Fear of Sexually Transmitted Infections

Discussion in 'The Healthy Penis' started by Jovial, Jul 28, 2007.

?

Weighing risks and consequences, which STI's are you most scared of getting?

  1. Herpes (HSV-1 or HSV-2), genital or oral

    7 vote(s)
    13.2%
  2. Hepatitis A, B or C

    2 vote(s)
    3.8%
  3. HIV/AIDS

    37 vote(s)
    69.8%
  4. Human papillomavirus (HPV), genital warts, cervical cancer

    3 vote(s)
    5.7%
  5. Syphilis, gonorrhea, chlamydia

    4 vote(s)
    7.5%
  1. Jovial

    Gold Member

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2006
    Messages:
    2,404
    Albums:
    1
    Likes Received:
    0
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    CA
    HIV/AIDS is less common among heterosexuals, but I'm still afraid of getting it because it's deadly.

    Herpes is much more common than HIV (50 million compared to about 1 million in the USA). Many people have herpes and don't realize it because they don't know what the lesions look like and it's not routinely tested for.

    So even though HIV is deadly and herpes is not, I still tend to fear getting herpes more because it's much more common.

    Even though there is a lot of public education, I don't think many people really know much about all of the various infections (statistics, diagnosis, treatment, risks).

    What do other people think? Do you worry about getting a particular infection, or just all of them in general? Do you just use a condom and not worry?
     
  2. Principessa

    Gold Member

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2006
    Messages:
    19,497
    Likes Received:
    12
    Gender:
    Female
    I am most afraid of contracting HIV or Herpes in a sexual situation. Those two are definetely tied for first, with Hepatitis running a close second. So while I may be footloose and fancyfree in cyber I'm the condom queen in real life; and have no problem asking a mans' status or asking to see recent test results. :redface:
     
  3. ganja4me

    Gold Member

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2007
    Messages:
    1,335
    Albums:
    1
    Likes Received:
    0
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    U.S.
    Any STI that can kill me is the one I am most afraid of. But I am really afraid of all of them. That's why I have never had sex without a condom.
     
  4. Kotchanski

    Gold Member

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2006
    Messages:
    17,390
    Albums:
    4
    Likes Received:
    8
    Gender:
    Female
    I guess I'm not too worried myself. I always use condoms with those other than my husband and get myself tested on a regular basis.

    Apart from thrush once during my first pregnancy which is quite common (and was inflammed by an allergic reaction) I've never had anything. I'm more worried about unwanted pregnancies.
     
  5. SassySpy

    Gold Member

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2006
    Messages:
    1,278
    Albums:
    1
    Likes Received:
    5
    Gender:
    Female
    Location:
    Seattle USA,
    Im with you, herpes got my vote too. Like you said, not deadly...but it is lifelong and according to a g/friend of mine, quite painful at times. and you're right, many dont know they have it. It also increases incidents of the infection "shingles" (if I knew how to post a link I would)-
    here we go.. Shingles Information Page: National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS)
    which is also quite painful.
    Additionally, herpes can be transmitted via oral sex so if condoms arent used .. or the guy has a cold sore.. well, you catch my drift. I wont even lightly kiss someone with a cold sore, and Ive never had one.:eek:
    Herpes, an Overview
    condoms are mandatory unless in virgin territory or long rel- and myself having had a blood transfusion during the height of the HIV outbreak in America, had to be tested and never had unsafe sex afterwards.

    I am glad more and more people are being educated and taking precautions, but I think America has a long way to go.:confused:
     
  6. D_Hansford Bullshyte

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2005
    Messages:
    58
    Likes Received:
    0
    HIV and AIDS are rare among straight heterosexual relationship and the virus is weak , but Hepatitis virus so aggressive esp B type , others viral infections can be treated .
     
  7. SassySpy

    Gold Member

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2006
    Messages:
    1,278
    Albums:
    1
    Likes Received:
    5
    Gender:
    Female
    Location:
    Seattle USA,
    This has some merit as fact as well- and you can include a vaccination available for Hep B. It is a triple dose process but effective against the disease.
     
  8. viking1

    Gold Member

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2006
    Messages:
    4,707
    Likes Received:
    1
    I'd be worried about all STD's. The serious ones would be the biggest worry.
     
  9. chavous

    chavous New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2006
    Messages:
    760
    Likes Received:
    1
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Georgia
    You Should Be Afraid And Take Precautions. I Have Had Straight Friends Die Of Aids......................................................................it Knows Not If You Are Straight Or Gay!
     
