Sexually Transmitted Infections

STI stands for sexually transmitted Infections also known as STD’s (diseases).

There are different types of infections that you can get from having sex with someone who has one. Some you get without having sex like thrush or crabs from sharing a washcloth or towel with an infected person.

The longer you have an STI the more dangerous it is. It is very important to get treatment. STI’s can make you infertile even if you do not have symptoms.

HIV and herpes cannot be cured but the others can. You are also more likely to contract HIV/AIDS if you have an STI.

If you suspect you have an infection it is important to see a doctor or go to a clinic without delay.

Telling your lover : It is very important – if your partner is infected and does not go for treatment, you will be re-infected.

There are more than 30 different kinds of STI’s (Sexually Transmitted Infections) that are spread through vaginal, anal and oral sex. Some can be transmitted by touching or kissing.

With many STI’s there are no signs and symptoms until serious and permanent damage has occurred. One in four South Africans will contract a STI during his or her lifetime.

  • Some STI’s can be passed from woman to her developing foetus during pregnancy or during child birth.
  • Some can result in the death of the foetus in the womb.
  • Others can cause serious birth defects, developmental disabilities and other health problems.

Following are some of the most common sexually transmitted diseases you are at risk to contract if you practice unprotected sex:

  • Chlamydia
  • Cytomegalovirus (CMV)
  • Chancroid
  • Gonorrhea
  • Genital herpes
  • Human Immune deficiency virus (HIV), which can cause AIDS
  • Human papilloma viruses (HPV), which can cause genital warts and Cervical cancer
  • Hepatitis B virus (HBV)
  • Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), which can cause sterility
  • Pubic lice
  • Scabies
  • Syphyllis
  • Trichomoniasis

If you have unprotected oral sex, you are at risk for:

  • Cytomegalovirus (CMV)
  • Chancroid
  • Gonorrhea
  • Hepatitis B virus
  • Syphillis

What are the general symptoms?

  • Abnormal or smelly discharge from the penis, vagina or the rectum
  • Bleeding
  • Blisters
  • Boils
  • Cervicitis
  • Chancres
  • Growths
  • Irritations
  • Itches
  • Odours
  • Pains
  • Polyps
  • Pus
  • Rashes
  • Sores
  • Swellings
  • Tenderness
  • Ulcers
  • Urine changes
  • Vaginitis
  • Warts

Bacause STI’s are often without symptoms and mixed infections are common, it is advised that you have a screening to determine which infections you do have. This will make sure the correct diagnosis is made and the appropriate treatment is given.