STD Homepage : Online STD Knowledgebase

holding-handsCurious about sexually transmitted diseases? Whether you or a loved one has an STD, or if you are just looking for information, STD Homepage provides useful advice and facts for common sexually transmitted infections and diseases.

While a broad range of STDs are discussed on this website, our current focus on STDHomepage.com is education and treatment information about the herpes simplex virus. Whether you are looking for information on HSV or other conditions, please use our navigation tabs to help you narrow down your search.

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The Responsibility of Genital Herpes & Other STDs

on-teaching-responsibilityIf you have genital herpes or any other STD, it is your responsibility to ensure that your future partners do not get infected. It’s a heavy burden and not a fair one – after all, no one ever deserves and STD, or went out of their way to infect themselves!

If you have an STD, you know how embarrassing and unpleasant it can be. Whether the person you are sexually interested in is a casual acquaintance or someone you love dearly, you need to be upfront with them. This isn’t just good advice (and hopefully doesn’t come off as ‘preachy’ advice!) but is good legal advice as well.

If you didn’t already know, you can be sued by a person you infect with genital herpes if they did not know that you had the virus. It’s true. There’s a large precedent for it – even celebrities with genital herpes have had to pay ex-partners after infecting them with HSV. There have been multiple cases of HSV-positive individuals being sued for millions of dollars for not informing their partners that they had genital herpes before having sexual intercourse.

The majority of people with HSV are genuine and honest people who would not be comfortable with potentially infecting their partner in the first place. But for those who perhaps need some more motivation to put the health of their partners over their own desires, the threat of such a lawsuit should be enough to keep their clothes on until the tough conversations have been had.

For those already in relationships and who have every intention of telling their significant others, but are having trouble having ‘the conversation,’ you shouldn’t be so fearful. When you bring up your condition, be sure to be prepared – learn as much as you can about the virus (if you don’t already know everything) so that you can answer your partner’s questions. Stress how common the disease is, and how treatment greatly decreases the chance of spreading the virus. Be sure to discuss that outside of the outbreaks, you’re as normal as you’ve ever been, even before the disease.

If you are calm and knowledgeable about the topic, there isn’t too much to fear going into the conversation. Your partner has every right to refuse or accept you, but to keep silent about your condition in order to keep that person close to you is selfish and unfair to your partner. This isn’t meant to sound accusing – but you need to be aware of the risks before you allow the sexual aspect of the relationship to go on any longer. The threat of transmitting this disease to someone you care about should be enough of a reason to motivate you to talk about your disease; and if you don’t have that much concern for your partner, then the lawsuit penalty should be your motivation.

When you get an STD, you get more than just a condition. You get a hard responsibility that most other people will never be able to relate to. It’s a difficult truth to accept, but it is absolutely necessary to your personal and romantic life that you be honest with yourself and your partners in order to protect them from the disease that affects you.

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The Most Common STD? HPV.

08-22-11-hpv-graphic-by-alison-burkeHPV is properly known as Human Papillomavirus. This sexually transmitted disease is actually a catchall term for the more than 100 different kinds of HPV, which often have different symptoms. Some strains of HPV will have no outward symptoms at all while others will result in genital warts. Unfortunately, HPV that does not cause genital warts has been linked to increased incidences of cervical cancer in women and penile and anal cancer in men.

The myth around HPV is that it has no outward effects. Genital warts caused by HPV can happen on both women and men, however, so it is important that if you ever see such warts, you should schedule an appointment with your doctor.

HPV Vaccine

During the mid 2000s, two HPV vaccines were developed that both serve different but incredible purposes. Both vaccines (Gardasil & Cervarix) protect against two major strains of HPV that are responsible for 80% of anal cancers, 70% of cervical cancers, 60% of vaginal cancers, and 40% of vulvar cancers. Gardasil has the additional benefit of protecting against two other forms of HPV which are responsible for 90% of genital warts. Both vaccines are also linked to lowering the incidence of precancerous cervical lesions as well as reducing the chance of developing penile cancers.

