Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs)
Most people have at least heard of the terms STDs and STIs. But often times people don’t truly understand the difference between an STD and an STI. Although the terms Sexually Transmitted Infection (STI) and Sexually Transmitted Disease (STD) are used interchangeably, they are by no means identical. An STI is an important and scientifically valid term because dangerous pathogenic organisms can be present in the human body without causing disease. STDs result from damage caused by an STI that has progressed. Although all STDs are preceded by STIs, not all STIs result in the development of STDs.
What is Oral Sex?
Recent changes in our culture have made it important for you to know the facts regarding oral sex. More scientific surveys have studied oral sex and there are now proven indications that oral sex is on the rise, especially among middle school and high school aged children. Recent surveys show that over 50% of teenagers’ ages 15-19 report participating in oral sex. An attitude is circulating that, since you can’t get pregnant through oral sex, then it must be “safe.”
Oral sex is the contact of one person’s mouth or tongue with the genitals of another person.
Therefore sexual intercourse includes oral, anal and vaginal sex. Oral sex, like other methods of sex, carries with it the risk of serious, untreatable and even life-threatening diseases in both men and women. Oral sex has been found to spread syphilis, gonorrhea, HIV (causes AIDS), HPV, genital herpes, chlamydia and possibly hepatitis C.iii iv v
The United States has an epidemic of sexually transmitted infections (STIs). Over 70 million Americans currently have an STI. 19 million new cases occur each year. Over 60% of these are in people under 25.vi
Often time people have an STI and don’t have any symptoms but the infection can still be passed.
In women, complications from infection include pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), tubal pregnancy, infertility and cervical cancer. In pregnant women, STIs can lead to miscarriage, stillbirths, preterm delivery and birth defects… Some STIs, such as HIV, can be life threatening.
Facts about STIs
The media rarely informs the general public about the true risks related to sexual activity and Sexually Transmitted Infections. Here are some facts:
- STIs can be bacteria, virus or other organisms that are transmitted through genital or sexual contact with someone who has the disease/infection.
- STIs can be passed on in two ways.
- – Skin to Skin Contact in the underwear zone
- – Contact with infected body fluids (Blood, Semen, Vaginal Fluid or Breast milk)
- STIs are one of the most common types of infections in the US today and teens are at greater risk of getting them.
- 1 in 4 sexually active teens has an STI.
- You can get an STI the first time you have sex.
- Many STI’s have no cure while others may be treated through medication.
- Most people infected with an STI don’t know they are infected.
- You can get an STI from someone who does not know he/she is infected.
- You can’t tell who has an STI by looking at them.
- Although condoms are known to reduce the risk of acquiring certain STIs, choosing not to engage in at risk sexual activity is the best method of protection.
- Discharge from the penis or vagina
- Rashes and sores on skin
- Painful urination
- Blisters, sores, and itching on or around the genitals
- Damage to internal organs
- Fever and headaches
- Abdominal pain
- Strong odor
- Permanent damage from STIs include: chronic pelvic pain, infertility, cervical cancer, major body organ damage.
If you have experienced any of these symptoms it is very important to get tested for a SEXUALLY TRANSMITTED INFECTION. Make an appointment today with our Medical personnel for a Chlamydia and Gonorrhea test.
Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs)
Bacterial: Can be cured, but any damage done is irreversible
Viral: Can be treated, but NOT cured
For more complete information on Sexually Transmitted Infections please click here.
Of the 30+ existing STIs, the most common ones affecting teens are:
|Bacterial||How It’s Spread|
|Chlamydiavii||Body Fluid Contact|
|Gonorrheaviii||Body Fluid Contact|
|Syphilisix||Body Fluid and Skin to Skin Contact|
|Trichomoniasas (parasite)x||Body Fluid and Skin to Skin Contact|
|Viral||How It’s Spread|
|HIV/AIDSxi||Body Fluid Contact|
|Genital Herpes (HSV)xii||Skin to Skin Contact|
|Human papilloma Virus (HPV)xiii||Body Fluid and Skin to Skin Contact|
|Hepatitis B (HBV) & Hepatitis C (HCV)xiv||Body Fluid Contact|
Body fluids that can transmit STIs are: Blood, Semen, Vaginal Fluid and Breast Milk
Know the facts about condoms:
Will condoms protect you from all the STIs?
