What are common STIs?
Abnormal discharge: A change in the amount, color, or smell of the discharge from your vagina sometimes means you have an infection, but it can be difficult to tell from your discharge what kind of infection you have.
Trichomonas: Trichomonas is a very uncomfortable STI, causing bad-smelling discharge, red and itchy genital area and vagina, pain or burning when you pass urine . Men usually do not have any signs, but they can carry it in the penis and pass it to a woman during sex.
Scabies and lice: Itching in the hair of the genitals or close to the genitals could be caused by scabies or lice.
Gonorrhea and chlamydia: Gonorrhea and chlamydia are both serious STIs, but they are easy to cure if treated early. If not, they can cause severe infection and infertility in both women and men.
Growths (warts) on the genitals: Warts are caused by a virus. Warts on the genitals look like warts on other parts of the body. It is possible to have genital warts and not know it, especially when they are inside the vagina or inside the tip of the penis.
Sores on the genitals (genital ulcers): Most sores or ulcers on the genitals are sexually transmitted. It is difficult to know which disease is causing the sores because the ones caused by both syphilis and chancroid often look alike.
Syphilis: Syphilis is a serious STI that has effects throughout the body and can last for many years. It is caused by bacteria and can be cured with medicine if treated early. Without treatment, syphilis can cause heart disease, paralysis, mental illness, and even death.
Chancroid: Chancroid is an STI caused by bacteria. It can cause one or more soft, painful sores on the genitals or anus that bleed easily, enlarged, painful glands (lymph nodes, bubos) may develop in the groin, slight fever
Genital herpes: Genital herpes is an STI caused by a virus. It produces sores on the genitals or in the mouth that come and go for months or years. It causes a tingling, itching, or hurting feeling of the skin in the genital area or thighs,
small blisters that burst and form painful, open sores on the genitals.
HIV Infection: HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, is transmitted most often during unsafe sex. It is spread when semen, fluid from the vagina, or blood of someone already infected with HIV gets into the body of another person. Genital sores make it easy for the virus to pass from one person to another. Semen and discharge from someone with an STI and HIV contain a large amount of HIV. Women can get HIV more easily than men during sex. You can get HIV from someone who looks completely healthy.
Hepatitis B (Yellow Eyes): Hepatitis B is a dangerous infection caused by a virus that harms the liver. It spreads very easily from one person to another, especially during sex. It can cause symptoms like fever, no appetite, tired and weak feeling,
yellow eyes and/or skin, pain in the belly, dark urine and whitish stools.
Remember, when treating STIs, always:
- make sure your partner gets treated too.
- take all the medicine.
- stop having sex or use condoms during sex until your signs have gone away AND you and your partner have finished all the medicine.
- see a health worker if you do not get better by the end of your treatment.
- practice safer sex when you do have sex again.