Learn more about HPV & HPV vaccines on the US Center for Disease Control website.

These vaccines will not be effective if they are taken by people who already have genital warts or one of the above mentioned cancers, but these vaccines are excellent guards for those who do not yet have HPV. Because the vaccine lasts for life, the U.S. government and many other governments recommend having young girls vaccinated in their early teens.

Men & HPV

Historically HPV has been associated more with women than men. This is not because women contract the virus more, but because HPV is the cause of so many female forms of cancer (cervical, vulvar, vaginal, etc.). But this does not mean the vaccine is only for women, or that men should not care about HPV. The Center for Disease Control has determined that men and women have similar rates of HPV, though women are generally the ones who suffer more from it because of the virus’s ability to cause cancer in women.

Just because HPV harms more women does not mean that the virus does not harm men at all. HPV still causes genital warts in men at the same frequency that it does in women. Though it is not as common as cancers that women develop from HPV, the virus is also capable of causing penile cancer in men. For gay men who have receptive anal sex, HPV can drastically increase the risk of developing anal cancer. Even some oral cancers are associated with this virus, which the vaccine can help guard against.

The Most Common STD

Whether you are male or female, the HPV vaccine can help you live a healthier life if you are not already infected with HPV. HPV is the most common STD in the U.S., and it is estimated that most every woman and man who is sexually active will contract the virus at some point in their lives; the American Social Health Association estimates that 75%-80% of Americans will contract HPV.

Getting vaccinated is especially crucial for women because of how dangerous this cancer-causing virus is. The vaccine can also not only help reduce the chance of men developing penile cancer, but it also prevents men from carrying and transmitting this destructive virus to their partners. Preventing genital warts for both men and women is an extra boon for those who will also be warding themselves and those they love against multiple forms of cancer.

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HSV Increases Risks of HIV Infection

236c472Because HSV is a very common STD (as we discussed in yesterday’s post), it’s important to be aware that having HSV increases the risk of being infected by other STDs.

HSV results in sores and lesions that appear on and around the face and/or genital region. When sores are open on the skin, the body sends the immune system to work in trying to heal the lesions. What this means is that there are many immune cells (also known as white blood cells, if you remember your middle and high school biology lessons) sitting at the surface of the skin.

Unfortunately, a much more frightening STD can result from this reaction. HIV, the virus that causes aids, is an immune-system related virus, and it functions by infecting immune cells. If someone with HIV has intercourse or comes into contact with someone who has HSV, it is very likely that the HSV sufferer will contract HIV.

Despite common rumors, HSV can only be transmitted by skin-to-skin contact or by direct contact with fluid from the sores. HIV, on the other hand, is transmittable through any bodily fluid – including saliva, blood, and sexual fluids.

What this means is that people with HSV are especially vulnerable to HIV infection, because their open sores (or even in-the-process-of-healing sores) can be infected very easily.

Though sex during an HSV outbreak should always be avoided in order to prevent transmitting the virus to a partner, this is ESPECIALLY true if the partner has HIV.

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HSV – A Common STD

slide50One of the most major things to keep in mind if you have genital herpes is that it is one of the most common viruses that affects the U.S. population. If it puts things in perspective at all, people with genital herpes are more common than individuals with asthma or diabetes – which should really make how common this virus is very apparent.

Having genital herpes isn’t really all that unlike other diseases. You’ll have outbreaks from time to time, and those days won’t feel so great, but when you’re not having an outbreak, you’re still the same old you. You might not feel very sexy during an outbreak, but most people don’t feel that way when they have a cold or are having some other sort of sick day, either.

Genital herpes isn’t as terrifying or terrible as a lot of people make it out to be. As long as you take proper treatment to prevent as many outbreaks as possible, and avoid sex during outbreaks, your life will otherwise go the same way it always has.

Don’t let the diagnosis of genital herpes deter you from living your life the way you want to!

