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explain transmission of std's

Jun 6, 2002

describe and explain how std's are tranmitted.

describe and compare HIV and AIDS, the similarities and differences and how they are connected.

describe and explain ways in wich people get HIV-AIDS and indentifiy activities that do not transmit HIV.

Response from Mr. Kull

Don't forget that HIV is a sexually transmitted infection. Because HIV is such a terrible epidemic it is often separated from the "STI" category. It is important to remember that the HIV and some other STIs are transmitted in very similar ways.

Each sexually transmitted infection is caused by a different microorganism, so it's sort of complicated to try to describe transmission of all STIs in one answer. If you have a concern about a particular STI--because you have symptoms or you know that you have been exposed to infection--I suggest that you talk with a medical professional and do some research about that particular STI. See STD Basics here at The Body.

A basic model for STI transmission describes transmission in two different ways: either through contact with FLUID (like semen or vaginal secretions) or direct skin-to-skin CONTACT. Here's the breakdown:

STIs spread by FLUIDS:

Gonorrhea, Chlamydia, HIV, Urinary Tract Infections/ Nongonnococcal Urethritis, Hepatitis B (HBV), (Hepatitis is also found in saliva, so kissing is a risk), Syphilis Cytomegalovirus (CMV), Trichomoniasis (Trich)

STIs spread by CONTACT (skin-to-skin):

HPV/Genital Warts, Herpes Simplex Virus (HSV), Molluscum Contagiosum, Chancroid, Syphilis, Crabs/Pubic Lice, Scabies

You can get certain STIs by performing oral sex on a person. Remember, they must be infected with an STD in order for transmission to be possible (sometimes I need to state what may seem obvious). Some STDs that are present as sores or lesions on the skin, like herpes, HPV, and syphilis, may be transmitted to you by having oral contact with the infected areas. Other STIs that are transmitted by fluids or infected mucous membranes in the penis, like gonorrhea, hepatitis B, and syphilis, can also infect you orally (ejaculation in the mouth probably has little to do with it). There are certain sexually transmitted diseases that can be transmitted to your genitals via somebody's mouth. Any infections that occur in or around the mouth, or are transmitted through fluids in the mouth, could theoretically be transmitted to your genital region. STIs that could be transmitted through RECEIVING oral sex are herpes, syphilis, hepatitis B, gonorrhea, and HPV, but not HIV.

Condoms, when used correctly during sexual intercourse, are effective against many sexually transmitted infections, especially those that are transmitted by fluids (like HIV, gonorrhea, chlamydia). A man wearing a condom protects the covered area of his penis (urethra, head and shaft) from exposure to virus and bacteria. The condom should also protect the mucous membranes (lining or interior) of the vagina, anus and mouth from exposure to STDs located on the penis or in penile fluids. Condoms are most effective in preventing transmission of FLUID-related STIs.

Condom effectiveness varies when the STI is spread through skin-to-skin CONTACT. STIs that are characterized by lesions or sores on the skin may occur outside of the condom barrier -- for instance, on the scrotum or the exterior of the anus or vagina. Exposed skin or mucous membranes (areas not covered or protected by the condom) coming into CONTACT with these lesions or sores could become infected. Condoms will not protect you from crabs/pubic lice and scabies.


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