One of the reasons we have so much HIV in South Africa is because many people have STIs, which make it easy for the HIV virus to enter the body. STI's are caused by germs that are mostly transmitted during unprotected vaginal, oral or anal sex or the sharing of sex toys with one or more partners. STI's caused by bacteria or parasites (e.g. syphilis, chlamydia, pubic lice, etc.) are curable. Those caused by viruses (e.g. hepatitis, HIV, HPV) are only treatable, and will never completely go away.
Some symptoms of STIs
- A discharge/drop from the penis
- Burning/pain when urinating
- Swollen glands in the groin
- Swollen, painful testicles
- Discharge from the anus or sores/rashes around the anus.
What to do if you have STIs Go to the clinic for treatment immediately, and tell your sexual partner to go for treatment as well. If only one person is treated for an STI, they can get re-infected if their sexual partner is not treated at the same time. Go for MMC: Medical circumcision lowers your risk of STIs. ALWAYS use a condom. Yenzakahle!