Sexually transmitted infection

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Sexually transmitted infection
Other namesSexually transmitted disease (STD);
Venereal disease (VD)
Syphilis is a dangerous disease.png
"Syphilis is a dangerous disease, but it can be cured." Poster encouraging treatment. Published between 1936 and 1938.
Specialty Infectious disease
SymptomsNone, vaginal discharge, penile discharge, ulcers on or around the genitals, pelvic pain [1]
Complications Infertility [1]
CausesInfections commonly spread by sex [1]
Prevention Not having sex, vaccinations, condoms [2]
Frequency1.1 billion (STIs other than HIV/AIDS, 2015) [3]
Deaths108,000 (STIs other than HIV/AIDS, 2015) [4]

Sexually transmitted infections (STIs), also referred to as sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), are infections that are commonly spread by sexual activity, especially vaginal intercourse, anal sex and oral sex. [1] [5] STIs often do not initially cause symptoms, [1] which results in a greater risk of passing the disease on to others. [6] [7] Symptoms and signs of STIs may include vaginal discharge, penile discharge, ulcers on or around the genitals, and pelvic pain. [1] STIs can be transmitted to an infant before or during childbirth, which may result in poor outcomes for the infant. [1] [8] Some STIs can cause infertility. [1]


More than 30 different bacteria, viruses, and parasites can be transmitted through sexual activity. [1] Bacterial STIs include chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis. [1] Viral STIs include genital herpes, HIV/AIDS, and genital warts. [1] Parasitic STIs include trichomoniasis. [1] While usually spread by sex, some STIs can be spread by non-sexual contact with donor tissue, blood, breastfeeding, or during childbirth. [1] STI diagnostic tests are usually easily available in the developed world, but they are often unavailable in the developing world. [1]

The most effective way to prevent STIs is to not have sex. [2] Some vaccinations may also decrease the risk of certain infections including hepatitis B and some types of HPV. [2] Safe sex practices, such as use of condoms, having a smaller number of sexual partners, and being in a relationship in which each person only has sex with the other also decreases the risk of STIs. [1] [2] Circumcision in adult males may be effective to prevent some infections. [1] During school, comprehensive sex education may also be useful. [9] Most STIs are treatable or curable; of the most common infections, syphilis, gonorrhea, chlamydia, and trichomoniasis are curable, while herpes, hepatitis B, HIV/AIDS, and HPV are treatable but not curable. [1] Resistance to certain antibiotics is developing among some organisms such as gonorrhea. [10]

In 2015, about 1.1 billion people had STIs other than HIV/AIDS. [3] About 500 million were infected with either syphilis, gonorrhea, chlamydia or trichomoniasis. [1] At least an additional 530 million people have genital herpes, and 290 million women have human papillomavirus. [1] STIs other than HIV resulted in 108,000 deaths in 2015. [4] In the United States, there were 19 million new cases of STIs in 2010. [11] Historical documentation of STIs dates back to at least the Ebers papyrus around 1550 BC and the Old Testament. [12] There is often shame and stigma associated with STIs. [1] The term sexually transmitted infection is generally preferred over sexually transmitted disease or venereal disease, as it includes those who do not have symptomatic disease. [13]

Signs and symptoms

Not all STIs are symptomatic, and symptoms may not appear immediately after infection. In some instances a disease can be carried with no symptoms, which leaves a greater risk of passing the disease on to others. Depending on the disease, some untreated STIs can lead to infertility, chronic pain or death. [14]

The presence of an STI in prepubescent children may indicate sexual abuse. [15]



A sexually transmitted infection present in a pregnant woman may be passed on to the infant before or after birth. [16]

Risk of transmission per unprotected sexual act with an infected person [17] [18] [19] [20] [21] [22] [23] [24] [25] [26] [27] [28] [29]
Known risksPossible
Performing oral sex on a man
Performing oral sex on a woman
Receiving oral sex—man
Receiving oral sex—woman
Vaginal sex—man
Vaginal sex—woman
Anal sex—insertive
Anal sex—receptive




Micrograph showing the viral cytopathic effect of herpes (ground glass nuclear inclusions, multi-nucleation). Pap test. Pap stain. Herpes simplex virus pap test.jpg
Micrograph showing the viral cytopathic effect of herpes (ground glass nuclear inclusions, multi-nucleation). Pap test. Pap stain.


