symptoms of chlamydia, and get regular STI screenings to avoid complications later.
Complications of chlamydia for people with vaginas
Untreated chlamydia can cause:
- Pelvic inflammatory disease . PID is a serious condition that requires hospitalization. It can occur when an untreated STI, like chlamydia, damages your reproductive organs. PID can lead to infertility and chronic pelvic pain. It can also cause an ectopic pregnancy,which is life-threatening for the fetus and potentially deadly for the mother or gestational parent, too.
- Pregnancy complications. An untreated infection can lead to pre-term delivery. Also, if youre pregnant and have chlamydia, you can pass the infection on to your newborn. Babies born with chlamydia may have pneumonia or conjunctivitis that could lead to blindness if not treated.
Complications of chlamydia for people with penises
Untreated chlamydia can cause:
- Epididymitis. Infection can spread to the testicles and the tube that carries sperm to your testicles , causing symptoms like pain, swelling and tenderness in your testicles.
- Reduced fertility. Chlamydia can harm your sperm, negatively impacting your ability to conceive.
Complications of chlamydia that can affect all genders
Untreated chlamydia can:
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