|Now that the new
academic year is well underway, with all the new
places, new faces, parties,and nights spent in clubs and
pubs now familiar, the likelihood is that there are
some people youll want to get to know better. You
and your partner may have been together for a while but
every now and then you may become involved with other
people. Relationships toady usually include physical
involvement. Generally, you probably think youre
good at figuring people out and could look at a person
and tell if they had a sexually transmitted disease
(STD). Dont count on it, they might not even know
Anyone; man or woman, young or old, gay, straight or bisexual can get an STD. In fact, apart from the common cold, STDs are probably one of the most common types of infection. STDs can be uncomfortable, painful, inconvenient, embarrassing and cause great anxiety. STDs are varied in their symptoms and long range effects. Some never disappear, while others may leave behind damage. Until you have established a relationship that is based on trust and is mutually sexually exclusive, you must take responsibility for protecting your own health and the health of your partner.
There are several important facts to remember about STDs.
Many people who are infected with STDs experience no symptoms. A good example is women who develop Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID) which without symptoms can result in infertility.
Sexually active men and women should be tested for possible infection with the common STDs during an annual medical examination.
Women are at a higher risk of becoming infected with an STD from one act of intercourse than men.Women are more likely to catch STDs from men that men are from women.
Some people are at increased risk of catching an STD because of the behaviour of their sexual partner outside the their relationship.
All STDs are treatable and most are curable if they are diagnosed and treated early.
When an STD is diagnosed, sexual partners should always be treated at the same time to avoid the Ping-Pong effect (passing the infection back and forth between partners).
If you think you have been exposed to an STD and are uncomfortable about going to your GP (many people feel this way) than you should go to a clinic that specialises in diagnosing and treating STDs. A short list of clinics are given at the end of the article.However,aside from becoming celibate, there are many ways of reducing the risk of contracting an STD. Restrict the number of sexual partners you have.
You are at a lower risk of catching an STD when both partners in a relationship are monogamous.
Learn as much as you can about any new potential sexual partner, but dont accept answers at face value.
Dont assume that what people call themselves (heterosexual or homosexual) tells you anything about their actual sexual behaviour.
Avoid high-risk sexual behaviours (unprotected intercourse: without using a condom and a spermacide containing nonoxynol-9 or octoxynol) until you are certain your partner is not infected with an STD.
STDs are not uncommon and are nothing to be ashamed about should you become infected. Some you should be aware of are:
Chlamydia and Nsu: Chalamydia is a
germ which infects the genitals. It is one of the most
common cause of sexually transmitted diseases and
particularly NSU. Chlamydia is usually passed on when you
have sex with a new partner who is already infected.
Sometimes it appears in people who have not had a new
partner (the germ can remain in the body for some time
before showing symptoms) Often there are no symptoms at
all. NSU is an inflammation of the urethra. of which one
of the most common causes is Chlamydia. The treatment of
both Chlamydia and NSU is a course of antibiotics
Candidiasis or thrush is caused by an organism that normally lives in or on your body (skin, mouth, gut). It is a type of yeast called Candida albicans. When your body is healthy, candidiasis is kept under control. Sometimes it grows and multiplies. This is more likely to occur if you are pregnant, wear tight clothes, are taking antibiotics, have diabetes, are unwell or have sex with someone who has it. It is treated with cream and medication.
Bacterial Vaginosis occurs when bacteria that normally grows in small numbers in your virgina multiply. The treatment is a short course of antibiotics or cream.
Trichomoiasis or TV is caused by a tiny parasite that is occasionally found in the virgina and urethra. It is possible to have it without having symptoms. You can contract it by having sex with someone who has it. The symptoms (unusually coloured discharge, a fishy smell, soreness or itching around the virgina) starts between 4 days and 3 weeks after you have had sexual contact. TV is treated with a short course of antibiotics.
So when the night is young, the lights are low and the mood is perfect dont forget to practice safe sex to keep both you and your partner healthy. and STD free.
For advice or appoinments contact:
The Archway Sexual Health
The Mortimer Market Centre
National AIDS Helplines
The Royal Free Hospital
The Terrence Higgins Trust
Contact London Student