Main types

Sexually transmitted infections include:

Secondary syphilis SyphilistischeZiekten.jpg
Secondary syphilis

Viruses in semen

Twenty-seven different viruses have been identified in semen. Information on whether or not transmission occurs or whether the viruses cause disease is uncertain. Some of these microbes are known to be sexually transmitted. [72] Those found in semen are listed by the CDC. [72]

Microbes known to be sexually transmissible (but not generally considered STIs) include:


Many STIs are (more easily) transmitted through the mucous membranes of the penis, vulva, rectum, urinary tract and (less often—depending on type of infection) the mouth, throat, respiratory tract and eyes. [75] The visible membrane covering the head of the penis is a mucous membrane, though it produces no mucus (similar to the lips of the mouth). Mucous membranes differ from skin in that they allow certain pathogens into the body. The amount of contact with infective sources which causes infection varies with each pathogen but in all cases, a disease may result from even light contact from fluid carriers like venereal fluids onto a mucous membrane.[ citation needed ]

Some STIs such as HIV can be transmitted from mother to child either during pregnancy or breastfeeding. [76] [ citation needed ]

Healthcare professionals suggest safer sex, such as the use of condoms, as a reliable way of decreasing the risk of contracting sexually transmitted diseases during sexual activity, but safer sex cannot be considered to provide complete protection from an STI. The transfer of and exposure to bodily fluids, such as blood transfusions and other blood products, sharing injection needles, needle-stick injuries (when medical staff are inadvertently jabbed or pricked with needles during medical procedures), sharing tattoo needles, and childbirth are other avenues of transmission. These different means put certain groups, such as medical workers, and haemophiliacs and drug users, particularly at risk.[ citation needed ]

It is possible to be an asymptomatic carrier of sexually transmitted diseases. In particular, sexually transmitted diseases in women often cause the serious condition of pelvic inflammatory disease.[ citation needed ]


World War II US Army poster warning of venereal disease STILL AT THE TOP OF THE SICK LIST - NARA - 515490.tif
World War II US Army poster warning of venereal disease

Testing may be for a single infection, or consist of a number of tests for a range of STIs, including tests for syphilis, trichomonas, gonorrhea, chlamydia, herpes, hepatitis and HIV. No procedure tests for all infectious agents.

STI tests may be used for a number of reasons:

Early identification and treatment results in less chance to spread disease, and for some conditions may improve the outcomes of treatment. There is often a window period after initial infection during which an STI test will be negative. During this period, the infection may be transmissible. The duration of this period varies depending on the infection and the test. Diagnosis may also be delayed by reluctance of the infected person to seek a medical professional. One report indicated that people turn to the Internet rather than to a medical professional for information on STIs to a higher degree than for other sexual problems. [77]


A poster from the Office for Emergency Management, Office of War Information, 1941-1945 "VD CAN BE CURED BUT THERE'S NO MEDICINE FOR REGRET" - NARA - 515957.jpg
A poster from the Office for Emergency Management, Office of War Information, 1941–1945

Until the 1990s,[ citation needed ] STIs were commonly known as venereal diseases, an antiquated euphemism derived from the Latin venereus, being the adjectival form of Venus, the Roman goddess of love. [78] However in the post-classical education era the euphemistic effect was entirely lost, and the common abbreviation "VD" held only negative connotations. Other former euphemisms for STIs include "blood diseases" and "social diseases". [79] The present euphemism is in the use of the initials "STI" rather than in the words they represent. The World Health Organization (WHO) has recommended the more inclusive term sexually transmitted infection since 1999. [13] Public health officials originally introduced the term sexually transmitted infection, which clinicians are increasingly using alongside the term sexually transmitted disease in order to distinguish it from the former.[ citation needed ]


Strategies for reducing STI risk include: vaccination, mutual monogamy, reducing the number of sexual partners, and abstinence. [80] Behavioral counseling for all sexually active adolescents and for adults who are at increased risk. [81] Such interactive counseling, which can be resource intensive, is directed at a person's risk, the situations in which risk occurs, and the use of personalized goal-setting strategies. [82]

The most effective way to prevent sexual transmission of STIs is to avoid contact of body parts or fluids which can lead to transfer with an infected partner. Not all sexual activities involve contact: cybersex, phonesex or masturbation from a distance are methods of avoiding contact. Proper use of condoms reduces contact and risk. Although a condom is effective in limiting exposure, some disease transmission may occur even with a condom. [83]

Both partners can get tested for STIs before initiating sexual contact, or before resuming contact if a partner engaged in contact with someone else. Many infections are not detectable immediately after exposure, so enough time must be allowed between possible exposures and testing for the tests to be accurate. Certain STIs, particularly certain persistent viruses like HPV, may be impossible to detect.[ medical citation needed ]

