Afraid to Ask?
+ Women & HIV
+ What is my risk of HIV infection?
Many things increase a women’s risk of an HIV infection:
  • Younger age: There is a recent increase in HIV cases among women 13-29 years old. Young girls may not know enough about HIV.
  • Not knowing your partner’s risk factors: Some women do not know their male partner’s risk factors for HIV infection (eg unprotected sex with many partners, sex with men and drug use).
  • Risky Heterosexual risk factors: Most women are infected with HIV through high-risk heterosexual contact (female and male partners). Many young women are infected with HIV by having unprotected sex with older men.
  • Being a women and having other STDs/STIs: It is easier for women to get HIV because of the large area of the vagina. Having other sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) increase the chances of getting HIV. You may get cuts and sores that make it easier to catch HIV.
  • Substance Use: Injection drug use, sharing needle equipment, trading sex for money or drugs increases the chances of getting HIV. Alcohol and drugs can cloud your mind, making you do things you would not normally do. Alcohol and marijuana can also affect your judgement by putting you into risky situations which make it easier to catch HIV. They can also affect your decisions about whether or not you are going to have sex with a particular partner and whether or not you will use condoms in that situation.
  • Ethinicity: HIV rates are much higher for Black and Hispanic women than for White, Asian and Pacific Islander, or American Indian and Alaska Native women.
  • Socioeconomic reasons (having resources): Living in poverty is linked to less medical care, the use of illegal drugs, and increased exchange of sex for money. These increase the chances of getting HIV indirectly.
+ How is the virus spread?
HIV is spread in 3 main ways:
  • sexual
  • parenteral (by blood)
  • peri-natal (from mother to baby).
  • Open mouthed (“French kissing”) may increase risk of HIV if both of you have cuts or sores in the mouth. HIV is spread through blood and can enter through wounds.
The virus has been found in:
  • semen
  • rectal secretions
  • female genital secretions
  • blood
  • breast secretions
HIV CANNOT be spread through
  • sitting on toilet seats
  • hugging, shaking hands
  • sharing food or drinks
  • donating blood
  • working with or being around someone with HIV
  • using phones
  • getting bug bites
  • tears
  • swimming in pools
  • Dry kissing (closed mouth, cheeks) CANNOT spread HIV.
+ How can women get HIV? How can I protect myself?

Women contract HIV in 2 main ways:

