SEXUALLY TRANSMITTED INFECTIONS
Human Papilloma Virus (HPV)
- Symptoms: many types of HPV have no symptoms, although some cause visible genital warts that may be found in the vagina, urethra, cervix, vulva, penis, or anus. Rarely are they found in the mouth or throat.
- Transmission: skin-to-skin
- Treatment: removal of warts through freezing, burning, them off (cauterization), or laser removal. Removing the warts does not guarantee that they will not return. It cannot be cured. The HPV vaccine, Gardasil, is recommended for prevention.
Hepatitis A, B, and C
The word “hepatitis” literally means inflammation of the liver; it is a virus that attacks the liver and causes it to grow in size leading to a wide variety of symptoms.
Viral hepatitis symptoms are similar no matter the type of hepatitis a person has. Symptoms may include fever, loss of appetite, fatigue, jaundice, joint pain, abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, dark urine, and light or white color feces (poop). If left untreated hepatitis can possibly lead to cirrhosis of the liver, liver cancer, or liver failure.
A vaccine is available for HAV and HBV, if you have not been vaccinated it is recommended that you do so.
- Transmission: waste-to- mouth; ingesting food or drink contaminated with feces from a person who is infected with or a carrier of HAV.
- Treatment: there is no specific treatment for HAV, but the human body will clear the virus on its own. Any liver damage that occurs will heal within six months of clearing the virus with no lasting damage.
- Transmission: Blood-to-blood contact and through sexual fluids (vaginal fluid and semen); unprotected sex, sharing needles or equipment used to inject drugs, mother to child during child birth.
- Treatment: if you know you’ve been exposed to the hepatitis B virus, contact a medical provider immediately. If you haven’t been vaccinated, receiving an injection of hepatitis B immune globulin within 12 hours of coming in contact with the virus may help protect you from developing hepatitis B. You should be vaccinated at the same time.
- Acute infection: if it is determined that hepatitis B infection is acute, meaning it is short-lived and will go away on its own you may not need treatment. Instead, your doctor might recommend rest and adequate nutrition and fluids while your body fights the infection.
- Chronic infection: if it is determined that hepatitis B infection is chronic, meaning it will need to be treated to keep it in check or eradicated from the body, treatment to reduce the risk of liver disease and prevent you from passing the infection to others is available and medical care should be sought.
- Transmission: blood-to-blood contact, most commonly through sharing needles or equipment used to inject drugs and sexual transmission is possible though uncommon.
- Treatment: HCV is curable! A variety of drugs are now available and several others are in clinical trials that are able to cure HCV. New treatments are taken orally for a set amount of time with mild to no side effects for most. Once cured of HCV you can be re-infected with HCV in the future if you engage in activities that put you at risk of contracting the virus.
- Chronic infection: If it is determined that hepatitis C infection is chronic, meaning medical treatment will be needed to cure the virus. Curing HCV will prevent symptoms of HCV in the future and prevent the spread of the virus to new individuals.
- Acute infection: If it is determined that hepatitis C infection is acute, meaning it is short-lived and will go away on its own you may not need treatment. Many people who clear the virus naturally may experience mild flu-like symptoms, but generally no other symptoms.