Some treatment facilities utilize in-home test kits and have the person return the test for follow-up. Other facilities strongly encourage that those previously infected return to ensure that the infection has been eliminated. Novel strategies to foster re-testing have been the use of text messaging and email as reminders. These types of reminders are now used in addition to phone calls and letters. [84] After obtaining a sexual history, a healthcare provider can encourage risk reduction by providing prevention counseling. Prevention counseling is most effective if provided in a nonjudgmental and empathetic manner appropriate to the person's culture, language, gender, sexual orientation, age, and developmental level. Prevention counseling for STIs is usually offered to all sexually active adolescents and to all adults who have received a diagnosis, have had an STI in the past year, or have multiple sex partners. [82]


Vaccines are available that protect against some viral STIs, such as Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B, and some types of HPV. [85] Vaccination before initiation of sexual contact is advised to assure maximal protection. The development of vaccines to protect against gonorrhea is ongoing. [86]


Condoms and female condoms only provide protection when used properly as a barrier, and only to and from the area that they cover. Uncovered areas are still susceptible to many STIs.[ citation needed ]

In the case of HIV, sexual transmission routes almost always involve the penis, as HIV cannot spread through unbroken skin; therefore, properly shielding the penis with a properly worn condom from the vagina or anus effectively stops HIV transmission. An infected fluid to broken skin borne direct transmission of HIV would not be considered "sexually transmitted", but can still theoretically occur during sexual contact. This can be avoided simply by not engaging in sexual contact when presenting open, bleeding wounds.[ citation needed ]

Other STIs, even viral infections, can be prevented with the use of latex, polyurethane or polyisoprene condoms as a barrier. Some microorganisms and viruses are small enough to pass through the pores in natural skin condoms, but are still too large to pass through latex or synthetic condoms.[ citation needed ]

Proper male condom usage entails:[ citation needed ]

In order to best protect oneself and the partner from STIs, the old condom and its contents are to be treated as infectious and properly disposed of. A new condom is used for each act of intercourse, as multiple usage increases the chance of breakage, defeating the effectiveness as a barrier.[ citation needed ]

In case of female condoms, the device consists of two rings, one in each terminal portion. The larger ring should fit snugly over the cervix and the smaller ring remains outside the vagina, covering the vulva. This system provides some protection of the external genitalia. [87]


The cap was developed after the cervical diaphragm. Both cover the cervix and the main difference between the diaphragm and the cap is that the latter must be used only once, using a new one in each sexual act. The diaphragm, however, can be used more than once. These two devices partially protect against STIs (they do not protect against HIV). [88]

Researchers had hoped that nonoxynol-9, a vaginal microbicide would help decrease STI risk. Trials, however, have found it ineffective [89] and it may put women at a higher risk of HIV infection. [90] There is some evidence that vaginal tenofovir microbicides may reduce the risk of STIs in women but there is insufficient evidence to be certain of their effectiveness. [91]

There is little evidence that school-based interventions such as sexual and reproductive health education programmes on contraceptive choices and condoms are effective on improving the sexual and reproductive health of adolescents. Incentive-based programmes may reduce adolescent pregnancy but more data is needed to confirm this. [92]


Specific age groups, persons who participate in risky sexual behavior, or those have certain health conditions may require screening. The CDC recommends that sexually active women under the age of 25 and those over 25 at risk should be screened for chlamydia and gonorrhea yearly. Appropriate times for screening are during regular pelvic examinations and preconception evaluations. [93] Nucleic acid amplification tests are the recommended method of diagnosis for gonorrhea and chlamydia. [94] This can be done on either urine in both men and women, vaginal or cervical swabs in women, or urethral swabs in men. [94] Screening can be performed:


In the case of rape, the person can be treated prophylacticly with antibiotics. [95]

An option for treating partners of patients (index cases) diagnosed with chlamydia or gonorrhea is patient-delivered partner therapy, which is the clinical practice of treating the sex partners of index cases by providing prescriptions or medications to the patient to take to his/her partner without the health care provider first examining the partner. [96] [ needs update ]


Age-standardized, disability-adjusted life years for STDs (excluding HIV) per 100,000 inhabitants in 2004.
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Age-standardized, disability-adjusted life years for STDs (excluding HIV) per 100,000 inhabitants in 2004.
STI (excluding HIV) deaths per million persons in 2012
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STI (excluding HIV) deaths per million persons in 2012