  • Sexually- Women are primarily infected with HIV from having unprotected sex with an HIV positive male partner. There have been a few cases of female-to-female spread from oral-vaginal, oral-anal, contaminated sex toys, and “fingering” (likely because there were cuts on the finger).
  • Through contact with contaminated blood-- this includes sharing injection drug works (needles, syringes, etc.) used by someone with HIV.
+ How can I protect myself?
  • The best protection is to not have sex until you are in a relationship with only 1 person, are having sex only with each other, and the both of you know each other’s HIV status.
  • Use condoms if you are going to have sex. This is the most effective way to prevent getting HIV if you are having sex.
  • More than 1 partner?
    • Get testedfor HIV regularly. It is important to know your HIV status!! Getting tested for HIV also makes you stop and think about how to protect yourself from getting HIV.
  • Get tested and treated for other STDs: STDs increase your chances of getting HIV
  • Talk with your partner about HIV and STDs/STIs before you have sex
  • Know your partner’s status...encourage them to get tested for HIV
  • Use a condom and lubricantevery time you have sex
  • Do not inject drugsnot prescribed by your doctor. The needles may be contaminated with blood from other people with HIV.
  • If you do inject drugs:
    • Use only clean needles, syringes etc
    • Do not share them
    • Be careful not to have contact with other people’s blood
    • Get tested for HIV once a year
    • Consider counseling and treatment for your drug use
  • These DO NOT prevent HIV:
    • Spermicides with nonoxynol-9. These may even make it easier for you to get HIV.
    • The pill, diaphragms, birth control shots, implants
    • Do NOT douche.Douching removes some of the body’s natural protection.
  • What else?
    • Use a female condom
    • Get tested especially if you’re pregnant. You can get medications to prevent transmitting HIV to the baby
    • These DO NOT prevent HIV:
      • Spermicides with nonoxynol-9. These may even make it easier for you to get HIV.
      • The pill, diaphragms, birth control shots, implants
    • Do NOT douche.Douching removes some of the body’s natural protection.
+ I don’t have sex or use drugs. What is my risk now?
  • Heterosexual transmission and injection drug use are 2 major ways women can get HIV. don’t do either, your chances of getting HIV are very low.
  • Always remember the ABCsfor general protection:
    • A= Abstinence-not having oral, anal, vaginal sex.
    • B=Be Faithful-having only 1 sexual partner whom you know is safe
    • C=Condoms. Always use them regularly when you have sex.
  • Also, consider being a youth advocate at your school, local clinic, or community center!
+ Pregnancy & HIV
+ I’m thinking of having a baby. Will my baby be infected also?
  • If you’re thinking of getting pregnant, get yourself tested for HIV!!!! If you know you are HIV+, you can protect your baby from becoming infected.
  • HIV+ women can give HIV to their babies during pregnancy, delivery, and breast feeding.
  • With no HIV medications , about 1 out of 3 babies will become infected from an HIV+ mother
  • With medications given by your doctor, the chances of infecting the baby is less than 2 out of 100
  • Caesarian section (“c-section”) delivery reduces the chances of your baby becoming infected with HIV even further
+ Can I breastfeed if I am HIV positive?
  • HIV+ women should not breastfeed their children.Breastfeeding increases the chances of passing HIV to the baby.
  • HIV+ women should feed their babies formula by bottle to avoid the risk of transmitting HIV by breastfeeding
+ How can I lower the risk of infecting my baby?
  • There are many things you can do to prevent HIV infection to your baby (during pregnancy).
    • Linking yourself to medical care including a special HIV clinic where they can treat the HIV
    • Use Protection to prevent new STD infections
    • Avoid substance use and smoking
+ General FAQs about STDs & STIs
Q: What is a sexually transmitted disease/infection (STD/STI) ?
A: An infection or disease passed from person to person through sexual contact (eg oral, anal, vaginal)

Q: How can I protect myself from STDs?
A: There are many ways to avoid STD infections:
  • Practice your ABCs
    • A= Abstinence-not having oral, anal, vaginal sex.
    • B= Be Faithful-having a sexual relationship with only 1 person in a committed relationship
    • C= Condoms-Use a condom EVERYTIME you have vaginal, oral, anal sex. vaginal and anal sex, use a latex male condom or a female plastic (polyurethrane) condom
  • oral sex, use a dental dam (rubbery thing placed over the anus or vagina before sexual contact)
  • Avoid sex if you have any discharge, rash, sores, burning in the genital area. See a doctor. Get it checked out first.
  • Some birth control methods do NOT protect you from STDs: birth control pills, shots, implants, or diaphragms protect you from becoming pregnant but not against STDs or HIV. If you are using one of these methods you still need to use condoms to protect yourself against STDs and HIV.
  • Talk to your partner about condoms and STDs
  • Tell your doctor about STDs you or your partner may have or had
What are some common STDs?
  • AIDS
  • Gonorrhea
  • Chlamydia
  • Syphilis
  • Genital Herpes
  • Genital Human Papilloma Virus (HPV)
  • Trichomoniasis
+ HIV & AIDS
+ What is HIV?

HIV is Human Immunodeficiency Virus.

+ How is HIV spread?
  • HIV can be spread via:
    • blood
    • semen
    • vaginal fluids
    • breast milk
    • having sex (oral, anal, vaginal) with an HIV+ person
    • sharing needles with someone with HIV (injection drug use, tattooing, hormone use)
    • pregnancy, delivery, and breast feeding
    • blood transfusions (rare in US)
+ How does HIV work?

HIV enters a person’s body through unprotected sexual activity (without a condom), needle sharing with an HIV+ person (drug use), from mother to baby during pregnancy and/or childbirth, and breastfeeding. HIV also used to be transmitted through infected blood products such as blood transfusions but that doesn’t happen anymore since all blood donors are screened for HIV.

HIV targets the immune system and infects and kills a type of cell in the blood (CD4 cells/T helper cells).

HIV weakens your immune system leaving you helpless to fight off other infections (like a cold or flu virus).

When HIV has significantly killed enough CD4/T helper cells to a low enough number (200 cells per microliter of blood), that person is classified as having AIDS.

