Departments

Posts Tagged ‘sex partners’

Hepatitis B Information – Hepatitis Symptoms & Treatment

Dr. Sabrina Kendrick, Director of the Ruth M. Rothstein CORE Center, talks about Hepatitis B

  • What is Hepatitis B?

    Hepatitis B is a contagious liver disease that ranges in severity from a mild illness lasting a few weeks to a serious, lifelong illness. It results from infection with the hepatitis B virus. Hepatitis B can be either “acute” or “chronic.”

    Acute hepatitis B virus infection is a short-term illness that occurs within the first 6 months after someone is exposed to the hepatitis B virus. Acute infection can — but does not always — lead to chronic infection.

    Chronic hepatitis B virus infection is a long-term illness that occurs when the hepatitis B virus remains in a person’s body.

  • What are the statistics for Hepatitis B?

    In 2006, there were an estimated 46,000 new hepatitis B virus infections in the United States. However, the official number of reported hepatitis B cases is much lower. Many people don’t know they are infected or may not have symptoms and therefore never seek the attention of medical or public health officials.

  • How common is chronic hepatitis B in the United States?

    In the United States, an estimated 800,000 to 1.4 million persons have chronic hepatitis B virus infection.

  • How is Hepatitis B transmitted?

    Hepatitis B is spread when blood, semen, or other body fluid infected with the hepatitis B virus enters the body of a person who is not infected. People can become infected with the virus during activities such as:

    • Birth (spread from an infected mother to her baby during birth)
    • Sex with an infected partner
    • Sharing needles, syringes, or other drug-injection equipment
    • Sharing items such as razors or toothbrushes with an infected person
    • Direct contact with the blood or open sores of an infected person
    • Exposure to blood from needlesticks or other sharp instruments.
  • What are the risk factors for transmission of Hepatitis B?

    Although anyone can get hepatitis B, some people are at greater risk, such as those who:

    • Have sex with an infected person
    • Have multiple sex partners
    • Have a sexually transmitted disease
    • Are men who have sexual contact with other men
    • Inject drugs or share needles, syringes, or other drug equipment
    • Live with a person who has chronic hepatitis B
    • Are infants born to infected mothers
    • Are exposed to blood on the job
    • Are hemodialysis patients
    • Travel to countries with moderate to high rates of hepatitis B
  • How do you prevent transmission of Hepatitis B?

    The best way to prevent hepatitis B is by getting the hepatitis B vaccine. The hepatitis B vaccine is safe and effective and is usually given as 3-4 shots over a 6-month period.

  • What are the symptoms of Hepatitis B?

    Symptoms of acute hepatitis B, if they appear, can include:

    • Fever
    • Fatigue
    • Loss of appetite
    • Nausea
    • Vomiting
    • Abdominal pain
    • Dark urine
    • Clay-colored bowel movements
    • Joint pain
    • Jaundice (yellow color in the skin or the eyes)
  • What is the test for Hepatitis B?

    There are many different blood tests available to diagnose hepatitis B. They can be ordered as an individual test or as a series of tests. getSTDtested provides the following test:

    Hepatitis B Surface Antigen (HBsAg) is a protein on the surface of the hepatitis B virus. It can be detected in the blood during acute or chronic hepatitis B virus infection. The body normally produces antibodies to HBsAg as part of the normal immune response to infection.

    A positive test means:

    A person has an acute or chronic hepatitis B virus infection and can pass the virus to others

    A negative test means:

    A person does not have the hepatitis B virus in his or her blood

  • What is the Window Period for Hepatitis B?

    On average, symptoms appear 90 days (or 3 months) after exposure, but they can appear any time between 6 weeks and 6 months after exposure.

  • Is there a vaccine or treatment for Hepatitis B?

    Yes, there is a vaccine.

