Did you know that there are more than 20 types of STIs in the world?
The most common being chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis, and of course, HIV. Herpes (since the late 1980’s) and recently, HPV are also becoming commonly known STIs, but there may be some you aren’t familiar with, so here are three:
1. Scabies, we’ve all (generalizing) heard of scabies but did you know it was an STI?
Scabies are more of an infestation than an infection because its caused by little mites that dig into the skin and plant their eggs in there. They often spread through skin to skin contact (like majority STIs) and through sex *scabies can attach/appear in the genital region.* The misconception is that scabies only occurs from uncleanliness but anyone can get scabies. Symptoms don't appear until four to six weeks: they usually appear between the fingers and through skin lesions. It is treatable and can disappear after 24 hours (with treatment). Read for more information or to understand why Scabies are considered an STI
2. Lymphogranuloma Venereum (LGV) *think of it as the cousin once removed from chlamydia and the probably twin sister/brother of syphilis*
Fact: Most people don’t know that the same bacteria from Chlamydia trachomatis causes a separate STD called lymphogranuloma venereum (LGV. It's more common in men than women and curable.
The bacteria is spread by sexual contact via the genitals (mainly anal) and symptoms begin a few days or months after. Symptoms: Small sores, swelling and redness in the groin area or labia, lymph nodes, and some oozing in the rectal area. Like syphilis, the LGV comes in three stages: the primary which is when symptoms become noticeable, the secondary stage where inflamation, fever, and acute hemorrhagic proctitis following anal intercourse occurs. A tree week course of antibiotics is administered to prevent the final stage. The tertiary stage, where you can experience chronic inflammation as well as ulcers, and genital elephantiasis. The US only has sporadic outbreaks and can be found in South America and in recent years, Europe. Read More
3. Chancroid *It's very rare in the U.S, found in more tropical regions*
It's a bacterial infection that can appear within 10 days of initial infection and can include the formation of a swollen, open sore on the genitals as well as the lymph nodes. Interestingly enough, this is an oral STI, so it can be transmitted via oral sex and like other STIs: skin to skin contact. You can contract from *similar to syphilis and gonorrhea*
Chancroid is treatable/curable with antibiotics depending on the stage, sometimes surgery is needed to remove the disease. Learn More
STIs affect more than 13 million people, there are six treatable/curable STIs (using antibiotics), about five have the ability to clear on their own (you should still seek treatment or more information), and others like HIV that aren't treatable/curable but are manageable. It's best to get tested, ask questions from your doctor, and most important: Practice Safe Sex. Use a condom during intercourse, penetration or oral (Latex Condoms, FC2 condoms, and dental dams)
Interested Fact: Did you know men can also get yeast infections?