In 2008, it was estimated that 500 million people were infected with either syphilis, gonorrhea, chlamydia or trichomoniasis. [1] At least an additional 530 million people have genital herpes and 290 million women have human papillomavirus. [1] STIs other than HIV resulted in 142,000 deaths in 2013. [98] In the United States there were 19 million new cases of sexually transmitted infections in 2010. [11]

In 2010, 19 million new cases of sexually transmitted infections occurred in women in the United States. [5] A 2008 CDC study found that 25–40% of U.S. teenage girls has a sexually transmitted disease. [99] [100] Out of a population of almost 295,270,000 people [101] there were 110 million new and existing cases of eight sexually transmitted infections. [102]

Over 400,000 sexually transmitted infections were reported in England in 2017, about the same as in 2016, but there were more than 20% increases in confirmed cases of gonorrhoea and syphilis. Since 2008 syphilis cases have risen by 148%, from 2,874 to 7,137, mostly among men who have sex with men. The number of first cases of genital warts in 2017 among girls aged 15–17 years was just 441, 90% less than in 2009 – attributed to the national human papilloma virus immunisation programme. [103]

AIDS is among the leading causes of death in present-day Sub-Saharan Africa. [104] HIV/AIDS is transmitted primarily via unprotected sexual intercourse. More than 1.1 million persons are living with HIV/AIDS in the United States, [105] and it disproportionately impacts African Americans. [106] Hepatitis B is also considered a sexually transmitted disease because it can be spread through sexual contact. [107] The highest rates are found in Asia and Africa and lower rates are in the Americas and Europe. [108] Approximately two billion people worldwide have been infected with the hepatitis B virus. [109]


1930s Works Progress Administration poster Syphilis false shame and fear may destroy your future.png
1930s Works Progress Administration poster

The first well-recorded European outbreak of what is now known as syphilis occurred in 1494 when it broke out among French troops besieging Naples in the Italian War of 1494–98. [110] The disease may have originated from the Columbian Exchange. [111] From Naples, the disease swept across Europe, killing more than five million people. [112] As Jared Diamond describes it, "[W]hen syphilis was first definitely recorded in Europe in 1495, its pustules often covered the body from the head to the knees, caused flesh to fall from people's faces, and led to death within a few months," rendering it far more fatal than it is today. Diamond concludes,"[B]y 1546, the disease had evolved into the disease with the symptoms so well known to us today." [113] Gonorrhoeae is recorded at least up to 700 years ago and associated with a district in Paris formerly known as "Le Clapiers". This is where the prostitutes were to be found at that time. [86]

U.S. propaganda poster targeted at World War II servicemen appealed to their patriotism in urging them to protect themselves. The text at the bottom of the poster reads, "You can't beat the Axis if you get VD." SheMayLookCleanBut.jpg
U.S. propaganda poster targeted at World War II servicemen appealed to their patriotism in urging them to protect themselves. The text at the bottom of the poster reads, "You can't beat the Axis if you get VD."

Prior to the invention of modern medicines, sexually transmitted diseases were generally incurable, and treatment was limited to treating the symptoms of the disease. The first voluntary hospital for venereal diseases was founded in 1746 at London Lock Hospital. [114] Treatment was not always voluntary: in the second half of the 19th century, the Contagious Diseases Acts were used to arrest suspected prostitutes. In 1924, a number of states concluded the Brussels Agreement, whereby states agreed to provide free or low-cost medical treatment at ports for merchant seamen with venereal diseases. A proponent of these approaches was Dr. Nora Wattie, OBE, Venereal Diseases Officer in Glasgow from 1929, encouraged contact tracing and volunteering for treatment, rather than the prevailing more judgemental view and published her own research on improving sex education and maternity care. [115]

The first effective treatment for a sexually transmitted disease was salvarsan, a treatment for syphilis. With the discovery of antibiotics, a large number of sexually transmitted diseases became easily curable, and this, combined with effective public health campaigns against STIs, led to a public perception during the 1960s and 1970s that they have ceased to be a serious medical threat.[ citation needed ]

During this period, the importance of contact tracing in treating STIs was recognized. By tracing the sexual partners of infected individuals, testing them for infection, treating the infected and tracing their contacts in turn, STI clinics could effectively suppress infections in the general population.[ citation needed ]

In the 1980s, first genital herpes and then AIDS emerged into the public consciousness as sexually transmitted diseases that could not be cured by modern medicine. AIDS in particular has a long asymptomatic period—during which time HIV (the human immunodeficiency virus, which causes AIDS) can replicate and the disease can be transmitted to others—followed by a symptomatic period, which leads rapidly to death unless treated. HIV/AIDS entered the United States from Haiti in about 1969. [116] Recognition that AIDS threatened a global pandemic led to public information campaigns and the development of treatments that allow AIDS to be managed by suppressing the replication of HIV for as long as possible. Contact tracing continues to be an important measure, even when diseases are incurable, as it helps to contain infection.


