Human immunodeficiency virus, or HIV, is the virus that causes acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS). The virus weakens a person’s ability to fight infections and cancer.

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, in the U.S. the estimated number of people with HIV/AIDS is about 1,185,000 with approximately 25% of them unaware of their infection. A person gets HIV when an infected person’s body fluids (blood, semen, fluids from the vagina or breast milk) enter his or her bloodstream. The virus can enter the blood through linings in the mouth, anus, vagina, penis or through broken skin.

Both men and women can spread HIV. A person with HIV can feel okay and still give the virus to others. Pregnant women with HIV also can give the virus to their babies.Anyone can get HIV if they engage in certain activities. You may have a higher risk of getting HIV if you:

Have unprotected sex. This means vaginal or anal intercourse without a condom or oral sex without a latex barrier with a person infected with HIV, share needles to inject drugs or steroids with an infected person. The disease can also be transmitted by dirty needles used to make a tattoo or in body piercing. If you fall into any of the categories above, you should consider being tested for HIV.

The only way to know if you have HIV is to take an HIV test. Most tests looks for signs of HIV in your blood. A small sample of blood is taken from your arm. The blood is sent to a lab and tested for HIV.

It is recommended that people who engage in risky behaviors such as unprotected sex or needle-sharing and all pregnant women be tested for HIV infection.

Some people get flu-like symptoms: Fever, Night sweats, Feeling tired all the time, Feeling sick all the time, Losing weight, swollen glands. More SymptomsYou have an increased risk of becoming infected with HIV through sexual contact if you:

  • Have had unprotected sex or not using a condoms from start to finish.
  • Have multiple sex partners.
  • Are a man who has sex with other men.
  • Have high-risk partner(s) (partner has multiple sex partners, is a man who has sex with other men, or injects drugs).
  • Have or have recently had a sexually transmitted disease, such as syphilis, chlamydia, gonorrhea, herpes, or hepatitis.

Herpes tests are done to find the herpes simplex virus SV infection can cause small, painful sores that look like blisters on the skin or the moist tissue lining (mucous membranes) of the throat, nose, mouth, urethra, rectum, and vagina. A herpes infection may cause only a single outbreak of sores, but in many cases the person will have multiple outbreaks.

Though there are many types of herpes viral infections such as shingles or chickenpox, only two types are generally considered STDs.

HSV type 1 causes cold sores (also called fever blisters) on the lips. HSV-1 is generally spread by kissing or by sharing eating utensils (such as spoons or forks) when sores are present. HSV-1 can also cause sores around the genitals. HSV type 2 causes sores in the genital area (genital herpes), such as on or around the vagina or penis. HSV-2 also causes the herpes infection seen in babies who are delivered vaginally in women who have genital herpes. HSV-2 is generally spread by sexual contact. HSV-2 can sometimes cause mouth sores, but 99% of HSV type 2 infections happen around the genitalia.

Herpes is a chronic condition.

Chronic, in medicine, means long-term. However, many people never have symptoms even though they are carrying the virus. Many people with HSV have recurring genital herpes. When a person is initially infected the recurrences, if they do occur, tend to happen more frequently. Over time the remission periods get longer and longer. Each occurrence tends to become less severe with time.How do people get genital herpes?

HSV-1 and HSV-2 can be found in and released from the sores that the viruses cause, but they also are released between outbreaks from skin that does not appear to have a sore by viral sloughing. Typically, a person will only get HSV-2 infection during sexual contact with a person who has a genital HSV-2 infection. Transmission can occur from an infected partner who does not have a visible sore and may not know that he or she is infected.

HSV-1 can cause genital herpes, but it more commonly causes infections of the mouth and lips, so-called “fever blisters.” HSV-1 infection of the genitals can be caused by oral-genital or genital-genital contact with a person who has HSV-1 infection. Genital HSV-1 outbreaks recur less regularly than genital HSV-2 outbreaks.RISK FOR ORAL HERPES

Oral herpes is usually caused by HSV-1. The highest incidence of first infection occurs between 6 months and 3 years of age. The incidence in children varies among regions and countries, with the highest rates occurring in crowded and unsanitary regions. Studies suggest that by age 5 more than a third of children in low-income areas are infected compared to 20% of children in middle-income areas. However, by the time Americans of all economic backgrounds reach age 60, about 60 – 85% have become infected with HSV-1.RISK FOR GENITAL HERPES

Although the prevalence of genital herpes is declining in the United States, it still remains in epidemic proportions. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, at least 45 million Americans age 12 and over, about 1 in 5 teenagers and adults, are infected with HSV-2.