+ What are the symptoms if a person gets infected with HIV?
  • Symptoms vary from person to person.
  • Within a month or two a person may have:
  • flu like symptoms (headache, fever, tiredness)
  • swollen lymph nodes (glands in the neck and groin area)
  • Symptoms often go awaywithin a week to a month. But the virus is still in you. You can pass HIV to someone else.
+ Where did HIV come from?

Scientists think the virus came from primates (eg monkeys).They now believe the virus came from chimpanzees in West Africa.

They believe HIV went into humans when hunters were exposed to infected blood.

HIV is spread in several ways, one of which is by infected blood.

+ What is AIDS?
  • AIDS is Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome.
  • AIDS is caused by HIV and is the more advanced stage of HIV infection.
  • When a person has AIDS, they are at risk for developing “opportunistic” infections or diseases which take advantage of that person’s weakened immune system.
  • Many people with AIDS can get sick from the opportunistic infections and diseases.
  • Most opportunistic infections or diseases are preventable so it’s important to get regular medical care if you and take medications if you have AIDS.
  • Some people with AIDS don’t get any symptoms at all, so it’s important to get tested for HIV even if you feel okay.
+ How long does it take for HIV to become AIDS?

This is different for everyone. Some live for 10+ years with HIV before developing AIDS and others get it faster. Some may even go on much longer without having an AIDS diagnosis.

HIV becomes AIDS when you get very sick without treatment.

Taking HIV medications, if you are HIV+, can prevent AIDS from developing.

+ How do I get treated?
  • HIV is NOT a death sentence! Your doctor will talk to you about your health. Part of treatment is a physical exam. There will be some tests to see if you are ready for treatment.
  • HIV medications, called highly active antiretroviral therapy (or “HAART”) can prevent HIV from causing further damage to your immune system
  • HIV medications are NOT a cure for HIV. That is because the virus can hide in certain parts of your body the medications can’t get to. These parts of your body, like your brain for example, are called “hidden reservoirs” which prevent the medications form being a cure.
  • Each drug cannot work by itself, so patients must take a combination of 3 or more drugs.
  • Properly taking HIV medications helps people live longer and healthier lives. They have less infections and other problems related to HIV. The drugs lower the level of HIV in the blood and boost the immune system.
  • Taking medications regularly is tough , but it is the only way to be healthier. Always talk with your doctor about side effects and problems you have
  • HIV is not all about medicines. Other services can also be provided such as help in going back to school, getting a job, insurance issues, mental health and substance use treatments.
+ How can I prevent from getting HIV/AIDS?

There are many ways to avoid STDs and HIV:

  • Always remember the ABCs for general protection:
    • A= Abstinence-not having oral, anal, vaginal sex.
    • B=Be Faithful-having only 1 sexual partner whom you know is safe
    • C=Condoms. Always use them regularly when you have sex.
  • vaginal and anal sex, use a latex male condomor a female plastic (polyurethrane) condom
  • oral sex,use a dental dam(rubbery thing placed over the anus or vagina before sexual contact)
  • Avoid sex if you haveany discharge, rash, sores, burning in the genital area. See a doctor. Get it checked out.
  • Know some birth control methods do NOT protect you from STDs: birth control pills, shots, implants, or diaphragms
  • Talk to your partner about condoms and STDs
  • Tell your doctor about STDs you or your partner may have or had
+ Gonorrhea
+ What Is Gonorrhea?
  • A very common sexually transmitted disease (STD).You can get it by having sex with someone infected with gonorrhea.
  • Caused by a bacteriathat can grow and multiply easily in the warm, moist places in women and men. The germ can also grow in the mouth, throat, eyes, and anus.
+ How is gonorrhea spread?
  • Through contact(touching) with the penis, vagina, mouth, or anus.
  • From mother to babyduring birth
+ What are some risk factors of getting gonorrhea?
  • Any person who has sex can be infected with gonorrhea. In the United States, the highest reported rates of infection are among sexually active teenagers, young adults, and African Americans.
+ What are the symptoms of gonorrhea?
Some people may have no symptoms at all
  • Men may have
  • burning sensation when urinating
  • white, yellow, or green discharge from the penis
  • painful or swollen testicles.
  • Some women may have
  • pain or burning when urinating
  • yellow or bloody vaginal discharge
  • bleeding between menstrual periods
  • heavy bleeding with periods
  • pain during sex
Having no symptoms does not mean you don’t have gonorrhea. You can still have it and give it to someone else!
+ What is the treatment for gonorrhea?
  • Many medications can cure gonorrhea in adolescents and adults. Some people with gonorrhea may also have Chlamydia, another STD. Antibiotics (medication for germs) for both infections may be given together.
  • Take all medications prescribed to treat gonorrhea even if symptoms go away. Antibiotics stop the infection but does not repair the damage caused by the disease. It is important to get it checked out right away. If symptoms continue after finishing all the medications, see your doctor.
  • If you get treated for gonorrhea, your partner also needs treatment at the same time. You can catch gonorrhea from them again if they don’t get treated before you have sex with them again.
Prevention is still important. You can still get gonorrhea if you have sexual contact with someone infected with gonorrhea.
+ How can I prevent from getting gonorrhea?