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Helpful Tips to Deal with Herpes

tipsDo you suffer from genital herpes outbreaks? Did you know that there are ways to reduce the chance that you’ll have an outbreak?

Besides taking an antiviral treatment (of which side effect-free herbal antivirals are the go-to choice), there are a couple of things you can do to help stop an outbreak cold.

Stress is the biggest cause of genital herpes outbreaks. This is because stress weakens the immune system, which gives the virus the perfect opening to attack. Do what you can to relax and eliminate what stress you can from your life – if it means doing yoga or ranting to a friend about what happened at work, do what you gotta do!

Stay away from arginine-rich food. Arginine is found in many different foods that we love. Unfortunately, preventing outbreaks means you might have to cut nuts (especially cashews & peanuts!), chocolate, shellfish, and grains (including beer!) out of your diet. This might seem tough, but it’s worth it to help stop outbreaks!

Don’t use topical treatments. Did you know that many topical treatments use harsh chemicals that actually weaken the integrity of your skin? What this means is that the skin becomes weaker and more prone to infection – and outbreaks! Antivirals are really the only way to go during and outbreak or to prevent outbreaks from occurring in the first place.

To learn more about the best natural antiviral treatment available, visit FENVIR’s website.

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Preventing STD Transmission

There are many things in this world that pose a threat to our health. Sexually transmitted diseases are unfortunately one that needs to be paid close attention to. We sometimes forget they exist. We get caught up in the moment and do not take the precautionary measures we should.

Below are some tips for how you can prevent yourself from contracting an STD. It is your own choice how you live your life, but if you live responsibly and with caution, you will be much better off and will lead a much healthier and happier life.

  • Practice safe sex. Use protection no matter what you are doing. Oral sex is just as risky as sexual intercourse.
  • Try to sustain from sex itself. There are other things you can do to get the same pleasure with less costly risks.
  • Keep to one sexual partner at a time. Monogamous relationships are much safer than jumping from partner to partner.
  • After each partner, try to get tested for STDs just to be sure. You don’t want to have one and spread it around because you are unaware you are infected.
  • Do not have sex while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. This will make it harder for you to make responsible decisions and may prevent you from using protection if you do consume too much alcohol or are too “high”.
  • Before having sexual intercourse with anyone, try to ask them some questions about their sexual history. If need be and it is becoming a serious relationship, ask them to get tested just to make sure.
  • If you know someone has some kind of sexually transmitted disease, try to steer clear of sexual activity with them. Even if they claim they are not contagious, you do not know for sure. Avoiding sexual contact with an infected person is the best way to prevent yourself from becoming infected. That means do not share personal items either such as razors, toothbrushes, eating utensils, towels, etc.

If you think you have been exposed to some kind of sexual virus or disease and aren’t sure if you have been infected, get tested immediately. It won’t hurt to just clarify the answer. Prevention is important in protecting your health and the health of others.

Health Tips

If you have been infected with an STD, there are a few things you should be aware of. Following the tips below can make your life much easier to deal with a sexually transmitted disease.

  • Drink plenty of water. Staying hydrated can help flush out toxins that may be affecting your outbreaks.
  • Take multivitamins. Keeping your immune system strong can help prevent frequent outbreaks and help current outbreaks heal faster.
  • Get plenty of sleep. Sleep deprivation can also have an effect on STDs especially HSV.
  • Try not to stress. Stress is a number one factor for many attacks and outbreaks, including anxiety attacks, panic attacks, genital herpes outbreaks, oral herpes outbreaks, and many more.
  • Make sure to wash an infected areas thoroughly, as well as wash your hands thoroughly after touching the area. This will help prevent spreading of the virus.
  • If you have oral herpes, try to avoid extreme sunlight or extremely cold temperatures. Sun exposure and the crisp, cold air can bring out your outbreaks.
  • Use sensitive body wash, detergent, makeup, lotion and any other product you may use on your body. Harsh ingredients can also irritate your infection.
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How To Cope With An STD

When someone thinks they have contracted an STD or finds out they do have one, some of the feelings that can arise are fear, confusion, regret, and embarrassment. It can be an extremely difficult thing to hear depending on the severity of the STD, and your prior knowledge of the topic.