While HSV-2 remains the main cause of genital herpes, in recent years the percentage of cases of genital herpes caused by HSV-1 has significantly increased because of of oral-genital sex. Except for people in monogamous relationships with uninfected partners, everyone who is sexually active is at risk for genital herpes.

Risk factors for genital herpes include a history of a prior sexually transmitted disease, early age for first sexual intercourse, a high number of sexual partners, and poor socioeconomic status. Women are more susceptible to HSV-2 infection because herpes is more easily transmitted from men to women than from women to men. About 1 in 4 women, compared to 1 in 8 men, have genital herpes People with compromised immune systems, notably patients with HIV, are at very high risk for HSV-2. These patients are also at risk for more severe complications from herpes. Other immunocompromised patients include those taking drugs that suppress the immune system and transplant patients.


The following are examples of people who are at particularly risk for specific forms of herpes. Health care providers, including doctors, nurses, and dentists. This group is at higher than average risk for herpetic whitlow, herpes that occurs in the fingers. Wrestlers, rugby players, and other athletes who participate in direct contact sports without protective clothing. These individuals are at risk for herpes gladiatorum, an unusual form of HSV-1 that is spread by skin contact with exposed herpes sores and usually affects the head or eyes.What happens if herpes is left untreated?

Discomfort and inconvenience are usually the worst problems associated with herpes. People with a weakened immune system, such as those with advanced HIV infection, may have more severe outbreaks and complications. Like other STDs, if left untreated, herpes can increase a person’s chance of getting or spreading HIV and other diseases. If you have symptoms, get examined and have proper laboratory testing as soon as possible to avoid any complications and discuss treatment options.

Chlamydia is one of the most common sexually transmitted diseases in the U.S. This infection is easily spread because it often causes no symptoms and may be unknowingly passed to sexual partners. In fact, about 75% of infections in women and 50% in men are without symptoms.

Chlamydia is a sexually transmitted disease. Chlamydia trachomatis, or simply chlamydia, is a bacterial infection caused by pathogen (germ) Chlamydia trachomatis that usually infects the genitals of both men and women, but can also infect the throat, rectum and eyes. Chlamydia is one of the most common STD’s – and because more than 50% who have chlamydia have no symptoms at all – chlamydia infection usually goes untreated. A Chlamydia Test is The Only Way to Determine a Chlamydia Infection.How is Chlamydia Contracted?

Chlamydia is mainly passed through sexual activity: vaginal or anal sex with an infected partner oral sex, although this is less common sharing sex toys touching parts of the body with fingers (for example, chlamydia often occurs in the eyes) You can NOT catch chlamydia from simple kissing, sharing baths, towels, cups, or from toilet seats.Are You at Risk For Chlamydia?

Get a Chlamydia Test Today It is not easy to tell if you are infected with chlamydia since symptoms are usually not apparent. But when they do occur, they are usually noticeable within 1-3 weeks of contact. Chlamydia testing is transmitted through genital contact and/or sexual intercourse with someone already infected. Chlamydia Testing Is Highly Recommended by the CDC.

What If Chlamydia is Not Treated Without treatment, chlamydia infection can spread to other parts of the body causing damage and serious long-term health problems. After Chlamydia Testing has been performed make sure to get proper treatment if needed.In women, chlamydia can cause pelvic inflammatory disease, which can lead to:

Ectopic pregnancy (a pregnancy outside the womb)

Blocked fallopian tubes (the tubes which carry the egg from the ovaries to the womb), which can result in reduced fertility or infertility

Long-term pelvic pain

Early miscarriage or premature birthIn men, chlamydia can lead to:

Painful inflammation of the testicles, which may result in reduced fertility or sterility occasionally,Reiter’s syndrome (inflammation of the joints, urethra and eyes)

Gonorrhea is a sexually transmitted bacterial infection that tends to attack the mucous membranes of the body. Gonorrhea is caused by the growth and proliferation of the bacteria Neisseria gonorrhea. The disease can survive in the eye, rectum, mouth, penis, throat, or vagina. This means that it can be transmitted through any variety of sexual contact.

