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Sexually Transmitted Disease Screening

STD (Sexually Transmitted Disease) Screening

*Chlamydia:  A bacteria which causes serious infections that may result in female infertility due to scarring in the fallopian tubes.  Up to 50% of infected men and women display no symptoms.  Frequently a woman may discover she has a chlamydial infection only after she tries unsuccessfully to become pregnant.  Chlamydia can cause infertility; ectopic pregnancies; Pelvic Inflammatory Disease, inflammation of the liver; infectious arthritis; and eye, ear and respiratory infections in newborns who are exposed during childbirth.  A culture is performed to screen for Chlamydia.

*Gential Herpes:  A virus that develops as painful blisters.  Other symptoms are fever, tenderness, or an itchy sensation near the vulva.  Genital herpes can be contagious even when sores are not present.  There is no cure for herpes, however, there are medications that can lessen the severity and frequency of the outbreaks.  Genital Herpes can be fatal to a newborn infected during childbirth.  If you are pregnant and have genital herpes, please inform your provider to ensure a healthy delivery.  Herpes can be tested with both a blood test or a culture. Talk to your provider about increasing the chances of being outbreak free and what you can do to reduce the risk of spreading genital herpes.  Visit http://herpeshelp.com for more information about managing your diagnosis, treatment options and tips about what to ask your healthcare provider.

*Gonorrhea:  A bacterium that usually infects a man's urethra and a woman's cervix.  (It can also infect the mouth or throat as a result of oral sex.)  Symptomatic women usually experience vaginal discharge.  Gonorrhea can cause Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID); Infertility; Crippling Arthritis; and blindness in newborns.  A culture can be performed to test for gonorrhea.  To avoid reinfection, all sexual partneres must be treated with antibiotics.

*HIV and AIDS:  The Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) enters the bloodstream by way of body fluids, usually blood or semen.  Once in the blood, the virus attacks the immune system.  A person who becomes infected with HIV over time will become sick with AIDS (Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome).  Because it takes time before symptoms appear, a person may not know that he or she is infected.  There is no cure for AIDS.  However, there are some medications that fight HIV related infections and help protect the immune system which may delay the onset of AIDS.  A blood test can be performed to detect the presence of HIV.

*HPV (Human Papillomavirus):  HPV is sexually transmitted virus.  Low risk HPV causes genital warts.  High risk HPV is linked to cervical changes and cancer.  Abnormal pap smears are routinely screened for HPV.   We are now offering the Gardasil vaccine.  This vaccine may help to prevent some of the diseases caused by HPV.  For more information about gardisil and HPV please visit http://www.gardasil.com

The Center for Disease Control estimates that approximately 20 million Americans have genital HPV!

*Syphilis:  The primary stage is a painless sore.  It is difficult to detect in its early stages in women, since the sore is often found inside the vagina.  Untreated syphylis can cause miscarriages, blindness, heart disease, insanity, stroke, tumors, and death.  A blood test is performed to screen for infection.

*Trichomoniasis:  In women, this organism produces a yellow or green frothy discharge with an offensive odor.  Burning and itching is also common.  (Men rarely have symptoms)  Oral medication must be taken by all sexual partners to avoid reinfection.  A culture can be performed to screen for infection.

To help prevent being infected with a sexually transmitted disease, always use a condom!