Category: Clinic Resources

Chlamydia

Most of the time, chlamydia has no symptoms, but if they do appear, it’s usually within three weeks from the time of infection.

  • Pain while urinating
  • A change in discharge, such as whitish, cloudy or watery discharge
  • Pain and swelling in the testicles
  • Pain in the lower back and stomach
  • Pain during sex
  • Bleeding between periods or after sex
  • Vaginal, oral or anal sex without condoms
  • Genitals coming into contact with other genitals that are already infected
  • Infected semen or vaginal fluid getting into your eye

The most common way to test for chlamydia is urine sample, alternatively we can swab over an area that is infected.

Treatment for chlamydia is done by antibiotics. Typical treatment for these are Azithromycin (single dose) or Doxycycline (weeklong course) being the most common.

Chlamydia can be passed on if you have sex before the treatment has finished, to prevent re-infection or passing the infection on, wait at least 7 days after your treatment to resume sexual activity.

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Candida albicans bacteria

Syphilis

Syphilis is an infection that spreads easily through anal, vaginal and oral sex and can seriously damage your heart, brain and nervous system. It’s easy to treat and cure with antibiotics.

Syphilis has three stages, each with its own different symptoms:

Stage 1

  • Ten days to three months after you become infected a painless sore (called a ‘chancre’) may appear where the infection is. This is usually on the penis or vagina, in the mouth or around the rectum, some people get several sores
  • Glands in your neck, groin or armpits may swell.
  • The sores are very infectious. They heal after about two to eight weeks and disappear.

If untreated, infection may go into the 2nd stage.
Stage 2

  • A blotchy rash on your body, often on the palms of your hands or soles of your feet.
  • Patchy hair loss.
  • White patches in your mouth.
  • Growths like genital warts appearing near the anus in men and women and also near the vulva in women.

The rash and growths are infectious.

You might also feel like you have flu, with a fever or headache, and swollen glands, and suffer weight loss.

Stage 3

  • Syphilis can go on to cause serious damage to your heart, brain, bones and nervous system, years later, this damage can be life-threatening.
  • You could experience stroke, blindness, heart problems, dementia and loss of coordination.
  • It can still be treated at this stage, but it might not be possible to repair damage that has been done.

Syphilis bacteria is spread through unprotected oral, vaginal or anal sex. You can also contract it through a sore on someone’s body in the first stage, or a rash on someone’s body in the second stage.

Testing is done through a blood test or swab test. A swab test takes a small sample of fluid from any sores. A physical exam to check your genitals or other parts of your body for sores may also be a routine part of your test.
 
Treatment for syphilis are antibiotics. These are usually given by a single injection or a short course of tablets.  
 
You need to avoid any sexual contact – anal, vaginal or oral – until at least 2 weeks after your treatment has finished, to make sure the infection does not return or spread. It’s best to wait until you’ve had a test and know the treatment has worked.

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Blood cells and Papilloma Virus in the vein

HPV

HPV is the most common sexually transmitted infection (STI). There are many different types of HPV. Some types can cause health problems including genital warts and cancers. But there are vaccines that can stop these health problems from happening.

Most people with HPV do not know they are infected and never develop symptoms or health problems from it. Some people find out they have HPV when they get genital warts. Women may find out they have HPV when they get an abnormal Pap test result (during cervical cancer screening). Others may only find out once they’ve developed more serious problems from HPV, such as cancers.

  • You can get HPV by having vaginal, anal, or oral sex with someone who has the virus. It is most commonly spread during vaginal or anal sex.
  • HPV can be passed even when an infected person has no signs or symptoms.
  • Anyone who is sexually active can get HPV, even if you have had sex with only one person.
  • You also can develop symptoms years after you have sex with someone who is infected. This makes it hard to know when you first became infected.

Get vaccinated – There are HPV vaccinations available that are safe and effective that protect against diseases caused by HPV.  
 
