Information on sexually transmitted infections

HIV

It is caused by a virus that in the long-term destroys the immune system. HIV  does not usually give any symptoms until after several years, but contamination can cause after 1-4 weeks a primary infection similar to the flu. HIV is transmitted through sperm, lubrication, breastmilk and blood products. There is unfortunately no cure and the disease can only be eased by medicines inhibiting the growth of the virus. HIV is tested trough a blood sample 4-8 weeks after the presumed contamination. Untreated HIV can break down the immune system and lead to the development of AIDS.

Chlamydia

It does not usually cause any symptoms but if they were to appear discharges, itching and burning sensations when urinating are the most common. Women can also experience bleeding 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. It can be cured with antibiotics and can also be tested about a week after presumed contamination.

Syphilis

It has for a long time been very unusual in Sweden but is now starting to come back. Syphilis 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 blood sample or a swab from the sore. One has to wait 3 months after presumed contamination to be sure it is detected. It can be cured with penicillin. Without penicillin treatment, fever and rashes may occur along with pain in the joints and loss of hair after 3 months. After several years the disease can injure the heart and brain.

Gonorrhoea

It is a bacteria easily transmitted through contact between mucus membranes. Even though it might not necessarily cause any symptoms, it can cause discharges and/or burning sensations when urinating after 2-7 days of contamination. It can be tested by a swab from the urethra, cervix or other infected area about a week after presumed contamination. Gonorrhoea is cured with antibiotics treatment during which one is not allowed to have sex. Untreated gonorrhoea can cause inflammation in the ovaries or testicles and may also lead to infertility or blood poisoning.

Herpes

This 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 oral sex. Herpes is transmitted through contact with the blisters and fluid from the sores. It begins as a small itching dot or redness which then becomes fluid-filled blisters that are often  very painful. A primary infection can also cause difficulties to urinate and fever. Most grown-ups carry the virus but never get any symptoms. Herpes 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 slighter outbreak. Herpes can only be tested during an ongoing outbreak by a swab from the blisters.

Condyloma / Genital Warts

It is caused by the HPV-virus and it does not 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 vaccine for the most common types.

Hepatitis

It is a virus that exists in different varieties. Primarily hepatitis B is transmitted sexually through bodily fluids and easily transmitted by blood. Hepatitis 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 appetite arise. The white of the eyes and the skin may also turn yellow. Half of everyone with hepatitis B do not have any symptoms at all. Testing is done by blood sample and the infection often heals by itself although some get a chronic infection that increases the risk of liver cancer. It is possible to vaccinate for hepatitis A and B but at ongoing infections only the symptoms are treated.

Translate »