Sexually Transmitted Infections Education
Bacterial Vaginosis (BV)
Vaginosis is an infection that disrupts the bacteria in the vagina. Women of childbearing age are more susceptible to developing this condition. It is caused by certain activities, such as, having multiple sex partners or douching. Some symptoms of Bacterial Vaginosis include inflammation of the vagina, itching, pain, and a smelly white or gray discharge. However, some women might report none of the unpleasant symptoms. If a woman has Bacterial Vaginosis, her risk being infected by HIV increases. Bacterial Vaginosis might also cause pregnant females to deliver premature babies. It is recommended for women to see their health care provider and be treated with antibiotics.
Chlamydia is a bacterial infection that can be transmitted by vaginal, anal, or oral sex. Chlamydia may be prevented by using condoms and dental dams or choosing not to have sex. Most women who contract Chlamydia (75%) and about half of men do not have symptoms, but those who do may experience discharge or a burning sensation during urination. Chlamydia is cured with an antibiotic.
Gonorrhea is a bacterial infection that may be transmitted during vaginal, anal, and oral sex. Gonorrhea can be prevented by condom and dental dam use or by choosing not to have sex. Many men infected with gonorrhea will have symptoms, but most women do not. Those that do have symptoms may experience burning or pain when urinating, abnormal discharge from the vagina that is yellow and sometimes bloody, and yellowish-white discharge from the penis.
Gonorrhea can be diagnosed through a urine test or by taking a cell specimen from the infected area. Gonorrhea can be cured by antibiotics.
Hepatitis B is a viral infection that can be transmitted through oral, vaginal or anal sex or by using infected needles to inject drugs. Hepatitis B can be prevented by condom use, choosing not to have sex, and, if you use injection drugs, not sharing needles.
Many people infected with Hepatitis B may show few or no symptoms. When symptoms do occur, they may include: loss of appetite, malaise, fatigue, nausea and vomiting, abdominal pain, dark urine, jaundice (a yellowing of the skin), rash or arthritis may occur prior to the onset of other symptoms.
Hepatitis B is confirmed using a blood test. While there is no treatment for acute Hepatitis B, antiviral drugs are available to treat chronic Hepatitis B. There is also a vaccine for Hepatitis B that is available at Student Health Services.
Genital Herpes is a sexually transmitted disease (STD) that can be acquired from having sex with an infected person. It affects the genitals, buttocks, or anal area. Some symptoms include sores that later turn into itchy and painful blisters. It is dangerous for pregnant females because they can infect their baby during childbirth. Medicines are available to help fight off the virus and reduce outbreaks of Herpes. A way to prevent being infected is by making correct usage of latex condoms.
Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) is a viral infection that can lead to acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS), which can lead to death. HIV can be transmitted through the blood, semen, vaginal secretions, or breast milk of an HIV-infected person. HIV can be prevented by condom use or choosing not to have sex. A blood test can determine if a person is infected with HIV, but if a person tests positive for HIV, it does not mean that the person has AIDS. HIV/AIDS is manageable with medication.
Human Papillomavirus (HPV)
Human Papillomavirus (HPV) is a group of viruses which infect the genitals. HPV is spread through skin-to-skin contact. Because genital HPV can infect skin around the penis, vagina, or anus, condoms reduce but do not eliminate the risk of transmission. People with HPV often have no symptoms, but some people get visible genital warts, or have pre-cancerous changes in the cervix, vulva, anus, or penis.
For women, the best way to screen for cervical cancer is a Pap smear test. For men, genital warts can be diagnosed visually by a healthcare provider. For women, the vaccine Gardasil prevents certain types of HPV. The vaccine is available at Student Health Services for college students 18 or younger. Parental consent is needed.
Molluscum contagiosum is a skin disease that can infect skin around the penis, vagina and anus. Condoms reduce but do not eliminate the risk of transmission.
Molluscum contagiosum can be transmitted by sexual contact or by objects such as towels, clothing, or sex toys that come in contact with the lesions. Molluscum contagiosum also may be transmitted from one part of a person's body to another, such as touching a lesion and touching another part of the body. Diagnosis is made based on appearance of the lesion or by collecting a specimen. Most symptoms are self-resolving, but generally lesions are removed.
Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID)
Pelvic Inflammatory Disease is an infection that affects female reproductive organs. It occurs when bacteria, such as, Chlamydia or Gonorrhea spread from the woman vagina into the cervix. It is dangerous because if it scars the fallopian tubes it can lead to infertility. Some of the symptoms are abdominal or pelvic pain, ectopic pregnancy, vaginal discharge, bleeding between menstrual cycles, pain during sexual intercourse, and burning during urination. Being sexually active at an age younger than 25, douching, or having multiple sex partners can put you at risk of developing PID. Early treatment is crucial, and the use of antibiotics can cure this disease.
Syphilis is an infection that is passed from person to person through contact with a syphilis sore. The bacteria can be transmitted during vaginal, anal, or oral sex. Syphilis can be prevented by condom use or by choosing not to have sex. Syphilis can be detected by a blood test or by testing fluid taken from a lesion. If caught early, syphilis is cured with antibiotics.
Trichomoniasis is a sexually transmitted disease (STD) caused by a parasite. It affects both women and men, but it is more common in females. Some symptoms in women include green discharge, itching, and burning during urination. One of the symptoms in men is irritation inside the penis. Trichomoniasis may increase the risks of developing HIV if not treated on time. Both partners should be treated. Trichomoniasis should be treated with antibiotics. The use of latex condoms helps reduce the risk of catching this disease.
Students may get tested for Chlamydia, HPV, Hepatitis B, HIV, Gonorrhea, Syphilis, and other STIs at Student Health Services. For an appointment, pleases call (956) 882-3896.
For more information on these and other STIs please refer to the CDC Website:
Center for Disease Control and Prevention
Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs) - CDC Fact Sheets