There are many ways to avoid STDs and HIV:

  • Always remember the ABCs for general protection:
    • A= Abstinence-not having oral, anal, vaginal sex.
    • B=Be Faithful-having only 1 sexual partner whom you know is safe
    • C=Condoms. Always use them regularly when you have sex.
  • vaginal and anal sex, use a latex male condomor a female plastic (polyurethrane) condom
  • oral sex,use a dental dam(rubbery thing placed over the anus or vagina before sexual contact)
  • Avoid sex if you haveany discharge, rash, sores, burning in the genital area. See a doctor. Get it checked out.
  • Know some birth control methods do NOT protect you from STDs: birth control pills, shots, implants, or diaphragms
  • Talk to your partner about condoms and STDs
  • Tell your doctor about STDs you or your partner may have or had
+ Chlamydia
+ What is Chlamydia?
+ How is Chlamydia primarily transmitted?
  • ANY sexual contactwith an infected person
  • Chlamydia can be passed from infected mother to baby during vaginal childbirth
  • You can pass chlamydia to others without knowing. The more sex partners a person has, the greater the risk of getting infected with chlamydia. Chylamydia can be spread through oral or anal sex, so men who have sex with men (MSM) are also at risk for chlamydial infection.
+ What are some risk factors for getting chlamydia?

Any person who has sex can be infected with chlamydia. In the United States, the highest reported rates of infection are among sexually active teenagers (ages 15-19), young adults (ages 20-24), and African Americans. Females are 3 times more likely than males to get chlamydia. African Americans are 8 times more likely than whites and 3 times more likely than Hispanics to get chlamydia.

+ What are the symptoms of chlamydia?

Chylamydia is known as a silent disease because 75% of women and 50% of men have no symptoms. If symptoms do appear, they usually appear within 1 to 3 weeks after getting infected.

Women may have:

  • abnormal vaginal discharge
  • pain or burning feeling when urinating
  • lower abdominal pain
  • lower back pain
  • nausea
  • fever
  • pain during sex
  • bleeding between menstrual periods.

Men may have:

  • discharge from their penis
  • burning feeling when urinating
  • burning and itching around the opening of the penis
  • http://www.cdc.gov/std/stats/tables/table11a.htm
+ What is the treatment for chlamydia?

Chlamydia can be cured with medications. All sex partners should get tested and treated. People with chlamydia should avoid sex until treatment is completed or else re-infection is possible. Retest 3-4 months after treatment to be sure the infection is gone.

If you get treated for chlamydia, your partner also needs treatment at the same time. You can catch chlamydia from them again if they don’t get treated before you have sex with them again.

+ How can I prevent getting chlamydia?

There are many ways to avoid STDs and HIV:

  • Always remember the ABCs for general protection:
    • A= Abstinence-not having oral, anal, vaginal sex.
    • B=Be Faithful-having only 1 sexual partner whom you know is safe
    • C=Condoms. Always use them regularly when you have sex.
  • vaginal and anal sex, use a latex male condomor a female plastic (polyurethrane) condom
  • oral sex,use a dental dam(rubbery thing placed over the anus or vagina before sexual contact)
  • Avoid sex if you haveany discharge, rash, sores, burning in the genital area. See a doctor. Get it checked out.
  • Know some birth control methods do NOT protect you from STDs: birth control pills, shots, implants, or diaphragms
  • Talk to your partner about condoms and STDs
  • Tell your doctor about STDs you or your partner may have or had

For more information about Chlamydia go to: www.cdc.gov/std/chlamydia/STDFact-Chlamydia.htm

+ Syphilis
+ What is Syphilis?

