They can last up to three weeks and are often just thought of as a mild viral illness or the flu. This stage is known as the primary infection with HIV. The symptoms of any primary infection may settle without any treatment and you can remain without any symptoms for several years — up to 10 years. Many people do not realise that they are infected as the virus continues to multiply resulting in a gradual fall of the number of CD4 T cells. During this time, suffers may develop persistent night sweats swollen lymph glands.
As the HIV infection advances with time, other problems start popping up: If left untreated, these symptoms may clear without treatment and infected persons keep on shedding and transmitting the infection. Gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men are also at risk since HIV can spread through oral and anal sex. You are at a higher risk of contracting HIV if you inject drugs, have HIV infection or are on immunosuppressive therapy. I think I may have HIV.
The first thing you do is see your doctor and have an honest and open talk with them. These days, most sexual health clinics offer a rapid blood test for HIV and can give results within thirty minutes. Even if this is not available, the results are usually available within a week. The advancement of modern medicine means these days the tests will pick up the infection a month after first being infected as opposed to three months with the older tests.
If you are tested positive for HIV, you will need to do a further test to determine the viral load the amount of virus in your blood and the number of CD4 T cells in your blood. These tests are often done periodically to assess the progress of the infection and the response to treatment. Yes, the cure for HIV is yet to be discovered. This is often done through the administration of antiretroviral medicines, which reduce the rate of replication of the virus in the body.
The most effective treatment usually comprises taking three or more antiretroviral medicines at the same time to attack HIV at different points in its cycle of replication, as it is more effective than one or two medicines alone.
This also minimises, or at least reduces, the risk that the virus will become resistant to any individual medicine. The three different medicines were combined into a single pill and the first one pill a day treatment was launched in This treatment remains the popular choice as it is convenient to take and has few side effects common ones include nausea, vomiting and headaches.
You are likely to have regular blood tests to monitor the viral load and for side effects whilst taking treatment. Your doctor should advise the most appropriate treatment and the timing of treatment for you. It is vitally important to take the medication regularly and exactly as prescribed to maintain success and to help prevent the virus from becoming resistant to the medicines.
It is common for people with HIV to feel down and depressed after the diagnosis is made, if this is you, you need to speak to your doctor about this. If you have a current HIV infection you should avoid having sex with anyone.
You should not donate blood, semen or carry a donor card, not share razor or injecting equipment or any other equipment that may be contaminated by blood. If you have a cut or wound, you must cover them with a dressing. If your blood spills onto the floor or other surfaces, it must be cleaned away with bleach.
I am depressed just reading this. This is too hard. Can I just pretend it never happened? This usually happens within years, but it can be shorter. The number one life threatening infection affecting people living with HIV is tuberculosis. Your sexual partner should be tested even if they do not have symptoms. If they are not treated, they risk passing the infection back to you and possibly spreading it to others. Should I just like, you know, stop having sex altogether?
Can my partner at least be protected? If you are infected with HIV, you need to abstain from sexual activities. This is the most effective way to limit your HIV transmission.
There is currently no vaccine to prevent HIV infection. This is because the development of one is proving to be very difficult as the HIV virus is constantly mutating and changing. But if you must have sex, then you must always use protection. Or you can do non-penetrative sex. If you are a male and your partner, a female, has HIV, a one-time intervention, medical male circumcision may provide life-long partial protection against HIV as well as other sexually transmitted infections.
This is a part of a comprehensive HIV prevention package and is not a replacement of other known methods of prevention, such as female and male condoms.
Syphilis is less common than chlamydia and gonorrhoea in Australia, but much more common in developing parts of the world. You need to have very intimate and direct contact with an infected person. You are unlikely to catch syphilis through sharing clothing, cutlery, touching door knobs, toilet seats etc. How do I know I contracted Syphilis? Tell me, what symptoms should I look for? Syphilis usually starts with a painless ulcer on your genitals.