See also

Related Research Articles

Chlamydia Sexually transmitted infection caused by the bacterium Chlamydia trachomatis.

Chlamydia, or more specifically a chlamydia infection, is a sexually transmitted infection caused by the bacterium Chlamydia trachomatis. Most people who are infected have no symptoms. When symptoms do appear it can be several weeks after infection. Symptoms in women may include vaginal discharge or burning with urination. Symptoms in men may include discharge from the penis, burning with urination, or pain and swelling of one or both testicles. The infection can spread to the upper genital tract in women, causing pelvic inflammatory disease, which may result in future infertility or ectopic pregnancy. Repeated infections of the eyes that go without treatment can result in trachoma, a common cause of blindness in the developing world.

Safe sex Ways to reduce the risk of acquiring STDs

Safe sex is sexual activity using methods or devices to reduce the risk of transmitting or acquiring sexually transmitted infections (STIs), especially HIV. "Safe sex" is also sometimes referred to as safer sex or protected sex to indicate that some safe sex practices do not completely eliminate STI risks. It is also sometimes used colloquially to describe methods aimed at preventing pregnancy that may or may not also lower STI risks.

Urethritis is the inflammation of the urethra. The most common symptoms include painful or difficult urination and urethral discharge. It is a commonly treatable condition usually caused by infection with bacteria. This bacterial infection is often sexually transmitted, but not in every instance; it can be idiopathic, for example. Some incidence of urethritis can appear asymptomatic as well.


Trichomoniasis (trich) is an infectious disease caused by the parasite Trichomonas vaginalis. About 70% of women and men do not have symptoms when infected. When symptoms do occur they typically begin 5 to 28 days after exposure. Symptoms can include itching in the genital area, a bad smelling thin vaginal discharge, burning with urination, and pain with sex. Having trichomoniasis increases the risk of getting HIV/AIDS. It may also cause complications during pregnancy.

Human papillomavirus infection Human disease

Human papillomavirus infection is an infection caused by human papillomavirus (HPV), a DNA virus from the Papillomaviridae family. About 90% of HPV infections cause no symptoms and resolve spontaneously within two years. However, in some cases, an HPV infection persists and results in either warts or precancerous lesions. These lesions, depending on the site affected, increase the risk of cancer of the cervix, vulva, vagina, penis, anus, mouth, or throat. Nearly all cervical cancer is due to HPV; two strains, HPV16 and HPV18, account for 70% of cases. Between 60% and 90% of the other cancers listed above are also linked to HPV. HPV6 and HPV11 are common causes of genital warts and laryngeal papillomatosis.

Genital wart Sexually transmitted infection caused by certain types of human papillomaviruses

Genital warts are a sexually transmitted infection caused by certain types of human papillomavirus (HPV). They are generally pink in color and project out from the surface of the skin. Usually they cause few symptoms, but can occasionally be painful. Typically they appear one to eight months following exposure. Warts are the most easily recognized symptom of genital HPV infection.

Cervicitis is inflammation of the uterine cervix. Cervicitis in women has many features in common with urethritis in men and many cases are caused by sexually transmitted infections. Non-infectious causes of cervicitis can include intrauterine devices, contraceptive diaphragms, and allergic reactions to spermicides or latex condoms. Cervicitis affects over half of all women during their adult life.


Chancroid is a bacterial sexually transmitted infection characterized by painful sores on the genitalia. Chancroid is known to spread from one individual to another solely through sexual contact. However, there have been reports of accidental infection through another route which is by the hand. While uncommon in the western world, it is the most common cause of genital ulceration worldwide.

Men who have sex with men (MSM), also known as males who have sex with males, are male persons who engage in sexual activity with members of the same sex, regardless of how they identify themselves. They may identify as gay, homosexual, bisexual, pansexual, or heterosexual; or dispense with sexual identification altogether.