A sexually transmitted disease (STD) caused by a bacteria.

+ How is syphilis primarily spread?
  • Syphilis is passed from person to person through direct contact with a syphilis sore.
  • Spread occurs during sex.
  • Mother to baby. Pregnant women with syphilis can give it to their babies.
Syphilis CANNOT be spread through:
  • contact with toilet seats
  • doorknobs
  • swimming pools, hot tubs, bathtubs
  • shared clothing
  • or eating utensils
+ What is the treatment for syphilis?

Early treatment with antibiotics can cure syphilis! Treatment cannot repair the damage that is done however. How long treatment is depends on how long you have had the disease.

You can get syphilis againif your partner is infected. Taking antibiotics does not protect you from getting syphilis again.

If you have syphilis, make sure to get tested for HIV. Many people with syphilis also have HIV and transmission of both infections together occurs frequently.

+ How can I prevent getting syphilis?

There are many ways to avoid STDs and HIV:

  • Always remember the ABCs for general protection:
    • A= Abstinence-not having oral, anal, vaginal sex.
    • B=Be Faithful-having only 1 sexual partner whom you know is safe
    • C=Condoms. Always use them regularly when you have sex.
  • vaginal and anal sex, use a latex male condomor a female plastic (polyurethrane) condom
  • oral sex,use a dental dam(rubbery thing placed over the anus or vagina before sexual contact)
  • Avoid sex if you haveany discharge, rash, sores, burning in the genital area. See a doctor. Get it checked out.
  • Know some birth control methods do NOT protect you from STDs: birth control pills, shots, implants, or diaphragms
  • Talk to your partner about condoms and STDs
  • Tell your doctor about STDs you or your partner may have or had
+ What are the symptoms of syphilis?

Many people do not have any symptoms for years, but the infection can still cause harm. Spread occurs from persons with sores.

Primary Stage

  • usually a single sore is seen. It is firm, round, small, and usually painless
  • the sore heals without treatment, but don’t be fooled. You still have syphilis and you go to the 2nd stage

Secondary Stage

  • skin rash that usually does not itch
  • the palms of the hands and the bottoms of the feet are common places the rash starts
  • rashes can be faint that they are not noticed
  • Other symptoms may include:
    • fever
    • swollen lymph glands
    • sore throat,
    • patchy hair loss
    • headaches
    • weight loss
    • muscle aches
    • fatigue

Without treatment, the infection will move on to the late stages of disease.

Late Stages

  • begins when primary and secondary symptoms disappear. The person still has disease.
  • can last for years.
  • the Late stage of disease can damage:
    • the internal organs, including the brain, nerves, eyes, heart, blood vessels, liver, bones, and joints.
  • Signs and symptoms of the late stage of syphilis include:
    • difficulty moving the muscles, paralysis, numbness, gradual blindness, and dementia (ie long term confusion making it hard to think)
    • Late stage syphilis may cause death.

Learn more at:www.cdc.gov/std/stats/tablessyph.htm

+ Genital Herpes
+ What is Genital Herpes?
  • A sexually transmitted disease (STD) caused by the herpes simplex viruses.
  • most people have little to no symptoms
  • appears as one or more blisters on or around the genitals, anus or mouth.
  • blisters break and sores form. The sores then crust over and heal. They can come back in the same location.
+ How is genital herpes primarily spread?
  • can be passed through sex by direct skin to skin contact (eg from kissing)
  • herpes can spread with or without open sores (easier to get with open sores)
+ What are some risk factors for getting genital herpes?

About 45 million Americans, age 12 and older have genital herpes. It’s estimated that up to one million people become infected each year. Genital Herpes (HSV-2) is more common in women (1 out of 4) than men (1 out of 8).

+ What are the symptoms of genital herpes?

How severe the symptoms are depends on the person. Some have mild symptoms. The first outbreak of herpes that a person has is usually the worst and hurts the most. Recurrences (future outbreaks) are usually much milder and are less painful.

