media apps, barriers to testing and stigma may contribute to
the increase in sexually transmitted infections including
gonorrhea, chlamydia and syphilis.
to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the number
of reported sexually transmitted infections is at an
now much easier for people who wish to engage in high-risk
sexual activity with multiple sex partners to find other
people who are interested in engaging in high-risk sexual
activity with multiple sex partners in real time," says
Dr. Pritish Tosh, a Mayo Clinic infectious diseases
specialist. "Some studies have shown these apps have
contributed to the rise in sexually transmitted
people, and bisexual and gay men face the greatest risk of
becoming infected with sexually transmitted infections.
already an inherent barrier of people being embarrassed if
they think that they may have a sexually transmitted
infection; then there are barriers to health care of people
perhaps not having access to a health care," says Tosh.
"Social stigma, especially when we’re talking about the
population of men who have sex with men. It’s a reason why
we tend to see higher rates in that population."
is key. Tosh says know your partner. Use safe-sex practices.
And if you develop symptoms, see a health care provider.
Treatment is available.
the large part, these sexually transmitted infections are
treatable or at least manageable," says Tosh. "We’re
talking about gonorrhea, chlamydia or syphilis. These are
curable. Even infections like HIV now have very effective
antiretroviral therapy, which can manage the infection. Right
now, we don’t have a cure. But, for the most part, these
sexually transmitted infections can be either cured or dealt
with. It’s important that people seek treatment from their
health care provider if they have any symptoms."
of common sexually transmitted infections may include:
Sores or bumps on the genitals, or in the oral or rectal area
Painful or burning urination
Discharge from the penis
Unusual or odd-smelling vaginal discharge
Unusual vaginal bleeding
Sore, swollen lymph nodes, particularly in the groin but
sometimes more widespread
Lower abdominal pain
over the trunk, hands or feet