If you’ve ever had an STD, you probably asked the questions like these: “Who did I contract it from?”, “When did I contract it?”, “Is it curable?”, and “How will it affect my daily life?”. We learn about the risk of getting infected with STDs during grade school. We are taught things like how common they are, what symptoms to look for, prevention tips, and what to do if you think you have been infected. What we don’t learn is how to cope with it once the damage is done. A lot of teens and adults think they are invincible. This is Not true! Sometimes what we learn during school goes in one ear and out the other. It is a whole different story once you venture out into the real world.

Anyone who comes in physical or sexual contact with an infected person has a risk of contracting whatever STD or infection they have. Some of them are treatable and curable. Once the infection goes away; using antiviral or antibiotics, it will not bother you again unless you contract it from another person. Unfortunately, infections such as HIV, AIDs, genital herpes, and genital warts are not able to be cured. The only thing you can do is learn ways to cope with the virus and treatment options that are available to alleviate the pain or outbreaks.

Diagnosis and Acceptance

If you have any symptoms of a skin rash or infection you can quite determine the cause, you must seek medical attention as soon as possible. Do not try to play doctor and diagnose yourself. It is important that immediately following the confirmation of an incurable STD; or any STD for that matter, that you go back and tell everyone you had a chance of infecting.

The first step in managing an STD is to accept the information and be responsible enough to right your wrong and tell any existing partners whom may have been infected. Sometimes a person will be carrying an STD such as genital herpes and not know it until an outbreak occurs. This can be months or years after the initial infection. That contributes to the percentage of people becoming infected with the disease. Sometimes it may be difficult to think back to all the people you came in contact with, making it hard to figure out where you may have contracted it. Just because you are diagnosed with an STD, that doesn’t make you a bad person. Blame should not be placed, as it will only make your feelings of hatred, regret, or fear grow larger.

Prevention

Although you may find it embarrassing or difficult to tell the necessary people what has happened, you owe it to yourself and others to try to stop it from spreading. It is so important that you confess the information to the parties involved. If you do not, someone else whom is infected may continue to pass the virus along because they are unaware that they have it. It might make it hard for you to sleep at night if you let someone keep infecting others without any knowledge of what they are doing.

It is also extremely important that you cease all sexual activity until you have sought treatment, and understood the components of the disease or virus. You cannot deal with an STD if you do not learn the causes, symptoms, treatment options, and so on. Going in blind will just make it worse. It is better to seek the proper help and treatment so you can start to move on and live a normal life. An STD is not the worst thing that can happen, although some beg to differ. There are more and more treatment options being developed on a daily basis. Genital herpes and even HIV, can be managed if you are willing to put in the time and learn about how to treat and cope with having an STD.

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Genital Herpes Facts

HSV or Herpes, is an extremely common disease. 1 in 6 people from the ages of 14 to 49 have genital herpes. The rate at which Americans are contracting HSV has stayed the same over the past decade. It’s safe to say that the disease probably isn’t going anywhere so hopefully treatments become more effective or a cure is discovered.

What symptoms should I look out for with genital herpes?

The regular tell-tale symptoms are the herpes blisters on the genitals, mouth or rectum. The blisters will eventually pus and scab over and then begin to heal within four weeks. This is what people refer to as having an active outbreak. It can be quite painful and inhibit regular activity for some people. Others hardly notice an outbreak, which can also be why people pass the virus on so readily.

The outbreaks will than reoccur in each individual depending on their body. The initial outbreak is always the worst and most subsequent outbreaks are not as bad, just usually more of an inconvenience and annoyance. Some people will have out breaks every month while others won’t have any more besides their initial outbreak for the rest of their lives.

What complications can arise from genital herpes?

