STIs

Brief information about different sexually transmitted infections:

(More information can be found in Advice and facts about sexually transmitted infections, a PDF from the Swedish Institue for Infectious Disease Control, also available at the P6-office)

HIV

…is caused by a virus that in the longterm destroys the immunesystem. HIV usually do not give any symptoms until after several years, but contamination can after 1-4 weeks cause a primary infection similair to the flu. HIV is transmitted through sperm, lubrication, breastmilk and blood/bloodproducts. There is no cure, the disease can only be eased by medicines inhibiting the growth of the virus. HIV can be tested by a bloodsample 4-8 weeks after the presumed contamination. Untreated HIV can break down the immunesystem and lead to development of AIDS.

Chlamydia

…usually do not give any symptoms. Most common is discharges, itching and burning sensations when urinating. Women can also have bleedings between periods. Chlamydia is a bacteria that is easily transmitted through contact between mucus membranes. Untreated chlamydia can lead to infertility. It is tested by a urine sample and sometimes a swab, and cured by antibiotics. Can be tested about a week after presumed contamination.

Syphilis

…have for a long time been very unusual in Sweden but is now starting to come back. May be totally symptom-free, but can cause a special untender sore around the genitals. Syphilis is a bacteria that is transmitted through mucus membrane, blood and saliva. Syphilis is tested through a bloodsample or a swab from the sore, and one have to wait 3 months after presumed contamination to be sure of detection. Is cured by penicillin. Without penicillintreatment, fever and rashes may occur, along with pain in the joints and loss of hair after ca 3 months. After several years the disease can injure the heart and brain.

Gonorrhoea

… is a bacteria easily transmitted through contact between mucus membranes. Do not necessarily give any symptoms but can after 2-7 days of contamination cause discharges and/or burning sensations when urinating. Can be tested by a swab from the urethra, cervix or other infected area about a week after presumed contamination. Is cured with antibiotics treatment, during which one is not allowed to have sex. Untreated gonorrhoea can cause inflammation in the ovaries or bitesticles and may also lead to infertility or bloodpoisoning.

Herpes

…is a virus that consists of two types. One type give blisters, rashes and sores on lips and around the mouth, and the other give the same symptoms on the genitals. The two types are transmittable between each other, through for example oralsex. Herpes is transmitted through contact with the blisters and fluid from the sores. Begins as a small itching dot or redness which then becomes fluid-filled blisters which often are very painful. A primary infection can also cause difficulties to urinate and fever. Most grown-ups carry the virus but never get any symptoms. Cannot be cured, but symptoms can be eased. The virus then rests in the body and can break out again, but then usually as a sligther outbreak. Herpes can only be tested during an ongoing outbreak by a swab from the blisters.

Condyloma/ genital warts

…is caused by the HPV-virus. Doesn’t necessarily give any symptoms, but can after a few weeks or months show as warts around and on  the genitals and anus. The warts are sometimes hard to discover. Can also cause itching, cracks in the skin and burning sensations. Condyloma can only be determined by an examination during an ongoing infection. The breakout heals by itself, but severe symptoms can be eased by a cream or a solution that is smeared on the warts. It is also possible to burn or freeze them away. HPV-virus cannot be cured and will rest in the skin and may cause new outbreaks. Some types of HPV-viruses can cause cervix-cancer, there is a vaccin for the most common types.

Hepatits

…is a virus that exists in different varieties. Primarily hepatits B is transmitted sexually through bodily fluids and easily transmitted by blood. Hepatits B causes an inflammation in the liver, and it may take 2-6 months before symptoms like pain in the joints, fever, nausea, tiredness and lack of apetite arise. The white of the eye and the skin may also turn yellow. Half of everyone with hepatits B do not have any symptoms at all. Testing is done by bloodsample, and the infection often heals by itself, although some get a chronic infection that increases the risk of livercancer. It is possible to vaccinate for hepatits A and B, but at ongoing infections only the symptoms are treated.