  10. SassySpy

    Gold Member

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2006
    Messages:
    1,278
    Albums:
    1
    Likes Received:
    5
    Gender:
    Female
    Location:
    Seattle USA,
    I hope most people know this by now. I'd like to think we've come that far, at least.:eek:
     
  11. B_Italian1

    B_Italian1 New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2007
    Messages:
    1,785
    Likes Received:
    0
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    United Steaks
    Jovial, it's normal to fear HIV and other STD's since there are so many people infected worldwide. The best thing you can do to protect yourself is to get into a monogamous, loving relationship with another person. If you love and trust each other, and the sex is great, you'll never have to worry about getting anything you don't want.

    I know it's easier said than done but we're living in crazy times. People didn't have to think about these things years ago. It's a known fact that people lie about sex. I've heard about so many people getting herpes or something worse from a hookup because the person seemed sincere.

    You have to weigh the risks. Condoms can help, but they're not 100%, and I'm not positive about this, but I don't think condoms have ever been actually approved for anal sex. They are made for vaginal sex, and if you look on any condom box I'm pretty sure the word "anal" is not even mentioned.
     
  12. aaahung

    aaahung Member

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2007
    Messages:
    116
    Albums:
    1
    Likes Received:
    0
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    London
    Good grief what alot of misguided people you all are
    Think you all need some sexual health education
     
  13. Meniscus

    Gold Member

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2007
    Messages:
    3,260
    Likes Received:
    4
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Western Mass.
    The 3 types of Hepatitis listed should probably be in separate categories. Hep A is not as serious an illness as the other types, and there are vaccines for types A & B.

    Gay men are at increased risk for Hepatits B, so I got vaccinated for both Hep A & Hep B.

    I'm more worried about Hep C than I am about herpes. Herpes is a manageable. Hep C can become chronic resulting in chronic liver disease, which in turn can require a liver transplant or lead to death.
     
  14. Jovial

    Gold Member

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2006
    Messages:
    2,404
    Albums:
    1
    Likes Received:
    0
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    CA
    I am quite confused about herpes. They say 1 in 4 women and 1 in 5 men have the HSV-2 virus in the USA. 46% of blacks and 18% of whites have it (poverty and health care has something to do with that). A large number of people who have the virus don't know they have it. This is because they don't recognize the lesions or they never actually get lesions but still carry the virus. People who have the virus but are not having an outbreak still have viral shedding about 3% of days during which time it can be passed on. Wearing a condom during sex reduces the chances of getting it, but you can still get it on an area near your genitals. Also, you need a small cut in the skin or mucous membrane to actually acquire the virus when exposed. And it can be passed between mouth and genitals.

    The CDC says "The majority of persons infected with HSV-2 have not been diagnosed with genital herpes. Many such persons have mild or unrecognized infections but shed virus intermittently in the genital tract. The majority of genital herpes infections are transmitted by persons unaware that they have the infection or who are asymptomatic when transmission occurs."

    Regarding blood tests for the virus the CDC says, "Type-specific HSV serologic assays might be useful in the following scenarios: 1) recurrent genital symptoms or atypical symptoms with negative HSV cultures; 2) a clinical diagnosis of genital herpes without laboratory confirmation; and 3) a partner with genital herpes. Some specialists believe that HSV serologic testing should be included in a comprehensive evaluation for STDs among persons with multiple sex partners, HIV infection, and among MSM at increased risk for HIV acquisition. Screening for HSV-1 or HSV-2 in the general population is not indicated."

    This doesn't make sense to me. If such a large number of people don't know they have it and are passing it on to others, then why don't they think the general population should be screened? Is it just a cost thing? I would ask when you get your next STD test to include the blood test for HSV-1 and HSV-2, but you may have to pay something like $20. Also, when you ask a new partner if they've been tested ask if they were tested for the herpes virus.

    For some of the other diseases:
    The CDC says Hepatitis C "is not efficiently transmitted sexually," it usually needs something like infected needles to be transmitted. They say, "The role of sexual activity in the transmission of HCV has been controversial." And go on to say some data says there is a small risk and other data a higher risk.

    Younger people are now routinely vaccinated against Hepatitis B, so I suggest older people look into getting the vaccine if you haven't already. It's a weird infection. Young people who get it are much more likely to become chronic, which means it damages the liver and can be passed to other people for the rest of their life. Adults usually can fight it off (something like 5% become chronic). But still, why take the risk?