Left untreated, syphilis infection can spread to other parts of your body, including your heart and brain, causing detrimental consequences. Syphilis can also be passed from a pregnant mother to her unborn baby. Neurosyphilis occurs when the syphilis infection affects the central nervous system, including the brain, spinal cord and their coverings. Neurosyphilis generally manifests in a slow and gradual loss of mental and physical function, with alterations in mood and personality. On average it occurs between one and ten years after the initial infection.
If you are pregnant and you have a syphilis infection, you risk passing the infection to your unborn baby via the placenta. This can result in the death of your unborn baby miscarriage, stillbirth etc or the transmission of the syphilis infection to the baby or the child. In rare cases, the baby or the child displays late congenital syphilis, with symptoms similar to neurosyphilis in an adult, with problems affecting the eyes and joints, as well as deafness, gummas and dental abnormalities.
Syphilis is often difficult to diagnose because it mimics many other illnesses. If you are pregnant, worry not — all pregnant women are screened for syphilis as part of the routine antenatal blood tests that are usually done between 8 and 16 weeks of pregnancy.
The first thing you do is see your doctor and tell them your concerns. As syphilis is caused by a bacteria, it is generally easily treated in its early stages, with a course or single dose of an antibiotic medicine, usually in the form of injections.
A single dose can be given for primary and secondary syphilis. Later stages may need a course of three injections, at weekly intervals. Neurosyphilis usually requires more frequent, daily doses for a couple of weeks. Unfortunately, some of the problems associated with the final stage tertiary syphilis cannot be completely cured with antibiotics.
However, it is still advisable to continue with antibiotic treatment as it may prevent further worsening of some your conditions. Despite treatment, cardiovascular complications may still worsen. It is therefore imperative that you get tested and treated early. You must avoid having sex until the syphilis sores are completely healed and a test confirms that the syphilis infection has gone. You must remember that syphilis is caught by close skin-to-skin contact with the oozing fluid from the ulcer, so it is not just penetration and ejaculation that lead to the spread of syphilis.
How I can prevent it? What about my partner? If you are infected with syphilis, you need to abstain from sexual activities. This is the most effective way to limit your syphilis transmission.
It is important to tell your current sexual partner s so that they can also be tested for syphilis and other STIs and receive treatment where necessary. Practising safe sex by using a condom reduces your risk of catching syphilis and other STIs.
However, bear in mind that using condoms does not provide complete protection, as syphilis ulcers can sometimes be on areas not covered by a condom. If you have had syphilis and had it treated, you can still be re-infected if you have sex with an infected person as the antibodies in your blood are not sufficient to protect you from another infection if you come into contact with syphilis again.
If you have caught syphilis , there is a good chance that you may also have another STI. We can also put you in touch with services that can organise contact tracing.
This means informing your previous sexual partners confidentially and anonymously that they need testing for STIs, including syphilis. This is especially important if you are unable or unwilling to do this yourself.
If you suspect you have syphilis , you are advised to immediately book a consultation by contacting us on Arys Health by ringing or sms or book online. It is important that your treatment starts as early as possible and that your infection is investigated, treated and followed up by our team of sexual health professionals who operate on a confidential basis.
As the name implied, hepatitis B is caused by the hepatitis B virus. Once the hepatitis B virus enters your blood stream, it travels to your liver, the main site of hepatitis B virus multiplication.
There are two stages of hepatitis B infection: Once suffers reach this chronic stage, they must be diagnosed and receive appropriate monitoring and treatment, otherwise they are in danger of dying from cirrhosis scarring of the liver , liver failure or liver cancer. Hepatitis in general can be caused by excessive consumption of alcohol, drugs and chemical. As hepatitis B is a viral infection, most people with hepatitis B get the infection by having unprotected vaginal, anal or oral sex with an infected person — blood and other bodily fluids, such as semen and vaginal secretions, contain the virus in infected people.
