STIs

If you have sex, you run a risk of getting sexually transmitted infections (STIs). If you have safer sex, that chance is much slighter, but still not zero. Information about the symptoms, the possible consequences and the treatment of the most common STIs can be found on www.soaaids.nl. This section looks at what is specifically relevant for people with HIV.

If you have HIV, it is good to be alert for STIs:

  • You run a greater risk of getting hepatitis C.
  • There are interactions between certain HIV medicines and the medicines for hepatitis C.
  • An attack of genital herpes can last longer and be more serious if your immune system is weak.
  • The progression of syphilis is often no different for people with HIV than for anyone else, but it can also be more rapid and more serious. The first symptoms are little spots on your skin all over your body, especially on the palms of your hands and the soles of your feet; a flu-like feeling; bald patches on your head; eye problems; and warts on your genitals or around your anus.
  • An STI can potentially cause a temporary increase in your viral load and a drop in your CD4 cell count.
  • If you have an STI, it is potentially easier for you to pass on your HIV:
    • Some STIs can cause damage to the skin and mucous membranes of your penis, vagina and anus.
    • An STI can increase the viral load in your blood, sperm and vaginal fluid.

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STi's, HIV, sex and ethnic groups

seksueel actief 250Some STIs (Sexually Transmitted Infections) are more prevalent among certain population groups than others. In some groups, sexuality is more difficult to discuss. For this reason, Soa Aids Nederland is focussing specifically on cultural factors that mean that some people run a greater risk of contracting an STI than others.

On this website you find a lot of information about STIs, sex and diversity.

 

STI check directly with your HIV check-up?

The blood test that you get in connection with your HIV will nearly always show if you have contracted hepatitis. That is because that text determines your liver values each time and those are usually (slightly) higher if you have had hepatitis for half a year or less. At a number of hospitals, the regular blood tests given to people with HIV will also check for syphilis. But the blood tests for your HIV do not check for signs of other STIs, such as chlamydia and gonorrhoea. A complete STI check-up will also include a physical examination. Some HIV treatment centres are also STI policlinics where you can also get a complete STI check-up when you go in for your blood test in connection with your HIV.

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Hepatitis C - an overview

Hepatitis C is relatively common among gay men with HIV. Hepatitis C (HCV) is a serious and hard-to-treat chronic liver disease. In about four out of ten people who have it, hepatitis C will go away on its own, without treatment. Among people with HIV, that is somewhat less likely. Most people who contract hepatitis C will not notice anything at first. After a while, about half of them will notice adverse health effects. Fatigue is a common complaint, while jaundice (yellow skin and yellow eyes) is rare. The degree and the seriousness of the symptoms do not necessarily say anything about the seriousness of the liver disease. The speed with which hepatitis C can damage your health varies: the older someone is and the more alcohol he or she drinks, the faster the disease will progress. If hepatitis C does not heal, whether by itself or by means of the treatment, it can be fatal after 20 or 30 years; the progression of the disease can vary a lot from person to person.

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LGV

LGV is an aggressive strain of chlamydia that occurs primarily in gay men with HIV.
After 10 to 30 days (and sometimes even longer) the lymph nodes in the groin area can swell up and rupture. You might have painful lumpy blisters in the final section of your intestinal tract, constipation and traces of blood in your bowel movements, and an inflamed urethra or penis. A person with LGV will sometimes have a fever and will often feel generally bad. LGV can be treated by means of antibiotics taken over a course of three weeks. LGV is easily passed on through unprotected anal sexual contact, fisting and the sharing of sex toys (dildos) without first having disinfected them. The blisters from LGV make it easier for you get and pass on HIV and other STIs.

Contact

Hiv Vereniging Nederland

Eerste Helmersstraat 17

1054 CX AMSTERDAM

020 6 160 160

servicepunt@hivnet.org
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Servicepunt

020 689 25 77
servicepunt@hivnet.org


For questions about living with HIV. Available monday, tuesday and thursday from 2 PM till 10 PM

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