Tag Archives: treatment

STI Awareness: Hepatitis B Virus and the HBV Vaccine

Hepatitis B virions are pictured in this transmission electron micrograph. Image taken from the National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention.

July 28 is World Hepatitis Day. This month’s installment of our STI Awareness series will shine the spotlight on the hepatitis B virus (HBV), which can be transmitted sexually as well as nonsexually.

Hepatitis viruses infect the liver. Hepatitis A, B, and C can be transmitted sexually, and hepatitis B is the most likely to be spread this way. HBV is present in vaginal fluids, semen, and blood. It is highly contagious and can be transmitted by most sexual activities, such as vaginal or anal intercourse, as well as oral sex. HBV can also be spread by exposure to infected blood, and an HBV-infected mother can pass the virus onto her infant during birth.

To protect yourself from HBV, make sure to use latex barriers, such as condoms and dental dams, if you are sexually active. Also, don’t use unsterilized needles; don’t share hygiene items that could have infected blood on them, such as razors and toothbrushes; and consider being vaccinated against hepatitis B. Continue reading

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STI Awareness: Chlamydia

The bacteria Chlamydia trachomatis

Did you know that chlamydia (pronounced “kluh-MID-ee-uh”) is the most common sexually transmitted infection in the United States? However, many people with chlamydia may not even know they have it: 25% of men and 30% of women will have no symptoms. Sexually active individuals and individuals with multiple sex partners are at the most risk.

Like other STIs, many people with chlamydia are asymptomatic, some symptoms in men include:

  • Burning sensation during urination
  • Discharge from penis or rectum
  • Testicular tenderness
  • Rectal discharge or pain

The symptoms in women include:

  • Burning sensation during urination
  • Painful sexual intercourse
  • Rectal pain or discharge
  • Symptoms of Pelvic Inflammatory Disease, salpingitis, liver inflammation, similar to hepatitis

Continue reading