Sexual Health – Know Your Status HIV/STDs and Hepatitis C

Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) are infections that spread from person to person through sexual contact, including anal, vaginal, or oral sex. HIV is an STD. Chlamydia, gonorrhea, human papillomavirus (HPV) infection, and syphilis are examples of other STDs. While sexual transmission of Hepatitis C (Hep C) is relatively rare, being HIV positive appears to increase the risk for acquiring Hep C sexually. During the past decade, outbreaks of sexually transmitted Hep C have been reported among HIV-positive gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men (MSM).

Having and STD can increase your chances of getting HIV

  • You can get HIV or an STD by having sex without a condom with a person who is already infected.
  • Having an STD changes the cells lining the vagina, penis, rectum or mouth. This makes it easier for HIV to enter your body. If you already have an STD, you are MORE likely to get infected with HIV if you have sex with someone who has HIV and you don’t use a condom.
  • Remember, many people who have HIV don’t know it. It can take many years for symptoms to show up. That is why it is so important to use condoms during sex, or not to have sex at all.

For more information about HIV & STDs click here

Hep C is a disease of the liver that can cause serious health problems including liver failure and liver cancer 

  • Hep C spreads when blood from a person with the Hep C virus enters the body of someone who is not infected.
  • Most people become infected with Hep C by sharing needles or other paraphernalia to inject drugs.

For more information about Hep C click here

How can I protect myself? 

  • Everyone between the ages of 13 and 64 who are sexually active should get tested for HIV and STDs at least once per year as part of routine health care.
  • Everyone over the age of 50, using needles, or infected with HIV should be tested for Hepatitis C.
  • Knowing your status gives you powerful information to help you take steps to keep you and your partner(s) healthy.

Medication can help 

The good news is that the doctors at the Hope Center have medicine to treat or cure most HIV/STDs and Hep C. STDs or Hep C can cause serious illnesses if not treated.

Today’s advancements can significantly reduce your risk of HIV, HepC, and STDs.