Valentine’s day – the day of nationwide romanticism where couples and singles alike proclaim their love for one another through gifts of chocolates, roses and extravagant dates. Although, unfortunately, love and romance are not the only things spread around on February the 14th.
In 2001 the World Health Organization estimated that around
1 in 10
adults across all population groups in Sub-Saharan Africa was infected with a
Sexually Transmitted Illness (STI).
These include illnesses such as:
With such a prevalence of STI’s in South Africa, it really does pay to be careful.
What can I do to prevent myself from getting STI’s?
The obvious answer would be to use barrier protection – and with both female and male condoms – the responsibility does not lie on a single gender. Barrier contraception can prevent the transmission of STI’s from one person to the next.
What if I am in a new relationship?
A relationship based on mutual trust and respect is a step in the right direction. Take both yourself and your partner to be tested together. If any STI’s are found – the two of you can be treated together. Knowing your HIV status is the first step to a healthy, honest relationship.
What if I had unprotected sex?
There are ways to test for STI’s from an early stage – even before symptoms appear. These tests can be done at your doctor and may include a urine sample, blood sample and possibly a swab.
What are the symptoms of STI’s?
Itchiness and burning
Vaginal/Urethral discharge – yellow/white in colour and often foul smelling
Fever/ Feeling of being unwell
Lower abdominal pain in women
Sores/blisters/ulcers or warts in genital area
Burning during urination or intercourse
However some STI's can show no symptoms for many years.
If you have any of these symptoms – book an appointment today to have yourself tested/treated for STI's.
How are STI’s treated?
STI’s can be divided into curable and non-curable diseases. Gonorrhoea, Chlamydia and Syphilis are all curable. Treatment includes injections and/or pills. HIV and Herpes are both viruses and are incurable diseases – although they are treatable. This means that the disease remains in your system but certain medications are able to suppress the virus and one can live a long and healthy life.
If you are worried about STI’s, would like more information or just want to be safe, make an appointment with a doctor today and get yourself checked.