The information below addresses specific information about STDs/STIs (sexually transmitted diseases, sexually transmitted infections) other than HIV and syphilis that frequently affect gay men in Palm Springs. Some of the links include graphic images of potential symptoms and should be viewed with caution.Download Link Here
If you feel that you or someone you know my have been infected with any of the conditions detailed on this page, click here for testing sites.
Chlamydia, which is caused by the bacteria Chlamydia trachomatis, targets the cells of the mucous membranes including the surfaces of the urethra, as well as the anus or rectum. Chlamydia sometimes even affects the mouth or throat.
How it's spread:
Chlamydia is easily transmitted through semen, pre-seminal fluid and vaginal secretions during unprotected anal or oral sex with an infected person. It can also be transmitted by touching an infected area with your own genitals, anus or by sharing sex toys contaminated with infected fluids. Someone with no symptoms can still transmit it. Chlamydia is not transmitted through such casual contact as hugging, shaking hands, sharing food, using the same eating utensils, drinking from the same glass, sitting on public toilets, or touching door knobs.
Symptoms may include:
1. Discharge from the genitals, which may be yellow or white, watery or thick (see picture);
2. Need to urinate (pee) more often;
3. Thick yellow or white drip from the genitals
4. Burning or pain when you urinate (pee) or have a bowel movement;
5. Some may not experience any symptoms.
Treatment for Chlamydia:
A healthcare provider may prescribe a single-dose antibiotic, such as azithromycin (Zithromax), ta ken as a pill. On the other hand, the healthcare provider may choose an antibiotic, such as doxycycline (Atridox, Bio-Tab), to be ta ken as a pill twice a day for a week. Up to 95% of people will be cured after one course of antibiotics.
Abstinence is the only 100% effective way of preventing Chlamydia, however if you choose to engage in sexual activities and are unsure if you or your partner is possibly infected, consistent and correct use of condoms can effectively help reduce the risk of transmission.
Genital Herpes (HSV)
Herpes Simplex Virus (HSV) is a recurrent skin condition characterized by sores on the mouth or genitals. HSV-1 commonly causes “cold sores” or “fever blisters” on the mouth or face. HSV-2 is a closely related virus that is a much more serious infection causing painful sores on the genitals which can also be spread to the mouth or throat.
How it's spread:
HSV is primarily transmitted, both sexually and non-sexually, by direct contact with an active sore: mouth to genitals, genitals to genitals, mouth to anus or genitals to anus. It can also be transmitted when there are no active sores present as small amounts of the virus “sheds” onto the skin surface even when there is no active, visible sore. HSV is not transmitted through such casual contact as hugging, shaking hands, sharing food, using the same eating utensils, drinking from the same glass, sitting on public toilets, or touching door knobs.
Symptoms may include:
1. Small, painful blisters on the sex organs (see picture) or mouth (see picture);
2. Itching or burning before the blisters appear;
3. Blisters generally last 1-3 weeks. When they do go away, HSV is still present in the body. The blisters may reoccur in the same area with varying frequency;
4. An outbreak may be preceded by flu-like feelings.
Treatment for Genital Herpes:
There are medications available to treat genital herpes infections, preventing or reducing the frequency or recurrent outbreaks. However, herpes cannot be "cured." The decision to use one treatment over another for genital herpes depends on many factors that must be discussed with your healthcare provider. During an outbreak, keep the infected area as clean and dry as possible as this will help the natural healing processes. Some healthcare providers recommend warm showers in order to cleanse the infected area. Afterwards, towel dry gently, or dry the area with a hair dryer on a low or cool setting. To prevent chaffing, some people also find it helpful to avoid tight-fitting undergarments. Finally, a healthy immune system is important in controlling outbreaks of the virus. Don't ignore the need for proper nutrition, exercise, and rest.
There is no inoculation for herpes so abstinence is the only 100% effective way of preventing HSV infection. However, if you chose to engage in sexual activities and are unsure if you or your partner is possibly infected, consistent and correct use of latex barriers (condoms) can help reduce the risk of transmission. However, only areas covered by condoms, dams or gloves are protected from infection.