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Definition of sexually transmitted infections

Sexually transmitted infections (STIs or STDs)

Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) or sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) are infections that are transmitted extremely contagious during sexual intercourse. One report (genital or anogenital receiving oral sex) may be sufficient to transmit the causative agents of STIs: bacterial (syphilis, gonorrhea, chlamydia or mycoplasma), viruses (HIV, hepatitis B and C, genital herpes, genital warts), mushrooms ( or fungi) or parasites (lice). STIs can be serious if not treated quickly or efficiently, including partner.

Risks and health issues of sexually transmitted infections

Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) are increasing and represent additional risk factor for HIV transmission, especially in the male homosexual population. The alarming increase in STI case seems directly related to the relaxation behavior ensures safe sex, especially among the most vulnerable populations. Prevention through good hygiene, but also by limiting sexual risk behaviors: reducing the number of partners and condom use. Early diagnosis of sexually transmitted diseases is essential and certain symptoms or situations should lead to quick reference.

Causes and origins of STIs

STIs are caused by different microorganisms:
Bacteria (gonorrhea, syphilis, chlamydia and mycoplasma)
Viruses (HIV, hepatitis B and C, genital herpes, genital warts)
Mushrooms or fungi
Parasites (lice)

Signs and symptoms of STIs

Symptoms of sexually transmitted diseases are varied and very discreet, especially among women. Early diagnosis is nevertheless essential to prevent complications (including infertility).

Syphilis, early in the disease (usually between 3 weeks and 3 months after the report contaminant) by painless ulcers (chancres) appear on the genitals (penis, balanopréputial sulcus, scrotum, labia, clitoris). Later, rashes all over the body and may occur in the absence of treatment, the disease can be generalized and reach the brain, heart and eyes.

Gonorrhea (or clap) and Chlamydia are talking to each other by flows to the tip of the penis (urethral discharge) in humans. In women, the signs are much more discreet (burning on urination, pelvic pain, vaginal discharge ...) or go completely unnoticed.

Sexually transmitted infections Prevention

With what should we be confused?

It should not be confused with a contamination risk of pregnancy and STIs. If unprotected, the risk of pregnancy and are also be supported, for example, with the morning after pill.

Similarly, oral contraceptives (birth control) does not protect the risk of transmission of infectious diseases.

Are there possible prevention of sexually transmitted infections?

Prevention is the best cure against STIs. The use of condoms during every sexual encounter in the absence of a regular partner is essential.

All types of sex are concerned (oral, vaginal, anal), especially when there is penetration.

It is now easy to obtain condoms (pharmacies, supermarkets, vending machines ...) remains to use them properly: Check the expiration date, the NF or CE, store in a cool dry place , away from light and heat (avoid jeans pocket and wallet), open the bag without damaging the condom, expel the air tank, place the condom on the erect penis by up-down the base of the penis.

After intercourse, it is necessary to remove quickly (before the end of the erection) holding the condom at the base to prevent leakage; knot and discard.

When to consult?

Any genital symptoms (pain, discharge button, ulceration) should be taken seriously considered a priori as a sign of sexually transmitted disease and lead to consult.
Similarly, any unprotected sex with a casual partner should suggest a risk of contamination and involve a medical consultation. Tests may be performed to search for a genital infection, but contamination with hepatitis B or HIV. Preventive therapy (HAART) may optionally be introduced in all the emergency services, 24 hours on 24, provided they are undertaken within 48 hours after intercourse.
What is the doctor?

STDs should be screened and treated early. The doctor can make a diagnosis on symptoms present or help further investigations.

For example, a sample of urethral discharge in men or vaginal discharge in women will highlight the bacteria responsible. Bacterial infections (gonorrhea, Chlamydia) will be treated with antibiotics, and new samples taken a few days after the end of treatment verify the disappearance of germs.

Blood tests can diagnose syphilis or hepatitis. They will be repeated regularly.
STIs are highly contagious, an essential part of treatment is to treat as the sexual partner of the infected person.

How to prepare my next visit?

It is important to trace the chronology of events and symptoms to guide the physician in his diagnosis. Moreover, in case of consultation for unprotected sex or condom breakage in the previous 48 hours, both partners must be present in the emergency department: the tests will be performed on both partners and determine whether treatment is indicated or not.

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