Be Knowledge-a-bull: #GYTUSF

Why should you get tested?

STDs are common, and the odds are not necessarily in your favor. One in four college students have an STD, and 80% of people with STDs do not experience noticeable symptoms. Never assume that it cannot happen to you. No sexually active person is 100% safe from STDs, and getting tested is the only way to know you are STD-free. Luckily, STDsare all testable and treatable, but they can have lasting health effects if you put off getting treatment. Know your status. Know your partner’s status. GYT!

#GYTUSF is happening March 18 from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. The first 300 students will receive FREE testing for chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis and HIV. What exactly are these STDs and how do they affect you? Know before you go!


Chlamydia

What is it?

A bacterial infection infecting the genitals, anus, or throat. With over one million cases reported each year, it is the most commonly reported STD in the United States.

Causes?

It is passed through sexual contact and intercourse, oral sex, anal sex. It may also be passed from a mother to her child.

Symptoms?

  •       Chlamydia often has no symptoms.
  •        If symptoms appear, common experiences include abnormal vaginal or penile discharge, pain or burning while urinating, swelling of genitals. Women may also experience abdominal pain, period irregularities, more frequent urinations, and painful intercourse.

Treatment?

Oral antibiotics cure chlamydia.Any partners should also receive testing and treatment to prevent the spread of the infection. Abstinence is also recommended.

Progression without treatment?

If left untreated, chlamydia can lead to an increased risk of HIV and infertility. Women are at an increased risk of getting pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), an infection of the reproductive organs that can lead to infertility and other pregnancy complications. Additionally, men may develop epididymitis, a testicular condition that can lead to infertility.


Gonorrhea

What is it?

A bacterial infection infecting the eyes, genitals, anus or throat. It affects 700,000 – 800,00 men and women in the U.S. every year.

Causes?

It is passed through sexual contact and intercourse, oral sex and anal sex. It may also be passed from a mother to her child.

Symptoms?

  •       Gonorrhea often has no symptoms. Men are more likely to show symptoms. One out of ten men have no gonorrhea symptoms, while four out of five women don’t show symptoms.
  •        If symptoms appear, common experiences include pus-like vaginal or penile discharge, pain or burning while urinating, more frequent urination. Women may also experience abdominal pain and period irregularities.

Treatment?

Oral antibiotics can cure gonorrhea.Any partners should also receive testing and treatment to prevent the spread of the infection. Abstinence is also recommended.

Progression without treatment?

If left untreated, gonorrhea can lead to an increased risk of HIV and infertility. One in five women with untreated gonorrhea get pelvic inflammatory disease (PID). Additionally, one in five men with untreated gonorrhea develop epididymitis.


Syphilis

What is it?

Syphilis is a bacterial infection that can spread throughout the body. It commonly infects the genitals, lips and mouth. It effects about 36,000 men and women in the U.S. every year, and it can lead to extremely serious health risks if left untreated.

Causes?

It is passed through sexual contact and intercourse, oral sex and anal sex. It may also be passed by kissing someone with an open sore or from a mother to her child.

Symptoms?

  •       Syphilis often has very mild or no symptoms.
  •       If symptoms appear they appear in stages. Stage one is often one or a few painless or open sores, called chancres. A chancre can appear on any infected area and can last up to 90 days. Stage two includes a body rash on the palms or soles of the feet that lasts up to six weeks. Other symptoms can include fever, fatigue, sore throat, swollen glands, and weight and hair loss. Stage three occurs if symptoms are left untreated.

Treatment?

If tested early, antibiotic treatment can cure syphilis. Damage from later stages cannot be cured.

Progression without treatment?

If left untreated, syphilis can cause damage to the brain, heart and nervous system. One out of three people with untreated syphilis experience these problems.  These dangerous symptoms may not occur for up to 20 years and can lead to death.


HIV

What is it?

HIV is short for the human immunodeficiency virus, and it is exactly what its name implies. It is an incurable virus that weakens the immune system. It infects about 40,000 – 50,000 new people a year, and there is an estimated 1.2 million people already living with HIV. If left untreated, HIV leads to AIDS.

Causes?

It is passed through sexual contact and intercourse, oral sex, anal sex, sharing needles, blood contact and breast-feeding. It may also be passed from a mother to her child.

Symptoms?

  •       HIV has few or no symptoms for up to ten years.
  •       Symptoms eventually arrive in stages. The first symptoms include fever, headaches, fatigues, and swollen glands in the throat, armpit or groin.
  •       In the advanced stages of HIV, the immune system is greatly weakened and symptoms of AIDS begin to appear.

Treatment?

There is not cure for HIV, but treatment is available and can greatly manage the symptoms and progressions and delay the onset of AIDS. Early testing and treatment improve life expectancy and quality.

Progression without treatment?

If left untreated, HIV leads to AIDs, the acquired immune deficiency syndrome. AIDs is a fatal virus. The body’s immune system will weaken significantly, causing an increased risk of life-threatening diseases and cancers. More common diseases and infections will also have a more severe affect on the body. 

For more information on #GYTUSF, check out the USF Student Health Services Facebook page.

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