Hi, welcome to our guide to STDs and STIs – we hope that you find it useful. As soon as you’re sexually active, you should start to learn about how important safe sex is, as well as discover more about the risk of sexually transmitted diseases. Just take a look below and you’ll discover all the information you need. What are STDs? Sexually transmitted diseases and sexually transmitted infections are infections or diseases that are passed on via sexual contact, including vaginal intercourse, oral sex, and anal sex. Some sexually transmitted diseases and sexually transmitted infections can also be transmitted via needles after a person who is infected with an STD has used them. They can also be passed on to children during their birth or while they are breastfeeding. Types of STD Genital herpes is a sexually transmitted infection that most people may not even know they have. However, even if the sufferer does not have symptoms, they can still pass on the nasty infection to other people. An attack of herpes can vary from a slight soreness to painful blisters on the genitals. The first episode of symptoms can last 2 to 3 weeks and further episodes of symptoms can also occur from time to time. However, these are not usually so severe than the first episode. There’s no cure for herpes, but there’s several treatments available that can ease symptoms. HIV is the most serious sexually transmitted disease. It strikes the body’s natural immune system, which usually protects the body against disease & infection. The Human Immunodeficiency Virus infects blood cells, which are known as CD4 cells. These are the cells that are responsible for fighting infection. The CD4 cells are destroyed after being infected with HIV, which leaves a person who is infected with human immunodeficiency virus with a high risk of getting a serious infection, or diseases including cancer. Protecting your Sexual Health The only way to be 100% safe from sexually transmitted diseases & sexually transmitted infections is by failing to engage in sexual activity altogether. However, if you are sexually active, you can safeguard your sexual health by having frequent STD and STI tests, particularly if you change your sexual partner. Needless to say, condoms are also a must. These will protect you from unwanted pregnancy, as well as a wide range of sexually transmitted diseases & sexually transmitted infections. Further Information For additional information on STDs & sexually transmitted infections or for more advice on testing & treatment, go and see your local sexual health centre. On the other hand, you can visit your Dr who’ll often see people who are worried about their sexual health.
Sarah Hyllok is an expert on sexually transmitted diseases. She has spent 15 years as a sex therapist helping bored couples.
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