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Avoid Getting An STI This New Year

Dec 30, 2017 Sexual Health

Celebrating New Year provokes intimacy on a huge scale.  Some people are perfectly happy to share a kiss and a hug when the bell chimes twelve.  While others are so caught up in the moment that their passion spills into the bedroom.  This is when you are most likely to catch a sexually transmitted disease or STI. You can only really catch an STI by having unprotected sex with an infected person.  Many people have sexually transmitted infections without knowing which makes it easy to infect others.  Infections are either bacterial or viral and are treated with antibiotics or antivirals.   You can find out if you have an STI by visiting your doctors or a GUM clinic.  Gonorrhea, syphilis, chlamydia, HIV, herpes, genital warts and lice are sexually transmitted infections.  The most effective way to avoid catching an STI is to abstain from sexual intercourse.

What Is An STI?

An STI is a sexually transmitted infection which is passed on during sex.  Young people between the ages of 18 - 24 are most likely to have an STI.  Divorcees in their fifties and sixties are getting STIs as they pursue new relationships.  There are two types of STI bacterial and viral. Bacterial sexually transmitted infections are; chlamydia, gonorrhea and syphilis.  You can cure them completely with antibiotics.  Viral STIs include herpes and HIV, you can reduce their effects with antivirals but not eradicate them from your system. Most STIs are surreptitious and therefore don’t present any obvious side effects.  This can cause long-term damage including fertility problems and blindness.  Gum clinics and doctors surgeries can test for STIs. A blood test can detect HIV and syphilis while a swab and urine test detects chlamydia and gonorrhea.  Genital warts and herpes are easier to identify by looking at your skin.  

Prevention

STIs have been around for centuries and are generally exclusive to sexual intercourse.  The most effective way to avoid catching an STI is refraining from having sex.  As most people are not prepared to take a vow of celibacy other measures are necessary. Mixing bodily fluids and skin contact spread infections and there is plenty of that during sex. Condoms act as a barrier preventing fluids from mixing. They are only effective for preventing the spread of chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis and HIV. Skin to skin contact spreads herpes and genital warts so a condom is ineffective. You and your partner should take a test if you starting a new relationship.  Lots of one night stands increases the probability of catching an infection.

Treatment

Gonorrhea, chlamydia and syphilis are bacterial infections that normally clear up with antibiotics.  Herpes and HIV are viruses and require antivirals to keep them under control because they can't be cured.  The sooner you seek treatment for these infections the less damage they can do.   You should make sure that you don’t get more than you bargained for this New Year by avoiding STIs.  To review and purchase treatment for STIs click here.  

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