During an early herpes outbreak, you may get:

  • swollen glands (lymph nodes in the groin area)
  • muscle aches
  • headache
  • fever
  • pain or difficulty during urination.

Sores show up where the virus had entered the body (eg mouth, penis, vagina). Days later, the sores become crusted and then heal with no scarring. Outbreaks come and go but are usually less severe and heal more quickly than the first outbreak.

+ What is the treatment for genital herpes?

There is NO cure for herpes medications can shorten and prevent outbreaks preventing outbreaks reduces spread to partners.

Herpes medications can only make the sores heal faster or prevent new sores.

The herpes virus can still hide in your body in places the medication can’t get to. That’s why it’s not a cure. It can only control herpes during outbreaks or prevent outbreaks.

+ How can I prevent getting genital herpes?

There are many ways to avoid STDs and HIV:

  • Always remember the ABCs for general protection:
    • A= Abstinence-not having oral, anal, vaginal sex.
    • B=Be Faithful-having only 1 sexual partner whom you know is safe
    • C=Condoms. Always use them regularly when you have sex.
  • vaginal and anal sex, use a latex male condomor a female plastic (polyurethrane) condom
  • oral sex,use a dental dam(rubbery thing placed over the anus or vagina before sexual contact)
  • Avoid sex if you haveany discharge, rash, sores, burning in the genital area. See a doctor. Get it checked out.
  • Know some birth control methods do NOT protect you from STDs: birth control pills, shots, implants, or diaphragms
  • Talk to your partner about condoms and STDs
  • Tell your doctor about STDs you or your partner may have or had

Remember: even if a person has no symptoms, he/she can still infect sex partners!

+ Genital Human Papilloma Virus (HPV)
+ What is genital HPV?
  • HPV is “human papilloma virus”
  • It is the most common sexually transmitted infection(STI)
  • It virus infects the skin and mucous membranes
  • HPV can cause genital warts or cancer of the cervix or anus
  • There are more than 40 HPV types that can infect the genital areas
+ How is HPV primarily spread?

Genital HPV is passed through sex. A person may not realize they have the infection and pass HPV to sex partners.

Why should I worry about HPV?

  • HPV types are either low-risk or high-risk types
    • low risk types may give genital warts
    • high risk types may cause cervical cancer and other less common cancers, such as cancers of the vulva, vagina, anus, and penis.
  • Your immune system clears the HPV infection naturally within two years (BOTH high risk and low risk) in most cases.
+ What are the possible signs of HPV?

Most people do not get symptomsor health problems.

  • Some may get genital warts
  • usually appear as small bumps in the genital area.
  • they may or may not show up after having sex with an infected person
  • genital warts may go away , stay the same or increase in size or number. They will NOT turn into cancer. They are not dangerous but most people want to get them treated or removed.
    • Cervical cancer does not have symptoms until it is advanced. For this reason, it is important for women to get tested regularly for cervical cancer.
    • Cervical cancer develops very slowly. Pre-cancerous warning signs can usually get detected by having a test called a Pap smear during a gynecological or pelvic exam.
+ How common is HPV?

HPV Infection

  • At least 50 percent of sexually active men and women get genital HPV at some point in their lives. In females, most infections occur in the 14-24 age range. Although men also get HPV, the virus rarely causes serious health problems. There is no test for HPV in men.

Genital Warts

  • About 1% of sexually active adults in the U.S. have genital wartsat any one time.

Cervical Cancer

  • The American Cancer Society estimates that in 2008, 11,070 women will be diagnosed with cervical cancer in the U.S.
+ What is the treatment for HPV?

Visible genital warts can be removed by applying medications your doctor prescribes or by procedures performed by a doctor (eg laser surgery) . Some people wait to see if the warts go away naturally. No one treatment is better than another.

Cervical cancer most treatable when it is diagnosed and treated early

Ask your doctor about the newest cancer treatments (eg surgery, drugs)

+ How can I prevent getting HPV

An HPV vaccine can protect females from the 4 types of HPV that cause most cervical cancers and genital warts. The vaccine is recommended for young people.

Avoid sexual activity 100%. The way to avoid HPV is to not have sex (see section on avoiding STDs here).

