1. What are STIs?
Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) are infections you can get by having sex with someone who has an infection. These infections are usually passed from person to person through any form of sex vaginal, anal , oral sex or even skin-to-skin contact.
2. What causes STIs?
STIs can be caused by bacteria, viruses and parasites. Hepatitis B, herpes, HIV, and the human papilloma virus (HPV) are caused by viruses. Bacterial infections include chlamydia, gonorrhoea, and syphilis where as parasitic STIs are Scabies and pubic lice.
3. How do you get STIs?
- You don’t need to have lot of sexual partners to have STIs. Any one who has sex, male, female, gay, lesbian, bisexual can have STIs if safe sex is not practised
- A man not necessarily have to ejaculate (semen/ cum) to infect the partner. A small amount of precum can also be infectious. Some infections can spread from genital contact alone or even sharing of sex toys.
- Infections like crabs, scabies and pubic lice can spread just by skin to skin contact. In fact oral sex or even kissing can be infectious if you or your partner has sores in or around the mouth.
4. When do you suspect if you have STIs?
The most common symptoms of STIs in any man or woman are:
- Any unusual or smelly discharge from the genitals
- Pain or burning sensation during urination
- Pain in the genitals pain during sex
- Sores or Blisters around the private parts
Men can also have Pain in the testicles or lower abdomen women may experience bleeding between periods or after sex.
5. When do you have the symptoms?
- Symptoms usually appear within 2-14 days but they can take 4 weeks or even longer.
- Sometimes STIs may not show any symptoms at all. Women are less likely to show symptoms than men.
- People infected with HIV may not show any signs or symptoms for long periods of time after infection. HIV may get detected on tests immediately. It may take upto 1 month to be detected after the infection.
6. What to do if you have STIs?
The only sure way is to get you checked. Most of the infections can be cured fully with simple treatments. Consult your doctor and get yourself tested. Avoid sexual contact until you are treated fully and given all clear. Tell anybody you had sex with, so they can be tested and treated.