Vertically transmitted infection Infection caused by pathogens that use mother-to-child transmission

A vertically transmitted infection is an infection caused by pathogens that use mother-to-child transmission, that is, transmission directly from the mother to an embryo, fetus, or baby during pregnancy or childbirth. It can occur when the mother has a pre-existing disease or becomes infected during pregnancy. Nutritional deficiencies may exacerbate the risks of perinatal infections.

Sexual health clinic Medical facility focused on preventing and treating sexually transmitted diseases

Sexual health clinics specialize in the prevention and treatment of sexually transmitted infections.

Serosorting, also known as serodiscrimination is the practice of using HIV status as a decision-making point in choosing sexual behavior. Frequently the term is used to describe the behavior of a person who chooses a sexual partner assumed to be of the same HIV serostatus in order to engage in unprotected sex with them for a reduced risk of acquiring or transmitting HIV/AIDS.

Genital herpes Infection by herpes simplex viruses of the genitals

Genital herpes is an infection by the herpes simplex virus (HSV) of the genitals. Most people either have no or mild symptoms and thus do not know they are infected. When symptoms do occur, they typically include small blisters that break open to form painful ulcers. Flu-like symptoms, such as fever, aching, or swollen lymph nodes, may also occur. Onset is typically around 4 days after exposure with symptoms lasting up to 4 weeks. Once infected further outbreaks may occur but are generally milder.

A genital ulcer is an open sore located on the genital area, which includes the vulva, penis, perianal region, or anus. Genital ulcers are most commonly caused by infectious agents. However, this is not always the case, as a genital ulcer may have noninfectious causes as well.

Condom effectiveness

Condom effectiveness is how effective condoms are at preventing STDs and pregnancy. Correctly using male condoms and other barriers like female condoms and dental dams, every time, can reduce the risk of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), including human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and viral hepatitis. They can also provide protection against other diseases that may be transmitted through sex like Zika and Ebola. Using male or female condoms correctly, every time, can also help prevent pregnancy.

Gonorrhea Sexually transmitted infection

Gonorrhea, colloquially known as the clap, is a sexually transmitted infection (STI) caused by the bacterium Neisseria gonorrhoeae. Infection may involve the genitals, mouth, and/or rectum. Infected men may experience pain or burning with urination, discharge from the penis, or testicular pain. Infected women may experience burning with urination, vaginal discharge, vaginal bleeding between periods, or pelvic pain. Complications in women include pelvic inflammatory disease and in men include inflammation of the epididymis. Many of those infected, however, have no symptoms. If untreated, gonorrhea can spread to joints or heart valves.

Herpes simplex Viral disease caused by herpes simplex viruses

Herpes simplex is a viral infection caused by the herpes simplex virus. Infections are categorized based on the part of the body infected. Oral herpes involves the face or mouth. It may result in small blisters in groups often called cold sores or fever blisters or may just cause a sore throat. Genital herpes, often simply known as herpes, may have minimal symptoms or form blisters that break open and result in small ulcers. These typically heal over two to four weeks. Tingling or shooting pains may occur before the blisters appear. Herpes cycles between periods of active disease followed by periods without symptoms. The first episode is often more severe and may be associated with fever, muscle pains, swollen lymph nodes and headaches. Over time, episodes of active disease decrease in frequency and severity. Other disorders caused by herpes simplex include: herpetic whitlow when it involves the fingers, herpes of the eye, herpes infection of the brain, and neonatal herpes when it affects a newborn, among others.

Gay sexual practices Sexual practices between men

Gay sexual practices are sexual activities involving men who have sex with men (MSM), regardless of their sexual orientation or sexual identity. Evidence shows that sex between men is significantly underreported in surveys due to social desirability bias.

Mutual monogamy is a form of monogamy that exists when two partners agree to be sexually active with only one another. Being in a long-term mutually monogamous relationship reduces the risk of acquiring a sexually transmitted infection (STI). It is one of the most reliable ways to avoid STIs. Those who choose mutual monogamy can be tested before the sexual relationship to be certain they are not infected. This strategy for the prevention of acquiring a sexually transmitted infection requires that each partner remain faithful and does not engage in sexual activity with another partner.

Effects of human sexual promiscuity

Human sexual promiscuity is the practice of having many different sexual partners. In the case of men, this behavior of sexual nondiscrimination and hypersexuality is referred to as satyriasis, while in the case of women, this behavior is conventionally known as nymphomania. Both conditions are regarded as possibly compulsive and pathological qualities, closely related to hyper-sexuality. The results of, or costs associated with, these behaviors are the effects of human sexual promiscuity.


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