You may decrease HPV infections by:

  • Using condoms- Condoms protect skin that is covered but HPV can infect skin that is not covered
  • Being in a faithful relationship with someone with no or a few sex partners. There is still a chance your partner may have been infected previously. It may not possible to know if a partner is currently infected.
+ How can I prevent HPV related diseases?

An HPV vaccine can protect females from the 4 types of HPV that cause most cervical cancers and genital warts. The vaccine is recommended for young people.

Avoid sexual activity 100%. the way to avoid HPV is to not have sex (see section on avoiding STDs here).

You may decrease HPV infections by:

  • Always remember the ABCs for general protection:
    • A=Abstinence-not having oral, anal, vaginal sex.
    • B=Be Faithful-having only 1 sexual partner whom you know is safe
    • C=Condoms. Always use them regularly when you have sex.
  • vaginal and anal sex, use a latex male condomor a female plastic (polyurethrane) condom
  • oral sex,use a dental dam(rubbery thing placed over the anus or vagina before sexual contact)
+ Trichomoniasis
+ What is Trichomoniasis?

An infection caused by a parasite called Trichomoniasis vaginalis.

Both men and women can get trichomoniasis.

More common in women.

+ How is trichomoniasis primarily spread?

Transmitted through vaginal sex with an infected partner.

Touching moist objects such as towels, wet clothing, or a toilet seat, if the genital area touches these moist objects.

+ What are the symptoms of trichomoniasis?

Most people do not have symptoms.

Some men may have:

  • irritation inside the penis
  • mild clear discharge
  • slight burning after urination or ejaculation.

Women may have:

  • yellow, green, or gray vaginal discharge (often foamy) with a strong smell
  • discomfort during sex and when urinating
  • irritation and itching in the genital area
+ What is the treatment for trichomoniasis?

Prescription medication can cure trichomoniasis. A person can become re-infected after treatment if exposed again. Both partners should be treated and to stop sex until treatment is completed.

+ How can I prevent getting trichomoniasis?

An HPV vaccine can protect females from the 4 types of HPV that cause most cervical cancers and genital warts. The vaccine is recommended for young people.

Avoid sexual activity 100%. the way to avoid HPV is to not have sex (see section on avoiding STDs here).

You may decrease HPV infections by:

  • Always remember the ABCs for general protection:
    • A=Abstinence-not having oral, anal, vaginal sex.
    • B=Be Faithful-having only 1 sexual partner whom you know is safe
    • C=Condoms. Always use them regularly when you have sex.
  • vaginal and anal sex, use a latex male condomor a female plastic (polyurethrane) condom
  • oral sex,use a dental dam(rubbery thing placed over the anus or vagina before sexual contact)
+ HIV and Transgender Youth
+ What is my risk for HIV infection?

Younger age: There are higher rates of HIV among transgender youth than other youth populations.

Not knowing your partner’s risk factors or HIV status. Many transgender youth do not know their male partner’s risk factors for HIV (eg unprotected sex with many partners, sex with other men and drug use) or HIV status.

Many transgender youth are infected with HIV from having sex with older men, needle sharing during hormone use and being engaged in unprotected commercial sex work.

Many transgender youth engage in unprotected anal sex as a “bottom” with partners who may be HIV positive.

Substance Use: Injection drug use, sharing needle equipment, trading sex for money or drugs increases the chances of getting HIV. Alcohol and drugs can cloud your mind, making you do things you would not normally do. Alcohol and marijuana can also affect your judgement by putting you into risky situations which make it easier to catch HIV. They can also affect your decisions about whether or not you are going to have sex with a particular partner and whether or not you will use condoms in that situation.

