All You Need to Know About Sexually Transmitted Infections
This week on WJON's Health Matters program I talked with Family Nurse Practitioner Rebecca White from CentraCare about sexually transmitted infections. She says the most common are chlamydia and gonorrhea. Other sexually transmitted infections include syphilis, HIV and AIDS. White says many people who have chlamydia and gonorrhea don't realize they have it because they are asymptomatic. She says if people fit into a high risk category for sexually transmitted infections during a yearly visit they recommend a test.
Symptoms of a sexual transmitted infection include pelvic pain, burning, irritation and possible blood during discharge. Females are more likely to contract sexually transmitted infections. Rebecca says people with multiple sexual partners are high risk for any of these infections.
HIV is a virus that attacks the immune system of the body. She says it can be the precursor to the AIDS virus. HIV decreasing the bodies ability to fight off other infections. She says healthcare has learned a lot about the HIV virus since the 1980s. White says people diagnosed with HIV live long lives now where 30 years ago a HIV diagnosis was a death sentence. HIV can pass from person to person through body fluid but cannot pass easily because as soon as it touches oxygen it dies. White says people can live a lifetime with HIV and never develop AIDS. She says Magic Johnson is an example of that. The management of the HIV virus has come along way in the past 30 years according to White.
WJON's Health Matters program airs Mondays and Saturdays from 9:10-10 on WJON. If you'd like to hear this week's program it is available below.