What You Should Know About STIsPartnership for Environmental Education and Rural Health (PEER)http://peer.tamu.edu)Texas A&M University
What is an STI?STI stands for sexually transmitted infection.Sometimes an STI is referred to as an STD, a sexually transmitted disease.An STI is a disease that is passed from one person to another through sexual activity.Some STIs can be transmitted through nonsexual means as well.
What causes an STI?STIs, like other diseases, are caused by microscopic organisms that are not normally in your body.They can be caused by bacteria, viruses, or parasites.
Why Is This Important?STIs can cause a variety of symptoms, from discomfort, to permanent bodily damage, to death.AIDS, an STI, is the leading cause of death worldwide among those age 15-59.STIs can be passed from a pregnant mother to her child.
How can I avoid getting an STI?Be safe and be smart!
Avoid unsafe situationsEducate yourself about STIs
Ready to learn more?The following slides will tell you more about specific STIs. See if you can spot any general trends.
Bacterial STIsA photomicrograph of the bacterium that causes syphilis.Courtesy of: the CDC Public Health Image Library
ChlamydiaCaused by the bacterium Chlamydia trachomatis. (note: bacterium is the singular form of bacteria)Symptoms (primarily in males, appear 1-3 weeks after infection):genital dischargepainful urination.Can be cured with antibiotics.
ChlamydiaCan lead to pelvic inflammatory disease, which can cause infertility in women.3 million new cases a year (the most common bacterial STI).
ChlamydiaThis is a picture of the bacteria that cause chlamydia, taken using a light microscope.Courtesy of: the CDC Public Health Image Library
GonorrheaCaused by the bacterium Neisseria gonorrhoeae.Symptoms (primarily in males, appear 1 to 14 days after infection):genital dischargepainful urination.Can be cured with antibiotics.
GonorrheaCan cause pelvic inflammatory disease, which can cause infertility in women.700,000 new cases in the U.S. each year.
GonorrheaThis is a picture of the bacteria that cause gonorrhea, taken using an electron microscope.Courtesy of: the CDC Public Health Image Library
SyphilisCaused by the bacterium Treponema pallidum.Can be cured with antibiotics, but any damage done to the body cannot be reversed.
SyphilisDevelops in three stages over several years:(3-4 weeks after infection) a sore forms near genitalia or near the mouth.(2-6 months after infection) a red rash forms on the face hands, or feet.(later) serious brain and heart complications.About 32,000 cases in America every year.
SyphilisThis is a picture of the bacterium that causes syphilis, taken using a light microscope.Courtesy of: the CDC Public Health Image Library
SyphilisCourtesy of: the CDC Public Health Image LibraryThese images show symptoms associated with the various stages of syphilis. The picture on the left shows a sore associated with primary syphilis. The picture in the middle shows a rash associated with secondary syphilis. The picture on the right shows damage to the leg resulting from tertiary (late stage) syphilis.
Viral STIsAn electron micrograph of the human immunodeficiency virus.Courtesy of: the CDC Public Health Image Library
AIDSCaused by human immunodeficiency virus (HIV).Symptoms (do not emerge for several years):Fatiguerapid weight lossnight sweatswhitish coating on the tonguepurplish growths on the skin.
AIDSHIV attacks the immune system, making you susceptible to other infections and diseases.Antiviral drugs can slow the progress of the disease, but they cannot cure an infected person.900,000 people are currently infected in the U.S.
AIDSCourtesy of: the CDC Public Health Image LibraryOn the left is a photo of HIV virus particles, taken using an electron microscope. The patient on the right has oral hairy leukoplakia, which is caused by a different virus. People with AIDS becoem more succeptible to this and other infections, because AIDS attacks their immune systems.
Genital HerpesCaused by herpes simplex virus type 2.Symptoms include blisters and sores in the genital region that last for 1 or 2 weeks.Symptoms can disappear for long periods, but the virus never leaves the body.
Genital HerpesAntiviral drugs can help control outbreaks of symptoms, but cannot cure an infected person.Affects at least 45 million Americans, with 1 million new cases a year.
Genital HerpesThis is a picture of herpes simplex virus particles, taken using an electron microscope.Courtesy of: the CDC Public Health Image Library
Hepatitis BCaused by the hepatitis B virus.Symptoms:yellow skinFeverloss of appetiteTirednessjoint pain.Can cause severe liver damage.Can be prevented with a vaccine.
Hepatitis BAbout 90% of adults who are infected with hepatitis will have no symptoms and will be cured automatically.The other 10% develop a chronic infection that cannot be cured.About 78,000 Americans are infected with hepatitis B each year, and there are 1.25 million Americans currently infected.
Hepatitis BOn the left is a photograph of hepatitis B virus particles, taken using an electron microscope. The patient on the right has a distended abdomen from a chronic hepatitis B infection.Courtesy of: the CDC Public Health Image Library
Human papillomavirusCaused by human papillomavirus (HPV).Some strains can lead to genital warts (symptoms usually do not emerge for 1-3 months).Some strains can lead to certain cancers.
Human papillomavirusWarts are treated by applying a drug to the skin or by freezing the warts.About 20 million Americans are currently infected, and about 6.2 million Americans get a new infection every year.
Parasitic STIsA photo of the pubic louse.Courtesy of: the CDC Public Health Image Library
Pubic LiceCaused by the insect Phthirus pubis.Symptoms:itching in the genital regionvisible lice or eggs.Can be cured with insecticides
Pubic LiceCourtesy of: the CDC Public Health Image LibraryOn the left is a photo of a pubic louse (louse is the singular form of lice). On the right is a patient infected with public lice.
ScabiesCaused by the mite Sarcoptes scabiei (related to the spider)Symptoms:Itchingrash.Cured with insecticides
ScabiesCourtesy of: the CDC Public Health Image LibraryOn the left is the mite that causes scabies. On the right is a person infected with scabies.
TrichomoniasisCaused by the parasitic protozoan Trichomonas vaginalis.Symptoms (usually occur only in females):genital dischargeitching.
TrichomoniasisCan be cured with drugs.About 7.4 million cases per year in the U.S.
TrichomoniasisThis is a picture of the parasite that causes trichomoniasis, taken using a light microscope.Courtesy of: the CDC Public Health Image Library
Did you see any trends?See if you can answer the following questions before you look at the answers
Can all STIs be cured?No. If an STI is caused by a bacterium or a parasite, it can usually be cured. If it is caused by a virus, though, it cannot usually be cured.
Do all STIs show symptoms?No. Some STIs, like human papillomavirus and hepatitis B, only show symptoms in a small percentage of the people who become infected. Others, like chlamydia and gonorrhea show symptoms primarily in one sex and not the other. Even if an STI does not show symptoms, though, it can still be transmitted to other people.
How do you know if you have an STI?The only way to be certain is to see a doctor. If you show any of these symptoms or if you have been exposed to any of these diseases, you should get yourself tested, since many STIs are treatable and even curable.
Want to learn even more?Click on these links for more information:Fact sheet from the National Institutes of HealthFact sheet from the Australian Medical AssociationInformative website from iwannaknow.org