While the painful sores are uncomfortable and annoying, herpes itself is not detrimental to health in a life-threatening way. But when you contract herpes you run the risk of lowering your immune system (the virus weighs it down as it persists within your body) and this can lead to other viruses such as HIV and AIDs. This is why it is so important to get your herpes outbreaks under control if you are having them. The sooner you get them under control, the more likely you are to avoid those health risks. Any way you can improve your immune system will not only help your health, it will help your body to fight the virus from arising and showing symptoms as outbreaks. The less outbreaks, the less your body has to work to heal them.

Because herpes are open sores on the genital area, you are also running the risk to allow in other diseases and STDs if you are sexually active while you are having an outbreak.

How are HIV and Genital Herpes Linked?

While genital herpes causes out breaks on the skin, these sores can bleed very easily. This increases the risk of contracting HIV.

You may wonder how a pregnant woman with HSV may pass on the virus to her child. It is very important for a pregnant woman that knows she is infected with the HSV virus to have an extra careful pregnancy, including prenatal visits. The doctors assisting the pregnancy will want to know the details of the woman’s last herpes outbreak, the nature of it and how regularly she has them. She may be offered an antiviral treatment from the 36 weeks marked to reduce the risk of an outbreak during delivery.

How is genital herpes diagnosed?

Usually your gynecologist will do a routine inspection of the sores or any symptoms you are having. Usually an active sore will need to be visible for her to inspect and possibly swab it to confirm the virus is present.  It is important to sustain from sexual contact with anyone until you have been properly diagnosed. The risks depend on how many partners you’ve had and how consistently you’ve used protection. There isn’t any evidence to detect the HSV infection from testing a person. If someone has no symptoms it may not be worth it if the patient has no symptoms. They are also more expensive than standard syphilis, Chlamydia and gonorrhea.

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The Truth About Sexually Transmitted Diseases

Sexually transmitted diseases are among the most commonly contracted conditions today. While this is an obvious cause for concern, it is important to note that not all STDs are life threatening and most can be treated. The problem with STDs is many of them can be passed along between partners even if the person carrying the disease or viruses shows no symptoms. And this makes it incredibly difficult to have any cause for alarm.

Herpes is one of the most common STDs because it is so contagious, easily passed on, and so many people have no idea they have it! Even if a partner is between outbreaks, it is still a possibility, so always use protection to prevent transmission.

The best way to avoid dealing with STDs is to make sure you know all the ways to prevent the viruses. The most reliable way is abstinence and completely obtaining from any sexual activity. If you are sexually active (and best before) it is important to get vaccinated. The HPV vaccination for teen girls should be gotten up to age 26 and in men, teen boys to men the age of 21. It is also important to get vaccinated for Hepatitis B if you never did when you were younger.

Another way to avoid passing on STDs is to be completely monogamous with your current partner. That means the two of you decide to only be sexually active with each other. It is important you get tested before this to make sure neither of you are infected so that it is a mutual understanding.

STD Symptoms

Now that we’ve covered a bit on how to prevent STDs, let’s talk about what there is to look for. The symptoms can be so subtle and barely noticeable that you may not have any idea. It is important to be open and honest when confronting the idea that you have an STD. If you are infected, you must get treated and you must tell your partner. It’s important to always use protection for this reason, such as condoms, whenever you are sexually active.

Here are some signs and symptoms along with the infection it may be, so you have an idea of what to look for if you are curious about your STD status.

Chlamydia: symptoms may not appear until 1-3 weeks after contact (some have no symptoms) and are usually mild, therefore many overlook them. Things to look out for: pain when urinating, low abdominal pain, discharge, experiencing pain during sex and testicular pain in men

Gonorrhea: Symptoms are generally seen in two to ten days after contact. Some people don’t see signs or symptoms for months. Things to look out for: cloudy, bloody discharge, pain when urinating, non-regular bleeding, swollen and painful testicles, pain when having a bowel movement, rectal itching.