Hepatitis B infection is considered acute in the first six months after contraction, and most infected people often do not realise that they are infected and can pass on the virus during sexual encounters. This is because the symptoms are often generalised, i.
As the hepatitis B virus is spread through infected blood, any contact through a cut or wound in your body would allow the virus to enter your blood stream. This can happen through getting a bite from an infected person, or when their blood spills onto your eyes, mouth or open skin. It is also possible to contract the hepatitis B virus through sharing toothbrushes, razors and other such items that may be contaminated with blood.
The virus can actually live outside the body for more than one week. The virus is not passed on through ordinary social contact including hugging, kissing or from sharing cups or cutlery as long as these activities do not involve contact with blood. The first time you contracted the hepatitis B virus, you may develop symptoms of acute hepatitis B, which include fever, vomiting, nausea, abdominal pains and feeling generally unwell.
You may become jaundiced look yellow due to a build-up of the chemical bilirubin that is made in the liver and spills into the blood in some liver conditions. These symptoms usually clear after a few weeks as your immune system either fights the virus or brings it under control.
But in about half of cases, acute hepatitis B infection results in no symptoms, or only mild flu-like symptom. This is why a lot of people are not aware that they have been infected with hepatitis B. This is usually the case with new born babies who are infected with hepatitis B from their mothers during childbirth usually have no initial symptoms.
This may occur regardless of whether you experience symptoms during the acute phase. This commonly occurs with infected newborn babies who contracted the infection from their mothers where the virus remains in their system usually for life. The chance of full recovery only exists for adults who became infected with hepatitis B, not babies.
Once your infection has advanced to the chronic state, it is possible for you to remain well. In other words, you are just a carrier chronic inactive hepatitis B. Some suffers of chronic hepatitis B are not so lucky.
They develop persistent liver inflammation. They may experience symptoms of varying severity including muscle aches, tiredness, feeling sick, lack of appetite, intolerance of alcohol, pains over the liver, jaundice and depression — or they may not experience any symptoms at all.
Left untreated for many years, suffers of chronic active hepatitis B develop cirrhosis — a scarring of the liver, which may further develop into liver failure as it increases in severity. After a further period of a time, a small number of people with cirrhosis then develop liver cancer. Generally sexually active people are at risk of contracting any kind of STI, including hepatitis B.
You are at a higher risk of contracting hepatitis B if you inject drugs, have HIV infection or are on immunosuppressive therapy. You are also at risk if you are un-vaccinated and have parents from regions of the world with high rates of chronic hepatitis B. I think I have a high risk of contracting hepatitis B. Can I do anything? Learning if you are infected is the key to early diagnosis and appropriate treatment.
The best way to determine whether you have hepatitis B is to test for it. A simple blood test can detect a protein on the surface of the virus called hepatitis B surface antigen, aka HbsAg. In addition, your doctor may give you an injection of antibodies called immunoglobulin as well as starting a course of immunisation, which may prevent infection from developing. Yes, hepatitis B can be prevented through vaccination.
For adults, the hepatitis B vaccine is given as a series of 3 shots over a period of 6 months. The entire series is needed for long-term protection, and booster doses are not currently recommended. If you test positive for HBsAg, you are deemed to be infected with hepatitis B. You will need to have other tests to check on the severity of infection, liver inflammation and damage to the liver. Relax; it is not a death sentence. If you got hepatitis B, then treatment for acute phase is usually not to clear the virus from your body, but to ease the symptoms until the infection clears completely.
There is unfortunately no treatment that can prevent acute hepatitis B from advancing to chronic hepatitis B. Treatment with medicines is usually continued for many years.
There are currently two types of treatment: It is basically an immune system booster and subsequently allows your body to fight infections.
It works to fight infections by boosting your immune system. This treatment is usually given as an injection every week. The other type of treatment involves antiviral medicines, sometimes used in combination. As the name suggests, these work by stopping multiplication of the hepatitis B virus in the body.