+ Risks of “Street” Hormone Use
  • You cannot be sure of the quality or exact content of “street” hormones. Many youth inject substances into their body thinking they are transgender hormone treatment but don’t really know what they are injecting. Many street hormones may be contaminated or expired.
  • Many transgender youth engage in risky behaviors such as unprotected commercial sex work just to be able to afford buying hormones. Street hormones are usually very expensive and it may be difficult to get hormones on an ongoing basis.
  • Many transgender youth purchase transgender treatment hormones via the Internet. Not all online sources are reliable for buying hormones. It is much safer to obtain hormones under your doctor’s prescription in a local pharmacy.
  • If you inject yourself with hormones, regardless of where you get them, you need to be fully trained in sterile injection technique and needle disposal. You also need to have sterile supplies and be able to obtain them by prescription or from a needle exchange program.
  • If you don’t have an alternative to sterile needle supplies, you should learn about how to re-sterilize your own needles for reuse. For more info on how to clean your used needles see: http://www.albany.edu/sph/AIDS/prevention_3.html
  • Many transgender youth do not have enough information about hormone doses and use doses of street hormones that are too high. The risks of doses that are too high include liver damage, blood clots which can lead to stroke and other blood clotting problems. If you are on other medications for HIV or psychiatric treatment, hormones can have dangerous interactions with these medications. It is safer to take hormones in these situations under a doctor’s supervision.
+ What are the benefits for transgender youth to get
treatment in a clinic setting?
  • Having a doctor, psychiatrist, or therapist who knows your specific issues and with whom you can develop a rapport can be a huge support for you.
  • Mental health follow up is important to monitor for mood changes and other effects related to hormonal therapy. Medical follow up is important to monitor changes in your body and to monitor hormone blood levels.
  • By getting transgender care in a clinic you will also be able to access routine health care.
  • In a clinic setting you can usually also get screening for sexually transmitted diseases such as gonorrhea, chlamydia, herpes, human papilloma virus, hepatitis A, B and C, and HIV
  • Many clinics which provide transgender treatment can also offer you “transgender- friendly” mental health services. These services can help you to get started on hormones and help you with other problems you may have in your life.
  • Many clinics which provide transgender treatment can also offer you access to case management services to help you with housing, education, and health insurance. The case managers can also assist you with changing your gender on your identity cards (Medicaid, driver’s license, etc.) and refer you to legal services to assist with legally changing your name.
  • Some clinics may be able to provide you with hormones free of charge or through a low cost fee if you are not insured.
  • If you also have HIV or hepatitis B or C, you can get treatment for these problems while safely getting hormone treatment. Treatment of all these diseases while getting hormone treatment may result in multiple drug interactions and are best done under a physician’s supervision.
+ What are the risks of silicone injections?

Silicone is dangerous if injected directly into the skin and tissues just beneath the skin. These include having severe immune system or allergic reactions and blood clots to your lungs.

Silicone injections may provide instant changes to your body that you may feel are desirable, such as larger breasts, hips, cheek bones and buttocks. After a period of time the silicone starts to break down and will permanently change your appearance in an undesirable manner.

Avoid silicone injections completely. You can always go to a plastic surgeon at some point if you want to get implants which are much safer. /p>

+ HIV and Young Men Who Have Sex With Men
+ What is my risk for HIV infection?

Younger age: There are higher rates of HIV among transgender youth than other youth populations.

Not knowing your partner’s risk factors or HIV status. Many young men do not know their male partner’s risk factors for HIV (eg unprotected sex with many partners or drug use) or HIV status. This is particularly true of young men who “hook up” with sexual partners online.

Many young men are infected with HIV from having sex with older men, sometimes in dependent or abusive relationships. Some young men are infected with HIV from being engaged in “escorting” or unprotected commercial sex work.

Being a “bottom” during unprotected anal sex with a partner who may be HIV positive is the highest risk sexual act for catching HIV.

Substance Use: Injection drug use, sharing needle equipment, trading sex for money or drugs increases the chances of getting HIV. Alcohol and drugs can cloud your mind, making you do things you would not normally do. Alcohol and marijuana can also affect your judgement by putting you into risky situations which make it easier to catch HIV. They can also affect your decisions about whether or not you are going to have sex with a particular partner and whether or not you will use condoms in that situation.

+ What are the benefits for HIV+ young men to get medical treatment in a clinic setting?
  • Having a doctor, psychiatrist, or therapist who knows your specific issues and with whom you can develop a rapport can be a huge support for you.
  • In a clinic setting you can usually also get screening for sexually transmitted diseases such as gonorrhea, chlamydia, herpes, human papilloma virus, hepatitis A, B and C, and HIV
  • Many clinics which provide transgender treatment can also offer you “transgender- friendly” mental health services. These services can help you to get started on hormones and help you with other problems you may have in your life.
  •  Many clinics which provide medical treatment can also offer you “gay- friendly” mental health services. These services can help you to improve your health and with other problems you may have in your life such as family issues, relationships, and coming out.

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