HIV & Sexually-Transmitted Infections
Human immunodeficiency virus, or HIV, is a virus that attacks immune cells, making it difficult for the body to fight off infections. HIV infection can also lead to acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS), a disease that alters the immune system, making people more vulnerable to potentially fatal infection and disease.
The HIV virus can be contracted through infected blood, semen, or vaginal fluid, resulting in flu-like symptoms including fever, sore throat, and fatigue. It is typically transmitted by having sex with an infected person or sharing needles with an infected person.
While there is no cure for HIV, daily antiretroviral therapy can prevent HIV from progressing to AIDS. This combination of drugs slows the progression of the virus and can keep you healthy for a very long time. It can also reduce your chances of transmitting HIV to others.
Sexually Transmitted Infections
Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) are infections that are spread from person-to-person through close, intimate contact including anal, vaginal or oral sex. Examples of STDs include:
- Human papillomavirus (HPV / genital warts)
- Herpes simplex virus (HSV-2 / genital herpes)
- Trichomoniasis (trich)
STDs may be caused by bacteria (chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis), parasites (trichomoniasis), or viruses (HIV, HPV, herpes). While STDs caused by bacteria or parasites can be effectively treated with antibiotics, there is no cure for those caused by viruses. However, antiviral treatment can relieve symptoms and help manage the STD.
If you have been diagnosed with HIV, you should be tested for STDs at least once a year or more often, depending on your individual symptoms or risk factors. To consult with an eInfectionMD doctor, schedule a telemedicine visit now.