Sexual Responsibility Week: Day 3

Posted on February 16, 2011

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We are onto the third day of sexual responsibility week. We have learned about several STI’s and today we will continue with Gonorrhea and Hepatitis B.

Gonorrhea

What is it? Gonorrhea is a sexually transmitted infection (STI) caused by a bacteria that can grow and multiply easily in the warm, moist areas of the reproductive tract. It can also grow in the mouth, throat, eyes and anus.

How do you get gonorrhea? It is spread through contact with the penis, vagina, mouth, or anus. It can also be spread from mother to baby during delivery.Any sexually active person can become infected with gonorrhea. But it has been reported that the highest rates of infection are active teens, young adults and African Americans.

What are the Symptoms? For men, burning sensation when urinating, or a white, yellow, or green discharge from the penis. Sometimes men with gonorrhea get painful or swollen testicles. For women, symptoms include a painful or burning sensation when urinating, increased vaginal discharge, or vaginal bleeding between periods. Women with gonorrhea are at risk of developing serious complications from the infection, regardless of the presence or severity of symptoms. If left untreated gonorrhea can cause serious and permanent health problems in both women and men.

What is the treatment? Antibiotics have proved to be successful in curing gonorrhea, however, “drug-resistant strains of gonorrhea are increasing in many areas of the world, and successful treatment of gonorrhea is becoming more difficult. People who have had gonorrhea and have been treated can get the disease again if they have sexual contact with persons infected with gonorrhea.

Hepatitis B

What is it? Hep B a liver disease caused by the Hepatitis B virus (HBV). It ranges in severity from a mild illness, lasting a few weeks, to a serious long-term illness that can lead to liver disease or liver cancer.”

How do you get Hep B? You can get Hep B by having sex with an infected partner. I can also be passed down through birth and spread from an infected mother to her baby. There are also other non-sexual way in which you can get Hep B, this includes sharing needles, syringes, or other drug-injection equipment, sharing items such as razors or toothbrushes with an infected person and direct contact with the blood or open sores of an infected person

What are the symptoms? Some symptoms that can be developed can are fever fatigue, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, dark urine, clay colored bowel movements and joint pain.

What is the treatment? There are testa available that can be used to diagnose Hep b. Of course consult your doctor in order receive more information on the different tests and their meanings. There are some treatments available for Hep b but not all medications will work for everybody. The easiest way to prevent or lower the risk of contracting this disease is to receive the Hep b vaccine.

There is more to come as we continue to promote STI awareness and education! In the meantime you may call the Mayor’s Health Line at 617-534-5050 to find out how to get tested, or if you need additional information on sexually transmitted infections, take a look at the National library of Medicine here.

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