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1 in 2 sexually active people will get a sexually transmitted disease or infection – an STD/STI – by the age of 25 (and there is still risk beyond that). But the good news is that they are avoidable, manageable and definitely worth discussing.

 If you test positive for any STI, you should inform all recent sexual partners (past 60 days) so they can get tested and treated too.


 genital warts,

 genital herpes,

gonorrhoea, (among the treatable ones),

but also hepatitis B&C,


and HIV.
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 There is also a whole range of infections that are sometimes considered to be STDs, but they are not strictly speaking STDs. Although they are sometimes transmitted during sex they may be genital infections that are aggravated by sexual activity.

 These STD infections are easily curable and include: Bacterial vaginosis (smelly discharge) in women; Water warts caused by a virus which leads to liquid-filled warts around the genitals. These warts are relatively contagious and can be transmitted by skin contact and exchanging towels and clothes; Chancroid, caused by a bacteria and results in bump-like warts that turn into painful ulcers. The symptoms are very similar to genital warts. The advantage of broad spectrum antibiotics such as azithromycin is that while they’re specifically prescribed for certain types of STDs (e.g. chlamydia), they can also be used to treat other STD-related infections (e.g. chancroid). By getting tested and treated, you can sometimes cure many types of STDs at the same time.

Common STD symptoms in women

  • No symptoms
  • Discharge (thick or thin, milky white, yellow, or green leakage from the vagina)
  • Vaginal itching
  • Vaginal blisters or blisters in the genital area (the region covered by underwear)
  • Vaginal rash or rash in the genital area
  • Burning urination
  • Painful urination
  • Pain during intercourse
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