    The hepatitis B vaccine series is a sequence of shots that stimulate a person’s natural immune system to protect against HBV. After the vaccine is given, the body makes antibodies that protect a person against the virus. An antibody is a substance found in the blood that is produced in response to a virus invading the body. These antibodies are then stored in the body and will fight off the infection if a person is exposed to the hepatitis B virus in the future.

  • Who should get vaccinated against hepatitis B?

    Hepatitis B vaccination is recommended for:

    • All infants, starting with the first dose of hepatitis B vaccine at birth
    • All children & adolescents younger than 19 years of age old who have not been vaccinated
    • People whose sex partners have hepatitis B
    • Sexually active persons not in a long-term, mutually monogamous relationship
    • Persons seeking evaluation or treatment for a sexually transmitted disease
    • Men who have sexual contact with other men
    • People who share needles, syringes, or other drug-injection equipment
    • People with close household contact with someone infected with hepatitis B
    • Healthcare and public safety workers at risk for exposure to blood or blood-contaminated body fluids on the job
    • People with end-stage renal disease, including predialysis, hemodialysis, peritoneal dialysis, and home dialysis patients
    • Residents and staff of facilities for developmentally disabled persons
    • Travelers to regions with moderate or high rates of hepatitis B
    • People with chronic liver disease
    • People with HIV infection
    • Anyone who wishes to be protected from hepatitis B virus infection

    In order to reach individuals at risk for hepatitis B, vaccination is also recommended for anyone in or seeking treatment from the following:

    • Sexually transmitted disease treatment facilities
    • HIV testing and treatment facilities
    • Facilities providing drug-abuse treatment and prevention services
    • Healthcare settings targeting services to injection drug users
    • Healthcare settings targeting services to men who have sex with men
    • Chronic hemodialysis facilities and end-stage renal disease programs
    • Correctional facilities
    • Institutions & nonresidential day care facilities for the developmentally disabled

Chlamydia Information – Symptoms of Chlamydia and More

Dr. Sabrina Kendrick, Director of the Ruth M. Rothstein CORE Center, talks about Chlamydia

What is Chlamydia?

Chlamydia is a common sexually transmitted disease (STD) caused by the bacterium, Chlamydia trachomatis, which can damage a woman’s reproductive
organs. Even though symptoms of chlamydia are usually mild or absent, serious complications that cause irreversible damage, including infertility,
can occur “silently” before a woman ever recognizes a problem. Chlamydia also can cause discharge from the penis of an infected man.

What are the statistics?

Chlamydia is the most frequently reported bacterial sexually transmitted disease in the United States. In 2006, 1,030,911 chlamydial infections
were reported to CDC from 50 states and the District of Columbia. Under-reporting is substantial because most people with chlamydia are not aware
of their infections and do not seek testing. Also, testing is not often done if patients are treated for their symptoms. An estimated 2,291,000
non-institutionalized U.S. civilians ages 14-39 are infected with Chlamydia based on the U.S. National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey.
Women are frequently re-infected if their sex partners are not treated.

How is Chlamydia transmitted?

Chlamydia can be transmitted during vaginal, anal, or oral sex. Chlamydia can also be passed from an infected mother to her baby during vaginal
childbirth. Any sexually active person can be infected with chlamydia. The greater the number of sex partners, the greater the risk of infection.
Because the cervix (opening to the uterus) of teenage girls and young women is not fully matured and is probably more susceptible to infection, they
are at particularly high risk for infection if sexually active. Since chlamydia can be transmitted by oral or anal sex, men who have sex with men
are also at risk for chlamydial infection.

What are the risk factors for transmission of Chlamydia?

Chlamydia is known as a “silent” disease because about three quarters of infected women and about half of infected men have no symptoms. If
symptoms do occur, they usually appear within 1 to 3 weeks after exposure.

In women, the bacteria initially infect the cervix and the urethra (urine canal). Women who have symptoms might have an abnormal vaginal discharge
or a burning sensation when urinating. When the infection spreads from the cervix to the fallopian tubes (tubes that carry fertilized eggs from the
ovaries to the uterus), some women still have no signs or symptoms; others have lower abdominal pain, low back pain, nausea, fever, pain during
intercourse, or bleeding between menstrual periods. Chlamydial infection of the cervix can spread to the rectum.

