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What are Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs)?

Sexually transmitted Infections, as the name suggests, are infections that spread through unsafe sex with an infected person. Most can be treated easily but some can be incurable or even fatal. So much before one thinks about a sexual experience, one must know how to protect themselves from STIs. Read all about STIs in this week’s Curiocity Central. Also, don’t forget to check out this very informative video below on the same topic: 

STD and STI – what’s the difference? 

There’s a difference between an STI and an STD. You’ve got a sexually transmitted infection (STI) when you’ve been infected through having unprotected sex. If the infection causes symptoms, such as unusual discharge from your penis or vagina, you’ve got a sexually transmitted disease (STD). 

The only difference between an STI and an STD is whether you’ve got symptoms. Either way, you still have an infection you can pass on to someone else.

How do they spread? 

Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) are infections that you can get mainly through unprotected vaginal, anal, and oral sex. When we say unprotected sex, we mean sex without a condom.

How to protect from STDs? 

  1. Use condoms if you are sexually active. 
  2. Girls can also get vaccinated against the HP virus, which causes genital warts, an STD that can cause cervical cancer.

Symptoms of STDs for girls 

  • Pain when you pee
  • Pain when you have sex
  • Bleeding in between your periods or when you’ve had sex
  • Yellow, green, or bloody vaginal discharge
  • Strong vaginal odour
  • Itchy labia, vulva, or pubic hair
  • Anal discharge
  • Bumps, sores, warts or blisters on the genitals or anus area
  • Abdominal pain

Symptoms of STDs for boys  

  • Pain when you pee or when you have sex
  • Discharge from your penis or from your anus
  • Bumps, sores, warts, or blisters in the genital or anus area
  • Pain in one or both testicles

Get Tested

The problem with STDs is that you might not have any symptoms, but you can still pass on the infection. Or it takes a really long time for the symptoms to show up. With HIV for example, you can be infected for up to 10 years without any major symptoms! 

So even if you or your partner looks healthy, that may not mean that you actually are healthy. That’s why it’s important to get tested regularly if you have unprotected sex or you think you may have an STD. Because treatment will also lower your risk of getting another infection, like HIV.

How can they be treated? 

The causes and treatment of STDs can be caused by either bacteria, viruses or parasites. Science has come up with very effective medications against many STDs. like antibiotics and anti-viral treatments.

But remember that not all STDs have a cure. HIV/AIDS is still fatal, for example. So it’s important to protect yourself and have safe sex, then you won’t have to worry about a cure.

Photo: Shutterstock/Aleem Zahid Khan/Person in the photo is a model. 

Do you have any questions that are bothering you? Share with us in the comments box below. Remember no rude words or personal information in the comment box! 

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