Get screened for cervical cancer – Women between 21 and 65 years old should get routine screenings to prevent cervical cancer.
 
If you are sexually active use condoms to help lower your chances of getting HPV. There is still a chance that HPV can be contracted, but your chances are significantly lower with condom use. 

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Herpes

Herpes is caused by the herpes simplex virus (HSV). It’s spread through skin-to-skin contact, for example during vaginal, oral or anal sex. The herpes simplex virus remains in the body for life, but it stays inactive most of the time. There are two types of herpes, HSV1 and HSV2, they can enter the body through the delicate, moist skin of the mouth, penis, vagina, and rectum.

Blisters are the main presenting symptom of herpes.

Areas you may find Herpes blisters:

  • In or around the mouth, these are most commonly known as cold sores
  • Throat
  • Penis
  • Vagina
  • Rectum
  • Sometimes they can appear in other places like thighs, butt, and other areas

Other symptoms you could experience include feeling tired with flu-like symptoms and swollen glands.

  • Skin to skin contact during vaginal, anal or oral sex without condoms.
  • It can be passed from mother to baby as well.
  • If you kiss or have oral sex when you have cold sores on your mouth (or if you are just about to get one), you can give your partner herpes on their lips or genitals.

Testing for herpes is performed by taking a sample from a sore, or visually examining the area of concern. There are blood tests that can be used but generally not needed.  
 
Treatment
Unfortunately, there is no cure for herpes. However, there are antiviral medications available that help prevent outbreaks and manage symptoms during an outbreak to make blisters heal more quickly.

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Hepatitis C

Hepatitis C is caused by a blood-borne virus that attacks the liver and is easily spread by sharing drug injecting equipment and also through sex.

  • Mild flu-like symptoms
  • Nausea
  • Extreme tiredness
  • Itchy skin
  • Stomach pain
  • Jaundice
  • Mental confusion and depression – these are specific to the C strain

Hep C is contracted when infected blood gets into another person’s bloodstream. The most common way to contract it is through shared or unsanitary needles. Hepatitis C can also be transmitted through sex, but it is less common.

Testing is done by a blood draw.
 
Treatment for Hepatitis C is done through antiviral medication. These antivirals are generally taken once or twice a day for typically 12 weeks.

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Gonorrhea

Gonorrhea
Gonorrhea is caused by bacteria that live in warm, moist parts of the body such as the throat, rectum, penis and vagina. It can also be found in infected semen and vaginal fluids. Left untreated, gonorrhea can cause infertility in both men and women.

Typically, in men, symptoms usually show within 10 days and it's common for women to have no symptoms at all.

  • A yellow, white or green discharge
  • A burning feeling while urinating
  • Swelling of the foreskin
  • Bleeding between periods
  • Sore throat

Gonorrhea is spread during vaginal, oral or anal sex. It may be possible to spread gonorrhea on fingers when you touch an infected part of the body, then touch other parts of your or someone else’s body. Using a condom reduces the risk but doesn’t eliminate it entirely.
 

Gonorrhea can also be passed through oral sex. It’s possible for an adult to get conjunctivitis as a result of their eye coming into contact with gonorrhea bacteria, but this is very rare.

Testing can be done in two different ways, urine sample being the most common or alternatively gently wiping a swab over an area believed to be infected.

Treatment for Gonorrhea is done with antibiotics. People you’ve had sex with also need to get checked as left untreated, gonorrhea can cause serious problems, including infertility in men and women.

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COVID-19 Booster Shots

In wealthier countries around the world, conversations and headlines are turning to the question of a COVID-19 vaccine booster: who needs one, when, and how soon people will get it?

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Why Vaccines Matter

The direct benefits of childhood vaccination in reducing the burden of disease morbidity and mortality in a cost-effective manner are well-established.

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Travel During COVID-19

Delay travel until you are fully vaccinated. If you are not fully vaccinated and must travel, follow CDC’s recommendations for people who are not fully vaccinated.

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