    Hepatitis A is usually not as serious. It is "primarily transmitted by the fecal-oral route, by either person-to-person contact, or through consumption of contaminated food or water." I've heard people can get it if they are in the ocean a lot in an area where the water is contaminated with waste. A vaccine is available for this also.

    It seems like the statistics for HIV/AIDS show it is much more likely in the gay community and injection drug users, at least in the USA. I don't mean to make light of it among heterosexuals, because it is a deadly.

    Thanks you for your replies.
     
  15. simcha

    Gold Member

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2007
    Messages:
    2,242
    Likes Received:
    3
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Over The Rainbow
    I think you should tell this to Africans. I'd think they'd argue with you, and win. The majority of the world's HIV+ population is heterosexual. Get a clue, please.
     
  16. Jovial

    Gold Member

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2006
    Messages:
    2,404
    Albums:
    1
    Likes Received:
    0
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    CA
    Point well-taken. In my second post I did say "...at least in the USA." Sorry for not pointing that out in the first post.

    Do you know what percent of heterosexual and homosexual men/women have HIV in the USA? I can't find the statistics, only the reported cases by transmission category which includes "high-risk heterosexual contact" (Heterosexual contact with a person known to have, or to be at high risk for, HIV infection.) The CDC doesn't seem to give HIV statistics among heterosexuals in general.
     
  17. simcha

    Gold Member

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2007
    Messages:
    2,242
    Likes Received:
    3
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Over The Rainbow
    Jovial, as the poster above me quoted, the CDC is highly ignorant of the real numbers. Methinks it has something to do with a political agenda? Then again, they do good work, most of the time.

    As the epidemic progresses the numbers are shifting toward heterosexual women, unfortunately. Just know that most people who are HIV+ don't even know they are HIV+ because they haven't tested. I think there is a vast hidden HIV+ population that isn't represented in the numbers because heterosexual people, for the most part, don't even think of getting tested because they believe that the risk is minimal for them.

    In most of the rest of the world (non-Western countries) this is a disease that affects heterosexual people as much as homosexual people. Yes, it started to spread among intravenous drug users and men who have sex with men in the western world first. Unfortunately the tide is shifting in the western world because men who have sex with men are generally aware of the risks and, in my experience, take some sort of precautions. In talking with my heterosexual friends, they don't seem to take the same precautions because they are, for the most part, under the impression that risk is incredibly low for them. They're worried about pregnancy, mainly. And if the woman is on birth control pills then they generally don't seem to bother with condoms.

    I think that in western countries the governments don't want to have a general panic on their hands so they don't stress the possibility of heterosexual transmission in their efforts to curb the spread of HIV. Instead they focus their efforts on men who have sex with men and intravenous drug users. It seems to be more politically agreeable to lump men who have sex with men in with intravenous drug users, further alienating and isolating both communities, than to acknowledge that the risk for HIV is universal. I think that this is going to turn out to be a big mistake and future generations are going to look back and curse us for having been so politically motivated in our containment efforts. This is my humble opinion from my own personal experience of working with HIV+ and HIV- people as a psychotherapist intern. And it's not a scientific study, I realize that. Also, I live in the San Francisco Bay Area so I have great exposure to HIV issues here...
     
  18. B_Italian1

    B_Italian1 New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2007
    Messages:
    1,785
    Likes Received:
    0
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    United Steaks
    Simcha, the CDC does not have a political agenda. You don't have to get defensive because statistics show that gay men have highest HIV rates in the US. Since AIDS became first know in the early 1980's, it's been primarily known as a gay disease in the US. I repeat, the US. That's what Jovial was asking about.

    We know that in the rest of the world it's mainly a heterosexual disease, and that Africa has been devastated by HIV. Either way you look at it, for something that started 25 years ago it has claimed so many lives and there are millions who are HIV positive worldwide.

    There is no doubt that many people in the US are HIV pos and don't even know it. Some people never go to the doctor, give blood or even think about anything they do sexual as being dangerous. We have to look out for ourselves.
     
  19. B_cigarbabe

    B_cigarbabe New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2006
    Messages:
    4,006
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Boston,Mass.
    The heterosexual community is one of the fastest growing populations
    for quite a while.
    I think it's the 16 to 25 year old populations where the
    disease is hitting the hardest. I also disagree that CDC does not have a political agenda if it didn't why would they have waited until 1993 to make hep c testing mandatory in the nations blood supply? I could be wrong about the year but it's close.
    cigarbabe:saevil: