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Sexually Transmitted Diseases

  • Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) are diseases passed from one person to another through sexual contact, either genitally, orally, or anally.
  • Some examples of STDs include syphilis, gonorrhea, genital warts, AIDS, etc.
  • Common modes of transmission of STDs include:
    • General sex (sex through male and female sex organs)
    • Oral sex
    • Anal sex
  • HIV is a virus that damages the immune system; the immune system is the part in the body that helps to fight off infections.
  • Untreated HIV infects and kills white blood cells. The more white blood are killed, the weaker the body is against infections and cancers.
  • HIV is transmitted through bodily fluids that include:
    • blood
    • semen
    • vaginal and rectal fluids
    • breast milk
  • HIV does not spread in air, water, or through casual contact.
  • HIV is a lifelong condition, and currently there is no cure.
  • With medical care, including a treatment calledĀ antiretroviral therapy, it’s possible to manage HIV and live with virus for many years.
  • Some of the ways with which HIV is spread from person to person include:
    • by having unprotected sex (either vaginal or anal) with an infected person.
    • by sharing needles, syringes, and other items for injection drug use.
    • by sharing sharp unsterilized objects with infected persons.
    • during pregnancy, labor, orĀ  delivery from a woman to her baby.
    • during breastfeeding.
    • through ‘pre-mastication’, – chewing a baby’s food before feeding it to them.
    • through exposure to the blood of someone living with HIV, such as through blood transfusions.
  • AIDS is a disease that can develop in people with HIV; it’s not every person who has HIV that would develop AIDS.
  • AIDS develops when HIV is not treated.
  • If AIDS does develop, it means the immune system is severely compromised; it is weakened to the point where it can no longer fight off most diseases and infections.
  • There is no known cure to AIDS.
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