Your doctor will recommend which treatment is most suitable for you and monitor your progress through regular blood tests. It is also possible for some people to develop resistance to their treatment medicine, which also necessitate a change in treatment. However, it is still possible for the new liver to eventually become damaged by the persisting chronic hepatitis B infection.
The treatment of hepatitis B is a developing area of medicine. New medicines continue to be developed and the information above is very general. Your doctor should be able to provide more accurate information about the outlook for your particular situation. If you have a current hepatitis B infection you should avoid having sex with anyone until they have been fully immunised and tested to see that the immunisation has worked.
If you have a cut or wound, you must cover them with a dressing, and if your blood spills onto the floor or other surfaces, it must be cleaned away with bleach.
You are also advised to eat a normal, healthy and balanced diet. Ideally, anybody with inflammation of the liver should not drink alcohol as it increases the risk and speed of cirrhosis scarring of the liver development. If uninfected, they can be vaccinated to protect them from contracting hepatitis B.
If you are infected with hepatitis B and your partner is undergoing the immunisation program for hepatitis B, you need to abstain from all kinds of sexual activities.
But if you must have sex, then you must always use protection during sexual encounters. Hepatitis C virus was first discovered in s and is considered a relatively new disease, which really means some aspects of it are yet to be completely understood. Hepatitis C is a blood borne virus; it travels through your bloodstream to the liver where it affects and damages your liver.
HCV can also affect the digestive system, immune system and the brain. There are 6 known types of HCV genotypes numbered 1 to 6. Each of these types responds differently to treatment so they need to be identified before starting treatment. And it is possible to be infected with multiple types of HCV simultaneously. Just like hepatitis B infection, hepatitis C is a viral infection.
Most people with hepatitis C are exposed to the virus through infected blood, any contact through a cut or wound in your body would allow the virus to enter your blood stream. It is also possible to contract the hepatitis C virus through sharing toothbrushes, razors and other such items that may be contaminated with blood. There is also a chance of contracting HCV by having unprotected vaginal, anal or oral sex with an infected person — blood and other bodily fluids, such as semen and vaginal secretions, contain the virus in infected people.
The good news is that HCV is not passed on through ordinary social contact including hugging, kissing or from sharing cups or cutlery as long as these activities do not involve contact with blood. Majority of people with HCV do not know they have it as they feel entirely well with very few symptoms, if any. There are two stages of hepatitis C infection: The first time you contracted the hepatitis C virus, you may develop symptoms of acute hepatitis C, which include fever, vomiting, nausea, abdominal pains and feeling generally unwell.
But in about half of cases, acute hepatitis C infection results in no symptoms, or only mild flu-like symptom. This is why a lot of people are not aware that they have been infected with hepatitis C.
If HCV stays in your system for longer, the virus advances into a chronic phase; this may occur regardless of whether you experience symptoms during the acute phase.
The existence of symptoms is not indicative of the presence of the virus in your body. Generally sexually active people are at risk of contracting any kind of STI, including hepatitis C. You are at a higher risk of contracting hepatitis C if you inject drugs, have HIV infection or are on immunosuppressive therapy. I think I have a high risk of contracting hepatitis C. The best way to determine whether you have hepatitis C is to test for it.
A simple blood test can detect antibodies to HCV. If you are tested positive, it means you have been infected with HCV at some stage; that is, you may not currently have the virus as the antibodies remain even after the virus has gone. If you have a current hepatitis C infection you should avoid having sex with anyone. The damage caused by HCV is usually very gradual.
Your doctor should advise on when to start treatment. The main aim of treatment is to get rid of the HCV in your body to prevent severe liver damage that leads to cirrhosis. Our Secret Spot has been featured in the Daily Mail. Thursday 28th June — Upskirt Thursday. Come and play at the club on Thursday. Saturday 30th June — Uniform Party. Dress in a uniform style you find sexy.
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