Here are the results from the largest study ever conducted on condoms by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:
- There is no clinical proof that condoms are effective in reducing the risk of infection from Chlamydia, Genital Herpes, HPV, Syphilis, Trichomoniasas and many other sexually transmitted diseases. Some protection was found for men against gonorrhea infection, but not for women.
- Condoms were found to reduce the risk of HIV/AIDS transmission during vaginal sex by 85% when used consistently (every time a person has sex, without exception) and “correctly.”
- Using condoms 100% of the time still leaves a 15% relative risk of HIV infection compared to not using condoms at all. HIV is the virus that causes AIDS, a routinely fatal disease.
- Condoms do not provide complete protection from any STI or pregnancy. STI infection can occur in both males and females whether or not a condom is used.
The 2010 STI Treatment Guidelines prepared by the CDC share in short: Primary prevention of STIs begin with educating individuals who might or are engaging in at-risk sexual activity. Education is the number one prevention! Changing the sexual behaviors that place persons at risk for infection is also of the upmost importance. The most reliable way to avoid transmission of STIs is to not engage in at-risk sexual activity (i.e., oral, vaginal, or anal sex), to test prior to engaging in at-risk sexual activity, limit the number of partners, and to be in a long-term, mutually monogamous relationship with an uninfected partner.
In other words, do not engage in sexual activity while you are single and remain faithful to your spouse while married. These are the two most effective ways to avoid Sexually Transmitted Infections.
Sexual Exposure Chart
(If every person has only the same number of partners as you)
“When you have sex with someone, you are having sex with everyone they have had sex with for the last ten years, and everyone they and their partners have had sex with for the last ten years.”
– C. Everett Koop, M.D., Former US Surgeon General
It’s Your Choice
- You are the person who decides whether to expose yourself to STIs. The number of infected people is constantly increasing and most of these people do not even know that they are carriers of an infection.
- An estimated 65,000,000 people in the United States currently have an incurable STI.
- Some of these infections can be treated with antibiotics, others cannot and will remain with you the rest of your life and are quite deadly. All have consequences that no one wants.
- Over 19,000,000 people are newly infected with STIs each year in the United States. And over 60% of these people are under the age of 25.
- If you do become infected, you probably will not know it, at least at first. Some STIs take weeks, months or possibly even years to show symptoms. Being sexually active during this time can infect your sexual partners.
- If you become infected with certain STIs, it can increase your chance of contracting HIV/AIDS by 2 to 5 times.
- For women who are infected with chlamydia or gonorrhea there is a greater chance of developing Pelvic Inflammatory Disease, or PID. PID causes about 100,000 women to become infertile each year with permanent damage to reproductive organs.
- The epidemic of STI’s has increased the danger of sexual activity dramatically. However, you also live at a time when more is known about these infections than ever before.
You can avoid the consequences…
…but it is a choice only you can make, stop in today to be tested and learn more.
i Mosher, W., et al., Advance data from Vital and Health Statistics, National Center for Health Statistics, Number 362, September 15, 2005 p.21-22
ii Remez L, “oral Sex Among Adolescents: Is It Sex or Is It Abstinence?” Family Planning Perspectives 32(6) November/December 2000
iii Edwards, S., Carne, C., Oral Sex and the transmission of viral STI’s, Sexually Transmitted Infections, 1998, 74 (1)6-10
vi Weinstock H, et al. Sexually Transmitted diseases among American youth: incidence and prevalence estimates, 2000. Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health 2004;36 (1):6-10
vii viii ix x xi xii xiii xiv www.cdc.gov/std/