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STDs | Knowing the Risk and Reality

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What are STDs and How to Avoid Them
Before we dive into this topic, Aaron Marino of alpha m. shares his experience with Community Health Promotion when he went to college. He presented and discussed about everything from depression to date rape to safe sex and STDs. He feels comfortable because he got conditioned.
Alpha also gives a disclaimer about watching this video because he'll be using these words as well as discussing the penis, vagina, anus, or STDs.

He has avoided talking about sex on this channel, but recently he received an email from one of viewers who was diagnosed with HPV (genital warts) and has shied away from dating. First, Alpha discusses what STD stands for and how their contracted. There are bacterial and viral STDs. The bacterial STDs can be cured but viral STDs can only be treated and managed (not cured). Then Alpha discusses common STDs (see below).

If you don't want and STD, don't have sex. But if you do have sex, have protected sex. Plan for it! Alpha gets frustrated hearing about unprotected casual sex. He feels as if we'll have a huge spike in STDs because of this trend. Be careful! Ignorant is no excuse.

Getting tested is the best thing you can do for yourself and those you are sleeping with. Get tested. If you have an STD, you're not dirty or a slut. It's just something that you unfortunately contracted. Make sure you discuss STDs with those who you are sleeping with- they should be honest with you as well. This is your life we are talking about.

If for no other reason to use protection, FATHERHOOD! A lot of you have no business being a father. Use protection or have you life flipped upside down. Alpha rants!

Common STDs

The most common STD is crabs. Crabs itch and bite, but are easily disposed of with items you can get from the store. Crabs are contracted by being in direct physical contact with someone who is infested. They can occasionally be transmitted by contact with the towels, bed sheets or clothes of an infested person.

The most common of bacterial STD is Chlamydia. Chlamydia is the most common sexual infection in men, and affects millions of women every year, as well.  Chlamydia is easy to pass on during unprotected sexual contact, and can be transmitted during vaginal, anal or oral sex.  Often, symptoms are not always present, which is why the disease gets left untreated and spreads rampantly. Chlamydia is diagnosed by either a urine test, or by collecting a swab sample from the urethra (the tube that carries urine out of the body) of the penis.  Left untreated, Chlamydia can cause painful inflammation of the testicles or proctitis – inflammation of the rectum.

Gonorrhea (The Clap) is another bacteria STD. Every year about 600,000 cases are reported in the USA, and approximately 200 million cases of gonorrhea worldwide. The incidence of gonorrhea is highest in high-density urban areas among young people under 24 year of age, who have multiple sex partners and engage in unprotected sexual intercourse.  None of the tests are painful, but may just be slightly uncomfortable. Although gonorrhea is a more localized infection than other STDs, if left untreated, it can spread to the blood stream and infect bone joints causing arthritis.

HIV is a virus that is not curable. This is a 'bad one' that everyone can get. Some people experience signs and symptoms of Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) as soon as they become infected, but others do not.  About 11% of new AIDS cases are older than 50 years old.  HIV destroys the white blood cells that are required to fight infection.  As the white cell count falls to dangerous levels, numerous infections and diseases emerge (AIDS).

One of five men has genital herpes. Many don't even know they have it. It's an infection that affects the penis, vagina, buttock and anal area and is spread through vaginal or anal intercourse, and oral sex, as well.  Often undetected, genital herpes is caused by a life long virus, herpes simplex virus (HSV), which never goes away.  One in nine men between the ages of 14 and 49 is infected.  Many either never experience or have minimal symptoms; however, when outbreaks occur it presents in the form of blisters, which eventually break causing ulcers, and are usually very painful.  There is no treatment to cure herpes, but antiviral medications can help shorten and prevent outbreaks.

50% of us will contract HPV (genital warts). Approximately 20 million Americans are infected with one of the hundred types of human papillomavirus (HPV), of which a few are responsible for genital warts.  Genital warts are usually raised areas on the skin that often resemble cauliflower, are pink or flesh colored, and can appear on the penis, scrotum, anus, groin or thigh.  The only way to prevent getting genital warts is to avoid all direct contact with the virus.  No cure is currently available for the HPV virus itself; however there are treatments that focus on symptoms.  Genital warts respond to treatment, but they typically recur.

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