Other STDS

Know the Risk

Having sex is a big responsibility. Any time you have sex you are at risk for getting a sexually transmitted disease (STD). The more you know about STDs, the better you can protect yourself.

Click on the links below to learn detailed facts about STDs and how to keep yourself healthy.

Crabs and Scabies

Crabs are small bugs that attach to pubic hair and bite the skin. Scabies are also bugs that dig under the skin where they lay their eggs, usually in the genital area. Both of these bugs make you really itchy. They are passed from one person to another during sex, but can also be passed by contact with clothes, bedding and towels that have been used by an infected person. Your doctor can tell you about over-the-counter or prescription creams that can get rid of the bugs. Wash your clothes, bedding, and towels in hot water to make sure you don't re-infect yourself after treatment.

Hepatitis

Hepatitis is the name for swelling of the liver caused by a few different viruses. The viruses are classified by letters of the alphabet. Types A, B, and C are the most common.

Hepatitis A (HAV)

HAV is easily spread from person to person via dirty food, water or stool (poop). A person can spread the virus most easily in the first two weeks after getting infected, but before symptoms show up - which means people can spread the virus without knowing they have it. Poor hand washing and dirty water supplies can easily transmit HAV, as well as many types of anal sex such as rimming, fisting, fingering, and anal intercourse. Contact with something that's been in contact with the anus of an infected person can also spread the virus. This means that sharing sex toys, kissing someone who's been rimming, and sucking someone who's just topped someone else can all be risky activities for spreading HAV. Many people do not have symptoms at all. If you do have symptoms, they could include tiredness, belly pain, yellowing of the skin or eyes (jaundice), dark urine (pee), light colored stool (poop) and/or fever. HAV symptoms usually appear 2-6 weeks after being spread. Hepatitis is diagnosed by a blood test. HAV may be detected as early as the onset of symptoms.

Hepatitis B (HBV)

HBV is the most common sexually-transmitted type of viral hepatitis. People can be infected through anal and vaginal sex by sharing body fluids (blood, semen and vaginal fluids). It is possible, although rare, for HBV to be transmitted by oral sex. People who share or use needles with infected blood can be infected. Now, blood transfusions are rarely the cause of HBV infections in the United States due to the improved screening of blood supplies. Although tattoo, body piercing, and acupuncture needles may transmit HBV, they account for only a small number of the total reported cases in the United States. HBV symptoms usually appear 6 weeks to 6 months after being infected, if at all.

Important Note:HBV infection is more likely to turn into chronic HBV for someone who is HIV+ (which means it lasts longer than six months and may never go away). About 5,000 people die each year in the United States due to problems like cirrhosis and liver cancer because of HBV. Effective vaccinations are available to protect against Hepatitis A and B.

Molluscum Contagiosum

This virus affects the skin and is passed from person to person during sex or close skin-to-skin contact, including sharing towels. It's often found in people who exercise in gyms. Symptoms include smooth, firm, rounded bumps with a dip in the center on your thighs, genitals, butt, below the waist and/or in the pubic area. The bumps can be tan, yellow, grey or pink. The virus will go away on it's own without treatment, but you can have your doctor freeze off the bumps with liquid nitrogen if they hurt.

Trichomoniasis (Trich)

This infection is caused by a protozoa (single-celled organism) passed from person to person during vaginal sex. Women will have more symptoms than men. Commonly women will have yellow-green or gray bubbly fluid coming from the vagina that has an unpleasant smell and is itchy. A doctor can give you a prescription called metronidazole to cure the infection. Your male partner(s) should be treated so he won't re-infect you after you've been treated and cured.

Vaginitis

Vaginitis is a name for the swelling, itching, burning or infection of the vaginal area caused by different germs. The most common kind is bacterial vaginosis (b.v.) and is a fungus or yeast. Vaginitis occurs when "bad" bacteria outweighs the "good" bacteria in the vagina. Symptoms include a gray, yellow or white fishy-smelling discharge and itching from the vaginal area. B.V. may not need treatment, unless you're pregnant to make sure the bacteria doesn't spread beyond the vaginal area. There are many over-the-counter creams to treat yeast infections. If you're having a lot of yeast infections, it is important to see a doctor because they can be linked to other health problems. To prevent vaginitis, wear clean cotton underwear and loose clothing, avoiding douching, vaginal sprays, and scented vaginal products, and eat a balanced diet with moderate amounts of caffeine, alcohol, and sweets (including chocolate).