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Top College STDs

Moving away to college is an exciting experience for many people with new freedoms and meeting different people. Going to clubs and parties can be a new and fun experience when acting responsibly. However, alcohol and other factors can hinder judgment. Sexually transmitted diseases are unfortunately a common problem among college campuses. Understand what the most common STDs are for college students and how to prevent them. Condoms

Most Common College STDs

Human Papillomavirus (HPV)

HPV is spread through skin-to-skin contact and can lead to genital warts and cervical cancer. Many people are unaware they are infected since symptoms often go unnoticed. Although it is not curable, preventative measures can be taken. Girls are recommended to get a vaccine at age 11 or 12, but please note that it does not protect against all strains of HPV.

Chlamydia

This bacterial STD is transmitted through vaginal, oral and anal sex. Chlamydia is treatable and curable with antibiotics, but immediate attention is required to prevent damage to both men and women’s reproductive organs.

Gonorrhea

Like Chlamydia, there are often no visible symptoms of gonorrhea, so it is important to get tested regularly. Fortunately it is treatable and curable with antibiotics, but the disease must be caught early to prevent pelvic inflammatory disease (PID).

Genital Herpes

Genital Herpes, or HSV-2, is spread in the same ways as chlamydia, but it is not curable. This disease can cause blisters, redness and sores.

Prevention

Condom Use

Condoms are 97% effective at preventing STDs, but they must be used properly. If you are sexually active, use them consistently and correctly to reduce your risk of transmitting or receiving an infection or disease. Remember, birth control pills do not protect against sexually transmitted diseases.

Abstinence

The only way to be 100% sure you will not get an STD is to be abstinent. Sexually transmitted infections and diseases may be passed through oral sex, anal sex or intercourse. If this is not a probable option, take preventative measures and understand the risks with being sexually active.

If you are sexually active and/or have multiple partners, be sure to get tested regularly for STDs. The sooner you are aware of a problem, the more quickly you’ll be able to treat it. ARCpoint labs offers STD testing for both men and women. You don’t even need insurance or an appointment, so contact us today to take control of your sexual health.

 

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Michael Douglas Addresses Cancer and Oral Sex Headlines

Michael Douglas went viral earlier this week when he brought up a sexually transmitted disease in connection with his 2010 battle with cancer.

Michael Douglas

Image from NYT

His representatives quickly addressed the statements that were made during an interview with The Guardian. The representatives told USA Today that Douglas was not talking specifically about his battle with cancer. Instead, he was simply making the connection between oral HPV and certain cancers.

We can speculate as much as we want, but we can’t know if oral HPV was the cause of Douglas’ cancer. However, we can thank him. We can thank him for bringing this issue to our attention. His comments draw attention to the little talked about fact that oral sex can cause oral cancers.

The link between oral sex and cancer isn’t new, but it still may catch some by surprise. It makes sense that drinking and smoking are risk factors associated with throat and oral cancers. But now, we see that throat cancers related to the sexually transmitted virus human papillomavirus (HPV) are becoming more common.

On the rise

The stats show that this connection is becoming an increasingly important issue.  Reports show that the connection between oral HPV and throat cancer is on the rise. According to the CDC, the incidence rates for HPV-associated throat cancer among white men and women increased between 2000 and 2009. HPV-related throat cancers are more common in men than cervical cancer in women.

Who is at risk?

Throat cancers in the elderly are usually associated with smoking. The demographic that is being diagnosed with HPV-related cancers are younger. Adults ages 40 to 65 are the primary group developing cancer related to oral HPV.

Protect yourself: be aware

Since there is currently no test for oral HPV, how will you protect yourself? The HPV vaccine given to young men and women is a good step to reduce risk. For those not protected by the vaccine, the best way to reduce risk is to know the symptoms. Since this STD can be treated if detected early, its so important to pay attention to any potential symptoms. To reduce risk, remember to follow safe sex practices.

 Learn more about HPV and how to prevent it.

Be aware of your cancer risk factors and test yourself for STDs.