Men with signs or symptoms might have a discharge from their penis or a burning sensation when urinating. Men might also have burning and itching
around the opening of the penis. Pain and swelling in the testicles are uncommon.

Men or women who have receptive anal intercourse may acquire chlamydial infection in the rectum, which can cause rectal pain, discharge, or bleeding.
Chlamydia can also be found in the throats of women and men having oral sex with an infected partner.

What are the complications of untreated Chlamydia?

If untreated, chlamydial infections can progress to serious reproductive and other health problems with both short-term and long-term consequences.
Like the disease itself, the damage that chlamydia causes is often “silent.”

In women, untreated infection can spread into the uterus or fallopian tubes and cause pelvic inflammatory disease (PID). This happens in up to 40
percent of women with untreated chlamydia. PID can cause permanent damage to the fallopian tubes, uterus, and surrounding tissues. The damage can
lead to chronic pelvic pain, infertility, and potentially fatal ectopic pregnancy (pregnancy outside the uterus). Women infected with chlamydia are up
to five times more likely to become infected with HIV, if exposed.

To help prevent the serious consequences of chlamydia, screening at least annually for chlamydia is recommended for all sexually active women age
25 years and younger. An annual screening test also is recommended for older women with risk factors for chlamydia (a new sex partner or multiple sex
partners). All pregnant women should have a screening test for chlamydia.

Complications among men are rare. Infection sometimes spreads to the epididymis (the tube that carries sperm from the testis), causing pain, fever,
and, rarely, sterility.

Rarely, genital chlamydial infection can cause arthritis that can be accompanied by skin lesions and inflammation of the eye and urethra (Reiter’s
syndrome).

What is the test for Chlamydia?

There are laboratory tests to diagnose chlamydia. Some can be performed on urine; other tests require that a specimen be collected from a site such
as the penis or cervix. Getstdtested.com uses a urine based test.

How do you treat Chlamydia?

Chlamydia can be easily treated and cured with antibiotics. A single dose of azithromycin or a week of doxycycline (twice daily) are the most
commonly used treatments. HIV-positive persons with chlamydia should receive the same treatment as those who are HIV negative.

All sex partners should be evaluated, tested, and treated. Persons with chlamydia should abstain from sexual intercourse until they and their sex
partners have completed treatment, otherwise re-infection is possible.

Women whose sex partners have not been appropriately treated are at high risk for re-infection. Having multiple infections increases a woman’s
risk of serious reproductive health complications, including infertility. Retesting should be encouraged for women three to four months after treatment.
This is especially true if a woman does not know if her sex partner received treatment.

How do you prevent transmission of Chlamydia?

The surest way to avoid transmission of STDs is to abstain from sexual contact, or to be in a long-term mutually monogamous relationship with a
partner who has been tested and is known to be uninfected.

Latex male condoms, when used consistently and correctly, can reduce the risk of transmission of chlamydia.

DC recommends yearly chlamydia testing of all sexually active women age 25 or younger, older women with risk factors for chlamydial infections
(those who have a new sex partner or multiple sex partners), and all pregnant women. An appropriate sexual risk assessment by a health care provider
should always be conducted and may indicate more frequent screening for some women.

Any genital symptoms such as an unusual sore, discharge with odor, burning during urination, or bleeding between menstrual cycles could mean an
STD infection. If a woman has any of these symptoms, she should stop having sex and consult a health care provider immediately.

Treating STDs early can prevent PID. Women who are told they have an STD and are treated for it should notify all of their recent sex partners
(sex partners within the preceding 60 days) so they can see a health care provider and be evaluated for STDs. Sexual activity should not resume until
all sex partners have been examined and, if necessary, treated.

Schools