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Suite 16
Washington, DC 20017
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STD's

A sexually transmitted disease, or STD, is an infection that is spread through sexual contact. Some common types of STD's include:

Chlamydia | Genital Herpes | Genital Warts | Gonorrhea | Hepatitis | HIV | Syphilis

Chlamydia

Chlamydia is a bacterial infection that affects the genital tract. Although there are few to no signs of Chlamydia, some symptoms include:

  • Vaginal discharge
  • Penile discharge
  • Painful urination
  • Lower abdominal pain
  • Testicular pain
  • Pain for women during sexual intercourse

Chlamydia can be transmitted through vaginal, anal or oral sex. It is possible for it to be passed from an infected mother to her baby during vaginal birth.

If Chlamydia is left untreated, several serious reproductive and other health complications can occur, such as pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), failed pregnancies, infertility, and an increased risk for contracting HIV.

Chlamydia can be treated and cured with antibiotics. It is important for all the person's sexual partners to be examined and treated if necessary to prevent a reoccurrence.

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Genital Herpes

Genital herpes is a highly contagious infectious disease contracted through sexual contact allowing the herpes simplex virus (HSV) to pass through your body's mucous membranes or small breaks in your skin. The majority of people with genital herpes aren't even aware they have been infected because many experience few to no symptoms. However, when present, symptoms of genital herpes include itching, pain and sores/blisters in the genital area.

While there is no cure for genital herpes, there are treatments available to help control outbreaks. These treatments may include oral medications to help heal sores faster, decrease the severity and frequency of outbreaks and minimize the possibility of transmitting the virus to others. (We still recommend the use of a latex condom to help prevent the transmission of genital herpes.) It is important to follow your doctor's instructions as to when and how often you should take your medication.

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Genital Warts (HPV)

Genital warts are a result of the human papillomavirus (HPV) and is considered the most common type of STDs. For men, genital warts may develop on the shaft or tip of the penis, scrotum or anus. For women, they may occur in the walls of the vagina, on the vulva, cervix and between the vagina and anus. Also, genital warts may also develop in the mouth or throat if the person has had oral sex with a person who is infected.

While often times there are no symptoms with genital warts, some signs include:

  • Several warts close together resembling the appearance of cauliflower
  • Small, flesh-colored swellings in the genital area
  • Itching in the genital area
  • Bleeding during intercourse

Approximately 30 percent of genital warts clear up on their own without any treatment. However, genital warts can be a serious health concern as it has been linked to cervical cancer and other types of genital cancers. Please contact us to schedule an examination to determine if treatment is necessary. Depending on the person and severity of genital warts, treatments range of topical ointments, chemical treatments or surgery.

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Gonorrhea

Gonorrhea is a bacterial infection contracted through sexual intercourse. It affects the genital tract of both men and women. In addition to the urethra, rectum and throat, gonorrhea can also affect the cervix. Pregnant women with gonorrhea can also pass it on to their babies, which most commonly affect the baby's eyes.

Generally, symptoms appear within two to 10 days after exposure. For some, signs of gonorrhea may not be apparent for months. These symptoms include:

  • Frequent, painful urination
  • Cloudy or bloody genital discharge
  • Pain during sexual intercourse

Treatment usually includes antibiotics, either in the form of an injection or an oral tablet. It is important for the patient's sexual partner to also be tested for gonorrhea so they can be treated as well. For babies born to mothers with gonorrhea, a special medication is applied to their eyes right after birth to prevent infection. If the infection develops, antibiotics are used for treatment.

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Hepatitis A/Hepatitis B/Hepatitis C

There are three types of hepatitis and all are contagious infections affecting your liver. Hepatitis A is the least serious type, but all three can cause inflammation in the liver. Symptoms will vary depending on the type of Hepatitis one has. Many people never show signs or symptoms of Hepatitis, but some symptoms include:

  • Fever
  • Dark colored urine
  • Fatigue
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Abdominal pain
  • Muscle pain
  • Loss of appetite
  • Itching
  • Jaundice

Hepatitis A is usually contracted from contaminated food or water, or being in close contact with someone infected with Hepatitis A. Generally, treatment is not necessary for mild cases, and people will recover without permanent liver damage. Patients can treat hepatitis A simply by resting, eating a soft, easy to digest diet for a few days, and avoiding alcohol and certain medications.

Hepatitis B is a serious infection passed through contact with blood, semen or other bodily fluids of an infected person. This can occur through sexual intercourse, sharing of needles, accidentally needle pricks and from a pregnant woman to her unborn child. Treatments vary depending on the severity of the infection, and for some, may not be necessary at all. If it is possible you have been exposed to hepatitis B, contact us immediately for a hepatitis B globulin injection. If received within 24 hours of contact, it can help prevent the development of hepatitis B. Other treatments include antiviral medications and a liver transplant.

Hepatitis C is considered the most dangerous of all types of hepatitis. It is contracted through contact with infected blood, usually through sharing needles during the use of illegal drugs. Depending on the severity of the infection will determine if treatment is necessary. For some, periodic monitoring through blood tests may be all that is needed. For others, the use of antiviral medications and possible liver transplant may be recommended.

If you experience any of the symptoms above and believe you might have been exposed to any form of hepatitis, please contact us to schedule an appointment for testing.

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HIV

HIV is an infection that affects the immune system, causing difficulty with the body's ability to fight of disease causing bacteria, viruses and fungi. Symptoms normally do not appear for two to six weeks after exposure and usually start off with flu-like symptoms such as: fever, sore throat, headache, rash, swollen lymph nodes and fatigue. These symptoms generally dissipate within a month and are often thought to be a viral infection. More severe symptoms of HIV may not appear for 10 or more years after the initial exposure. These symptoms include:

  • Diarrhea
  • Cough and shortness of breath
  • Weight loss
  • Persistent chills and high fevers (100.4 F)
  • Persistent headaches
  • Night sweats
  • Swollen lymph nodes that remain for longer than three months

HIV can lead to AIDS, which is a chronic, life-threatening disease. There is no cure for HIV/AIDS, but there are a number of treatments available to help control the virus. For optimum results, it may be necessary to combine at least three different types of classes of drugs. These drugs include different inhibitors that disable various proteins to prevent the HIV cells from duplicating. Treatment can be very difficult and have a number of side-effects such as nausea, vomiting and diarrhea, shortness of breath, irregular heartbeats, rashes, fatigue and bone frailty.

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Syphilis

Syphilis is a bacterial infection affecting the genitals and possibly other parts of your body including the heart and brain. Symptoms may occur in four stages: primary, secondary, latent and tertiary.

Primary symptoms occur 10 to three months after exposure and may include a small, painless sore, or chancre, where the infection was received (genitals, rectum, mouth). Swollen lymph nodes may also be present.

Secondary symptoms usually appear two to 10 weeks following the appearance of the chancre. Symptoms may include a fever, rash over the body, fatigue and soreness. These may disappear and then reoccur repeatedly throughout a year's time.

Latent is a period where no symptoms are present. For some previous symptoms may never reoccur, while for others, the disease will progress into the tertiary stage.

The tertiary stage occurs when there has been no treatment and the bacteria spread causing serious damage to internal organs and eventually death. Some of the symptoms of tertiary syphilis include: stroke, meningitis, paralysis and cardiovascular problems.

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