The accordion below lists both the curable and treatable sexually transmitted and blood borne infections (STBBIs). Use the labels at the top of the accordion to view “all”, “curable”, or “treatable” list items
Chlamydia is a bacterial infection that is curable with antibiotics and there are rarely any signs or symptoms, which is why it is important to get tested regularly! (Remember to ask for a throat swab if you had oral sex).
Gonorrhea is a bacterial infection that is curable with antibiotics. Some of the more common signs and symptoms include irritation when peeing, pain during sex and/or unusual discharge from the penis or the vagina, but some people will not have any signs for months.
Trichomoniasis, or “trich”
Trichomoniasis, or “trich”, is a parasite that can be spread during sex. One possible symptom is vaginitis which causes inflammation, soreness and itchiness of the vagina, sometimes with an unusual discharge. Trich is curable with antibiotics.
Syphilis is a bacterial infection passed on during its contagious stages either by contact with an open sore near genitals or the mouth, or after the sores have disappeared and are replaced by a rash which is accompanied by flu-like symptoms. Sometimes the sores go unnoticed as there is no pain. Syphilis can be treated and cured through a series of injections, given at a clinic; however, if left untreated, syphilis can cause serious damage. It is important to note that there has been more cases of syphilis among men who have sex with men in the recent years.
Crabs or Pubic Lice
Crabs or Pubic Lice are parasites that are very itchy and live in the pubic hair. You can get them by having close physical contact with someone who has them, or by coming into contact with infested bedding, towels or clothing. The telltale signs are intense itchiness and sometimes, the appearance of small black spots or tiny bloodstains in your underwear. They are cured with a shampoo that is sold in pharmacies as well as careful combing to get rid of the eggs that stick to the base of the hair. All clothing, towels and bedding need to be washed in hot water or stored in an air tight bag for two weeks and your mattress needs to be vacuumed. This is to make sure that all of the lice and eggs are gone.
Genital Herpes is a common STI that causes painful sores that occasionally appear on the genitals. With a first outbreak you may feel like you are getting the flu. Afterward, the outbreaks can be managed with the help of creams and pills as well as people taking extra good care of themselves, lowering stress and wearing loose clothing. Herpes is passed on via skin to skin contact. There are two strains of the Herpes virus. The first one causes cold sores around the mouth but it can be spread to the genitals through oral sex. The second one is more commonly found on the genitals but it can be spread to the mouth through oral sex.
HPV is a viral infection and a very common sexually transmitted infection. It is spread through skin to skin contact with someone who carries the virus even if there are no visible symptoms. Some forms of HPV cause genital warts which can be treated by a variety of methods like freezing or lasering. Other forms of HPV can lead to cervical or anal cancer over time. It is important for people who are, or were, sexually active, have a cervix and/or have anal sex to get regular pap tests to screen for abnormal cells. To find out more about HPV vaccination, follow this link!
Hepatitis is a virus that affects the liver, which filters our blood. Many people can clear Hep A and B on their own (as well as get vaccinated for both of them as a preventative measure) and there are treatments for Hep C (some get cured with the help of a long-term treatment that resembles chemotherapy). Hep A can be passed by bacteria and unsanitary conditions, Hep B is mainly passed through sex fluids, and both Hep B and C can be passed sharing items like toothbrushes, razors or needles as it is carried in blood.
HIV stands for Human Immunodeficiency Virus and is the virus that can lead to AIDS if it goes untreated. HIV spreads through your body and attacks your immune system, making it hard for the body to fight off illnesses. There is no known cure but HIV can be treated. HIV positive people can live long and full lives, including family, sexual and love lives, when the virus is managed.
HIV is a virus that can be passed through unprotected sex (anal, vaginal and oral), sharing dildos, as well as sharing needles or tools used for injection as it is present in body fluids like blood, semen, anal and vaginal secretions. It can also be passed from mother to child (it’s called ‘vertical transmission’) during pregnancy, birth, or via breastfeeding but with the appropriate treatment and measures, the risk of transmission is reduced to less than 1%.
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