Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs in Men) (cont.)

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Systemic STDs

Systemic STDs are infections that may be acquired through sexual contact that spread throughout the body causing damage to organs remote from the site of sexual contact.

Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)

What is HIV?

HIV is a viral infection that is primarily transmitted by sexual contact or sharing needles, or from an infected pregnant woman to her newborn. Negative antibody tests do not rule out recent infection. Most (95%) people who are infected will have a positive HIV antibody test within 12 weeks of an exposure. The HIV ultimately causes suppression of the body's immune (defense) system. Although there are no specific symptoms or signs that confirm HIV infection, many people will develop a nonspecific illness 2 to 4 weeks after they have been infected. This initial illness may be characterized by fever, vomiting, diarrhea, muscle and joint pains, headache, sore throat, and/or painful lymph nodes. On average, people are ill for up to 2 weeks with the initial illness. In rare cases, the initial illness has occurred up to 10 months after infection. It is also possible to become infected with the HIV virus without having recognized the initial illness.

The average time from infection to the development of symptoms related to immunosuppression (decreased functioning of the immune system) is 10 years. Serious complications include unusual infections or cancers, weight loss, intellectual deterioration (dementia), and death. When the symptoms of HIV are severe, the disease is referred to as the acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS). Numerous treatment options now available for HIV-infected individuals allow many patients to control their infection and delay the progression of their disease to AIDS. The Centers for Disease Control recommends screening for HIV in all individuals at annual physicals, as many people are completely asymptomatic.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 10/16/2014

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Sexually Transmitted Diseases in Men - Genital Herpes Question: Do you have genital herpes? How did you catch it, and what were your symptoms?
Sexually Transmitted Diseases in Men - Prevention Question: Are you sexually active and not in a monogamous relationship? How do you try to prevent catching STDs?
Sexually Transmitted Diseases in Men - HPV Question: Have you or your partner been diagnosed with HPV (genital warts)? Please share your experience.
Sexually Transmitted Diseases in Men - Chlamydia Question: Were you ever diagnosed with chlamydia? What were your symptoms and treatment?