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The Carletonian

The Carletonian

The Carletonian

SWArticle: STIs

<re infections spread through infected body fluids including blood, semen, and vaginal secretions. Symptoms take time to present themselves. Common STIs include chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis, (which are bacterial, and can be treated with anitbiotics) and HPV (Human Papilloma Virus), genital herpes, and HIV (which are viral).

The symptoms of chlamydia include abnormal genital discharge and burning urination. Most people are asymptomatic, meaning that they are contagious but do not have symptoms currently; symptoms can crop up later or not at all. 

Symptoms of gonorrhea in women include greenish, yellowish discharge, painful urination and abnormal vaginal bleeding. In men, the symptoms include thick discharge as well as burning during urination. If untreated, chlamydia and gonorrhea cause pelvic inflammatory disease in women, swollen testicles in men, and sterility.

Syphilis can be cured early on, but body damage is permanent. In its primary stage sores appear on the lips, genitals, and/or anus. Secondary symptoms include rashes throughout the body.
HPV encompasses multiple viruses strains, thirty of which can cause STIs, including genital warts. Others are asymptomatic. Some strains cause cervical cancer. The Wellness Center tests for HPV as part of a female exam. There is an HPV vaccine available for both women and men.

Genital herpes creates painful sores on the vagina, penis, mouth, or eyes. These sores come in outbreaks, but herpes is infectious outside of flare-ups.

HIV attacks the immune system and causes AIDS. It is spread through infected blood, semen, vaginal fluids, and breast milk. Existing STIs put people at a higher risk of acquiring HIV if exposed. Symptoms of AIDS include unexplained flulike symptoms, purplish growths on the skin, and a whitish coating on the tongue or mouth. 

There are a number of resources available to students. The Wellness Center tests for chlamydia and gonorrhea and each term has 1-2 days of HIV testing. Northfield Urgent Care, Allina Clinic, and Northfield hospital test for common STIs. Planned Parenthood also provides low-cost testing. For more information contact your local SWA, or TWC.

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