Trichomoniasis: The infection happens in the urinary tract of men or infects the vagina of the woman. The symptoms can range from mild to severe irritation and inflammation. Other symptoms are white, yellowish, clear discharge, discharge in men, irritation and itching for men, painful intercourse and pain when urinating.

HIV: HIV weakens the immune system so that the body cannot effectively combat viruses, disease causing fungi, viruses and it can also lead to AIDS, which is a life threatening disease.

The last stages of HIV infection are the worst; persistent fatigue, night sweats, chills and fever, swollen lymph nodes, diarrhea, headaches and additional infections.

HSV-1 & HSV-2: Herpes is one of the most common STDs, but can also fall into the category of no shown symptoms on those infected. If there are signs, the sufferer will notice blisters in the genital area.

There is no known cure for herpes. The best current option is antiviral medication that will heal break outs faster and prevent future ones. You must usually continue taking these medications to reduce the possibility of passing on the virus.

 Precautions

Condoms are a great way to protect yourself from contracting the virus or passing it along to your partner but it is not 100% fool proof and you still run the risk of transmitting it. If you are in a monogamous, long term relationship and are open and honest about your sexual history, you will be able to deal with it together. Many couples live normal lives and are still sexually active when they get either both of their situations or the infected partners situation under control.

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Knowing How To Treat A Herpes Outbreak

There is no cure for herpes but there is of course treatment! Once people get their cases of herpes under control with the proper treatment, most go on to live pretty much normal lives, just being mindful of their condition. Antiviral medication is usually prescribed and there are many all natural supplements, such as Fenvir Antiviral, which are having overwhelmingly great results. Many people are dissatisfied with the medications doctors are prescribing because they are viewed as a “cover up” for symptoms instead of controlling the actual virus within. Many of the natural remedies are working to keep the virus lying dormant.

When you are looking to prevent herpes from spreading, the best bet is to use a latex condom. Herpes happens in both men and women, so a male condom or female condom can be used. It is best to always practice safe sex regardless of your STD status to ensure that if you are clean, you will stay clean!

Outbreaks can be treated many different ways. Genital Herpes outbreaks can be the most painful and annoying. No one likes feeling dirty or smelly down there. If you keep the area cleaned like any infection it will help speed the healing process and keep the infection from spreading or from causing any other conditions.

Topical lotions may be used, as well as pain medication. Antiviral drugs may be recommended depending on severity. Fenvir is a nonprescription medication that can alleviate your pain and symptoms. It can also prevent future outbreaks and viral shedding; which is when spreading occurs more frequently. It will speed the healing process and decrease the severity.

Eat right, get enough sleep, and drink enough water. All these can contribute to frequent outbreaks. If you have not gotten treatment already and are thinking about starting any medication to help your herpes outbreaks, go to Fenvir to learn more about the virus and treatment options.

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The Effects Of Herpes

The effects herpes has on your skin, body, and mind can be quite detrimental. Depending on which strand, the symptoms can vary in duration, frequency, and severity. The HSV-1 virus is usually found to cause lesions on the lips, mouth or face known as “cold sores,” appearing as small fever blisters in one or more groups. The HSV type 2 strand is known as “genital herpes” as it affects the genital and anal area.  Unfortunately, there is no cure and it is highly infectious. About half a million people contract the herpes virus yearly in the US.

Sometimes the symptoms will not present themselves or will be very subtle. This is why it spreads so easily. An infected person may not even know they are carrying it, or infecting other people for that matter. The symptoms can be harsh and painful. In the beginning stages, outbreaks may mimic the flu and cause body aches, fever, sore throat or swollen glands. Some people may not experience any symptoms at all. That is why testing and prevention is so important.

It is also possible for newborns to contract the virus from their mothers. The transmission of the herpes virus to a newborn can be life threatening to the infant during the first few months after birth. The child may suffer from convulsions, skin lesions, breathing issues, low blood count or jaundice another skin condition. In the most extreme cases infants can suffer from eye problems or mental retardation and even possible death. For more info, contact Fenvir.

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