Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) are infections that are transmitted through sexual contact, including vaginal, oral, and anal sex. STIs are caused by a variety of bacteria, viruses, and parasites, and they can have a range of symptoms, from mild to severe. Some STIs, such as HIV and syphilis, can lead to serious complications and even death if left untreated.
Symptoms of STIs include:
- Painful or burning sensation during urination
- Discharge from the genitals
- Sores, bumps, or blisters on the genitals or anus
- Itching or irritation of the genitals
- Pain during sexual intercourse
- Swelling of the genitals or anus
Some STIs, such as HIV and hepatitis B and C, may not cause any symptoms until they have progressed to a more advanced stage.
Diagnosis of STIs is typically based on the presence of symptoms and a laboratory test to confirm the presence of the infection.
Treatment of STIs typically involves medications to kill the infection, such as antibiotics or antiviral drugs. It is important to complete the full course of treatment as prescribed to ensure that the infection is fully eradicated. Some STIs, such as HIV, can be managed with lifelong treatment.
STIs can be prevented through safe sexual practices, such as using condoms and practicing monogamy. It is also important to get tested regularly for STIs and to inform your sexual partners if you have an STI so that they can also get tested and treated if necessary. If you are experiencing symptoms of an STI or have been exposed to an infected individual, it is important to seek medical attention as soon as possible. Follow the recommendations of your healthcare provider and public health officials to help protect yourself and others from STIs.