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Look, sexually transmitted infections (STIs) happen.

But that doesn’t mean we need to allow them to make us feel ashamed, afraid or overwhelmed!  With a decent prevention strategy, MOST STIs can be avoided, and even if you do end up cumming across one, they can be treated at your local doctor or clinic. Don’t wait, get help today!

Here are some of the usual suspects and how you can spot them:

  • Human papillomavirus (HPV), also known as genital warts. You can get these treated with a cream or gel and have them removed by a clinician.  The trick is to treat them before they get too big.  Look for any rough skin or bumps that appear in and around your cock, balls and anus.
  • Genital herpes – It’s a common infection that can usually be identified by pain around your genitals and sores. It’s easy to treat if you chat to your doctor or clinician as soon as you see any signs of sores or feel unusual pain around your genitals. 
  • Chlamydia – This is one of the most common bacterial infections. Symptoms include pain when you pee and an unusual discharge from your dick.  Prescription antibiotics are often used to treat it quickly and successfully.
  • Gonorrhoea – Similar to chlamydia, gonorrhoea is caused by a bacterial infection. It can also cause a discharge or swelling but often has no symptoms at all.  It’s good to test for STIs every 6 months if you’re sexually active to ensure you avoid getting or spreading this infection.
  • Hepatitis B – This viral hepatitis can lead to liver disease that you can get from unprotected sex. It can also be treated successfully if you catch it soon enough!  Symptoms can include yellowing skin, fever, light-coloured or whiteish coloured shit and stomach pain and nausea.
  • Syphilis – Someone who has syphilis will get a sore at the place where they have been infected. This could be on the dick, where they might see it, or around or inside the anus, where they won’t see it. Syphilis can be a dangerous infection if it is left untreated for long.
  • HIV – This is a common STI that impacts your immune system. Although there is still no cure for HIV, it can be very well treated with ARVs until the virus is undetectable and then you won’t be able to pass it on!  Even if you don’t use a condom.

A great way to ensure that you avoid STI infections is to make sure that you always use a condom and water-based lube every time you have sex with someone.

If you are HIV-negative, find out about where you might access PrEP.  It won’t protect you from other STIs like HPV, chlamydia, gonorrhoea and syphilis but it can protect you from HIV.

Visit your doctor or clinic every six months to know your status!  Knowledge is power.

Remember, with most STIs, the sooner you get tested for them the easier they are to treat!

The Little Poof is a contributing writer for the Anova Health Institute.  These are their views, which may or may not reflect those of Anova and its affiliates.  

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