Say No to AIDS

An STI refers to a Sexually Transmitted Infection. It is a disease that is transmited via sexual contact. This includes genital sex, anal sex and oral sex. It is important to note that STIs can have an effect on one’s well being and reproductive potential (ability to have children). Some examples of STIs are syphilis, chlamydia, genital herpes and gonorrhea. You can learn more about STIs from the World Health Organization.


Why Do PLHIV Need To Know About STIs?

Having an STI increases the risk of HIV transmission. STIs can be considered a “portal of entry” for HIV, as HIV particles can enter another person’s body through these breaks in the skin or mucous membranes. As such, if someone who has HIV has unprotected sex with someone who has an STI, there is increased likelihood of transmission of HIV to the uninfected partner. It is also important for PLHIV to note that immune damage from HIV can lead to the progression of some STIs. This means that the symptoms of some STIs may become more persistent and difficult to treat.This is why it is so important to adhere to HIV treatment. Adherence reduces the likelihood of immune damage.

How Can You Prevent The Transmission Of STIs?

You can prevent the transmission of STIs by having protected sex, that is, sex with a condom. Please note that PrEP and PEP cannot prevent the transmission of STIs.

For other questions about HIV and STIs, call the National HIV Helpline on 800-4HIV or 800-4448. (This is a toll-free number)

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