STDs & HIV Explained

Below is a listing of information about HIV and some of the more common sexually-transmitted diseases (STDs) that impact gay and bisexual men in Rhode Island.

If you are newly diagnosed with HIV or an STD, it’s important to let your previous partners know either in person or by sending them an electronic message.   If you want to send an anonymous electronic message, check out Inspot.org.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has helpful general information on HIV and STDs. In addition, the CDC has a health website that is specific for gay and bisexual men.

Pictures of symptoms of HIV and other STD’s can be found here  and here.  Click on the diseases below to learn how they are spread, if treatment is available, and special tips for men.

If you live in the Boston metropolitan region here are some links to information about STI screenings and testing as well as rapid HIV testing:

Project TRUST: http://www.bostonprojecttrust.com/safe-zone.aspx

STD Clinic: http://www.bostonstdclinic.com/the-safe-zone.aspx

Chlamydia

How’s It Spread?
Transmitted through anal or oral sex.

Is treatment available?
Treatment is available in the form of pills prescribed by a doctor.

More Medical Information

Special tips and concerns for men
If you have a clear liquid coming out of your penis, you may have chlamydia. Importantly, MANY guys don’t have any symptoms.

Crabs (Pubic Lice)

How’s It Spread?
Mostly through bodily contact.

Is treatment available?
Treatment is available over the counter at drug stores and pharmacies.

More Medical Information

Special tips and concerns for men
You can get pubic lice on any hairy part of your body.Make sure you follow-directions on the shampoo label and apply to all hairy parts of your body.May take multiple applications to get rid of the crabs

Gonorrhea

How’s It Spread?
Transmitted through anal or oral sex.

Is treatment available?
Treatment is available by going to a doctor and getting a shot and pills.

More Medical Information

Special tips and concerns for men
If it hurts when you pee, or if you have a yellow liquid coming out of your penis, you may have gonorrhea.  Some guys may not have any symptoms. May also cause rectal symptoms or a sore throat.

Hepatitis A

How’s It Spread?
Mostly through contaminated foods, but also through certain sexual practices such as rimming or other contact with stool.

Is treatment available?
Treatment available prescribed by a doctor.

More Medical Information

Special tips and concerns for men
Make sure you get shots (vaccine) from your doctor to prevent Hep A.

Hepatitis B

How’s It Spread?
Mostly through anal sex. Can be series.

Is treatment available?
Treatment available prescribed by a doctor.

More Medical Information

Special tips and concerns for men
Make sure you get shots from your doctor to prevent Hep B.

Hepatitis C

How’s It Spread?
Mostly through needle sharing and sometimes through anal sex.

Is treatment available?
Treatment available prescribed by a doctor.

More Medical Information

Special tips and concerns for men
Men who have anal sex or born before 1965 should be tested for Hepatitis C.

Herpes

How’s It Spread?
Spread through oral/anal sex and skin-skin contact.

Is treatment available?
Treatment available prescribed by a doctor.

More Medical Information

Special tips and concerns for men
Many people have herpes. Only some get outbreaks. If outbreaks are bad/frequent, medication available.

HIV

How’s It Spread?

Mostly through anal sex.  Less commonly it is spread through oral sex.

Is treatment available?

Treatment is available; however, no one is ever cured of HIV.  Men with HIV need to meet regularly with an HIV specialist.

More Medical Information: WebMD

Special tips and  concerns for men

A guy can have HIV and not know it.Guys can be most infectious just weeks after being infected.

Human Pappiloma Virus (HPV) and Genital Warts

How’s It Spread?
Spread through oral/anal sex and skin-skin contact.

Is treatment available?
Treatment is available through a doctor. Usually resolve on their own.

More Medical Information

Special tips and concerns for men
Young men under 26 should get HPV shots.There is a risk of increased anal cancer for rectal HPV.

Scabies

How’s It Spread?
Mostly through bodily contact

Is treatment available?
Treatment is available by getting a prescription from a doctor.

More Medical Information

Syphilis

How is it spread?

Through oral and anal sex (both giving and receiving).

 

Is there treatment available?

Treatment is available prescribed by a doctor.

More Medical Information:
http://www.webmd.com/sexual-conditions/tc/syphilis-topic-overview

 

Special tips and  concerns for men

The sore caused by syphilis can be found in the mouth, on the penis, or up the butt. The sore is usually painless and can be small (and is often missed). During this period, the likelihood of transmitting syphilis to another person is high. The sore will heal in 2-3 weeks but a person can have serious medical consequences if syphilis is not treated. Avoid oral and anal sex with men who have open sores on their penis or in their mouth. Sexually active men should get tested for syphilis every year.