In this CherryTV video, sex educator Amy Levine gives us instruction on viral STDs and describes what it takes to manage them.
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Hi! Welcome to Cherry TV's Fresh Advice. My name is Amy Levine. Today, we're talking about viral sexually transmitted diseases, STDs that can be treated but not cured. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that one in four Americans have an STD. So, it's important to be aware and understand that any new partner you hook up with, could potentially be infected. Viral STDs are caused by a virus, meaning there are treatments to make the disease manageable, but no cure. Common viral infections include Herpes, HPV and HIV, all of which I will talk about today. Here are the basics. First is Herpes. It's estimated that one in five people have genital herpes. This STD is transmitted to direct skin to skin contact with an infected area, whether or not symptoms are present during sex. Females and males are both at risk. If there are signs, they can look like a nick, cut, rash, blister, or sore, on or around the genital area or anus. There could be one or there could be more. These can be caused by the two types of Herpes, 1 and 2. Herpes 1 is often on the mouth and known as cold sores that can also be transmitted through kissing. A herpes infection can feel like the flu. When you're infected with the virus, it's possible to have no visible signs when it's latent in your body. However, once it becomes active, the outbreaks can occur more frequently with or without the symptoms. When someone has herpes they can take daily suppressive therapy, medication that can lower the chance of passing it on to sex partners, or when someone has an outbreak, they can take medicine to make the outbreak subside faster. A lot of people have herpes, so the stigma has lessened over the years. Well, it can be a nuisance, it's doesn't lead to serious health problems. The next is HPV. This STD is the most common. Some estimate that 80% of sexually active people will get HPV at some points in their lives. It's spread through vaginal and/or anal sex with an infected partner. There are many types of HPV, but most people who have genital HPV, don't even know they have it, since there are often no symptoms, plus it often goes away by itself without causing any sort of detectable health problem. However, if you have it, you can transmit it. When symptoms occur, they are usually in the form of flat or raised warts on or around the female and male genitals, anus and the woman cervix. Some warts can grow in size and need to be removed by a health practitioner. Some strains of HPV don't cause warts, because cell changes. The cervix is the most common area it affects. If undetected, in some cases, this type of HPV infection can lead to cervical cancer. Gardasil is a vaccine that prevents some of the most common kinds of HPV infection. It can protect against the two types that cause cervical cancer and two types that cause genital warts. This vaccine is highly recommended for all females, 11-26 years old, and is most effective in those who have not been infected with these types of HPV. Women can be tested by a healthcare provider for the presence of the HPV virus, but men can't. They often never know they have it yet pass it on to their partner. Last, we have HIV and AIDS. HIV is sexually transmitted through blood, vaginal and seminal fluids during vaginal, anal and/or oral sex. The virus can be present in pre-ejaculate and menstrual fluid, but not saliva. Many people have HIV, but experience no symptoms for years. So they don't even know they're infected. When symptoms do occur, they are often mistaken for the flu. HIV can lead to AIDS, which is usually fatal. AIDS damages the immune system making one susceptible to all kinds of infections. While many people have died of AIDS, some people live for decades with HIV. At this point, there is no vaccine. Other viral STDs include Hepatitis B and molluscum contagiosum. You can find out more about them as well as testing and treatment options for all STDs through the resources listed at the end. To protect you