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Know your STDs and How to Prevent Them: HPV

It seems like there are several commercials running for the prevention of human papillomavirus (HPV) and that’s probably because it’s the most common sexually transmitted infection (STI). According to the CDC, about 20 million Americans have HPV right now, and another 6 million will be effected this year. While there are several types of this viruses that float around, the important thing to know is that just like many other STDS, if you have HPV, you may never know. However this lack of awareness can prove to be very detrimental, and especially in the cases involving HPV.

Do You Have HPV?

If you have HPV, you probably don’t even realize it. The CDC says that in 90% of cases, the body’s immune system clears it up naturally. But get this – it clears it up within TWO YEARS. Yep, for two years you could be fighting off a sexually transmitted infection.

But here’s the thing about HPV:  if the body doesn’t clear it up naturally, life-threatening consequences can come later. Like what? Well…. let’s just say here are what some have experienced:

  • Genital and oral warts
  • Cervical cancer
  • Other cancers near the lower genital region in both men & women

Seriously, an STD can give me CANCER?!?

Yep, an STD can give you cancer. Now there are several strains of HPV, and not all of them are the cancer-causing agents. Some of them just cause the warts. However, you can’t really know which type of strain you have and that’s why it’s extremely important for you to get checked:

  • STD testing – if you’re sexually active (especially with multiple partners), you need tested for STDs each year.
  • Routine cervical exams (for women) – this will test you for cervical cancer. Almost all cases of cervical cancer are caused by the HPV virus.
  • Routine physicals (for men) – the doctor will examine if you have any signs of STD complications from warts to cancer

The HPV virus mutates cells. Just like any other cancer, you cannot physically feel this taking place, and it’s a slow process. However, when HPV goes undetected and isn’t fought off naturally, that’s when this devastation can occur. It might be years later, but if you’ve picked up the HPV virus and your body didn’t fight it off naturally, you will be at risk for cancers.

How do I Prevent & Treat HPV?

HPV is actually a very unique STD in that it has a vaccine for prevention. While abstaining from sexual relations will be the best way prevent it, some of these tools will also help:

  • Vaccines – there’s a vaccine for women & girls (ideally given around ages 11-12) that can prevent cervical cancer, other reproductive-area cancers and warts. There’s also a vaccine for men & boys that can prevent the warts and anal cancers caused from HPV.
  • Condoms – The use of condoms is said to help stop the spread of HPV – as long as they are used during the entire sexual encounter.
  • Medicines – If you’re suffering from the genital warts, there are some medications a doctor can prescribe to help clear them up.

Learn More about HPV

This is just scratching the surface when it comes to HPV and your risks. Learn more at some of these trusted sites:

Center for Disease Control: Genital HPV Infection

PubMed Health: Genital Warts

National Cancer Institute: HPV and Cancer

 

 

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HPV Vaccines are for Everyone

On January 1, 2012, it officially became legal for a child who is 12 years old or older to get the HPV vaccine without parental consent. And while all the buzz right now is for young girls to get the vaccine, did you know that the American Academy of Pediatrics is now recommending boys get the shot as well?

Getting the HPV shot could save you from Cervical Cancer and Oropharyngeal Cancer.

What is HPV

The Human papillomavirus, better known as HPV is one of the most commonly spread sexually transmitted diseases in the United States. There are over 150 different strands of HPV.

One out of every two sexually active people will most likely contract the virus in their lifetime.

How is it Contacted?

Out of the 150 strands, 40 of them can be transmitted sexually. Any form of genital contact can spread the disease.

Why Should Boys also get the Shot?

While most cases of HPV will go away on their own after a few years, it does have the potential to cause cervical cancer in women. And new studies are showing that it can also cause oropharyngeal that can be found in men and women. Oropharyngeal cancer is a cancer located in the throat.

Getting the HPV shot can also lower the risk for anal cancer which can also occur in men and women.

STD Screenings

If you’ve never the HPV shot, and are worried about being a carrier, find a STD testing lab in your area. An STD lab will be able to screen you specifically for HPV.

If you are currently sexually active, be on the safe side and get tested. Not only does testing give you piece of mind, but it will be beneficial to your sexual partners. Getting screened for HPV might just save your life.

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