It is the second most common sexually transmitted disease in the U.S.; the first being Chlamydia. The bacteria reside in the warm and moist body cavities of both men and women and are highly contagious. Anatomically, women are at a higher risk of infection. Gonorrhea is the most common cause of female infertility and is also known as “the clap” or “the drip”. Only small percentage of women infected with the disease show any symptoms, leaving them and their partners, unaware of their condition. If left untreated, gonorrhea patients can develop pelvic inflammatory disease or PID (women), or an inflammation of the epididymis, prostate gland, or urethral structure (men), all of which are far more difficult to treat.How do you contract it?

Gonorrhea is spread through contact with the penis, vagina, mouth, or anus. The disease can be passed through any sexual contact. Ejaculation does not have to occur for gonorrhea to be transmitted or acquired. Sexual fluids may also infect the eye and other body parts. Gonorrhea can also be spread from mother to baby during delivery.

People who have had gonorrhea and received treatment may get infected again if they have sexual contact with a person infected with gonorrhea.Am I at risk?

Anyone who has sexual relations with an infected person is at risk. The risk increases when people do not use condoms, or when people have multiple sexual partners.

Gonorrhea may be spread by genital, anal, or oral genital sex. In the United States, the highest rates of gonorrhea infection occur among teenagers and adults in their twenties.

People who have chlamydial infections, or other sexually transmitted diseases, are more likely to have gonorrhea as well. The reason being is that any infection can weaken the immune system and allow other opportunistic infections to occur. Public health officials recommend that all sexually active young women and young men be tested regularly for both gonorrhea and chlamydia.What if it goes untreated?

Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID). PID is an infection of a woman’s reproductive organs above the cervix, such as the fallopian tubes and ovaries. Untreated gonorrhea is a common cause of PID. PID can lead to infertility, pregnancy problems, and pelvic pain. Some women have no symptoms of PID, and the damage caused by PID cannot be fixed. This laboratory tests and treating gonorrhea is so important. Widespread infection to other parts of the body can happen. It can affect the blood, joints, heart, and organs. Increased risk of getting HIV or spreading HIV is also a major concernWhat are the symptoms of syphilis?

A sore, known as a primary lesion, appears about 3 weeks after a person has been exposed. This lesion may be on or around the mouth, genitals or anus. It is small and painless, and usually goes away in about 3 weeks even without medicine. The primary lesion is highly infectious, meaning that anyone who touches it will almost certainly become infected with syphilis. However, because the lesion is so small and painless, it often goes unnoticed by the infected person or the people with whom they are having sex.

Approximately 4 weeks after the primary sore goes away different symptoms known as secondary symptoms may appear. These secondary symptoms can look like many common skin problems. Some people get rashes on their arms, legs, face, back, or stomach. One of the most common places people infected with syphilis get a rash is on the palms of their hands and/or the soles of their feet. People may get a rash inside their mouth, which will look like white patches, and may lose their hair, eyebrows, and/or eyelashes due to a rash in those areas. These secondary rashes are not as infectious as the primary sore, but if the rash is in the genital area or the mouth. A infected person can spread syphilis during this time as well. These secondary symptoms last about four weeks and will usually fade and then disappear without any medicine.How would I know if I have syphilis?

If you have a sore on your genitals, have an STD check. Special tests can diagnose syphilis from sores. A blood test for syphilis can be done. You could have syphilis and not know it. Anytime you have a test for STDs, ask for a syphilis blood test also.

“Hepatitis” means inflammation of the liver. Toxins, certain drugs, some diseases, heavy alcohol use, and bacterial and viral infections can all cause hepatitis. Hepatitis is also the name of a family of viral infections that affect the liver; the most common types are Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B, and Hepatitis C.What is the difference between Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B, and Hepatitis C?

Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B, and Hepatitis C are diseases caused by three different viruses. Although each can cause similar symptoms, they have different modes of transmission and can affect the liver differently. Hepatitis A appears only as an acute or newly occurring infection and does not become chronic. People with Hepatitis A usually improve without treatment. Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C can also begin as acute infections, but in some people, the virus remains in the body, resulting in chronic disease and long-term liver problems. There are vaccines to prevent Hepatitis A and B; however, there is not one for Hepatitis C. If a person has had one type of viral hepatitis in the past, it is still possible to get the other types.