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Positively Informed: An HIV/AIDS Roundup

What do you really know about HIV and AIDS? How sure are you that what you know is correct or complete, and how much do you think it matters that you know about HIV and AIDS at all?

Me & HSV

I have genital herpes. Those people you see in the Valtrex commercials, running down a beach with five beautiful women chasing after them? Totally me.

The STI Files: Trichomoniasis

Trichomoniasis is one of the most common sexually transmitted diseases, mainly affecting 16-to-35-year old females.

The STI Files: Syphilis

Syphilis has been called "the great imitator" because many of its signs look like other diseases. It is also difficult to know if someone has syphilis because a person might not have any symptoms at all.

The STI Files: Scabies

This disease has bothered humans for thousands of years, but it seems to come and go in unexplainable cycles. Scabies used to be very rare in America, but now it is coming back again.

The STI Files: Pubic Lice

Pubic lice are often spread through sexual contact, though genital contact or sexual intercourse is not necessary for transmission. In a few cases, pubic lice have been spread through contact with bed linens, towels, or clothes because lice can live for 24 hours off a human body.

The STI Files: Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID)

"Pelvic inflammatory disease" is shorthand for any serious bacterial infection of the reproductive organs that are housed in the pelvis: the uterus, uterine lining, fallopian tubes, and/or ovaries. These infections usually start in the vagina and, when left untreated, can progressively infect other reproductive organs. 20% of PID cases are found in teens, who often are afraid or unable to get reproductive health care. PID can result in permanent infertility and chronic pain.

The STI Files: Human Papillomavirus (HPV)

As many as one in ten Americans have HPV, and some studies show that at least one-third of all sexually active young adults have genital HPV infections. It is often stated that more than half of all college-age women wil become infected with HPV during their college career.

The STI Files: Herpes

About one in five people in the United States over age 12 -- approximately 45 million individuals -- are infected with HSV-II, the virus that causes genital herpes. Around 50 - 80% of the adult population has oral herpes, which most people contract through nonsexual contact in childhood.

The STI Files: Gonorrhea

In the United States, approximately 75% of all reported gonorrhea is found in people age 15 to 29.

The STI Files: Cytomegalovirus

One member of a group of herpes-type viruses, CMV is transmitted through body fluids, sexually and nonsexually, and from mother to infant during birth. CMV is also incredibly dangerous for people who are immunocompromised or people with HIV.

The STI Files: Bacterial Vaginosis

Bacterial vaginosis (BV) is the most common cause of vaginitis symptoms among women of childbearing age (15-45). However, half the women who meet clinical criteria for BV have no symptoms.

Anal Sex: No Different?

My boyfriend says that anal sex is no different than regular sex. Is that true? He also says we don't have to use a condom? Also, will I still be a virgin if I have anal sex? Will it hurt as much?

10 common Myths, Misunderstandings and Big Ol' Lies About Emergency Contraception

It's amazing that with something as safe, simple, affordable and revolutionary as emergency contraception that it STILL isn't being used by millions of women who could use it, and who would prefer to avoid an abortion or an unwanted pregnancy. In part, that's because so many doctors and clinics still do not inform and educate women about EC. Here's some EC clarity, on the house. Pass it on!

World AIDS Day (2001)

For the past 13 years, people all over the world have used this day to educate, learn, remember and think about and put the focus of the global community for just one day on HIV and AIDS. Saturday, December 1st is no exception.

Not a Faceless Disease

I started to grasp that AIDS hit very diverse people from lots of different backgrounds, but AIDS had no face for me. No real face, I mean. Only a face hidden in a shadow, or behind glasses, with a wig or a base cap and a weird, computerized voice, without a name. But it did get a name for me. And a face.

FBI Files: Candidiasis, AKA, Yeast Infections

Itching like nobody's business down south? Have a curdled discharge? Candida Albicans may be the hoodlum to blame.

Emergency Contraception

We get a lot of questions from teens who are wondering if they can prevent pregnancy after intercourse, whether the concern is due to a broken condom or from not using any method of contraception in the first place. Regardless of how it happened, there is something that can reduce the risk of pregnancy if used within 120 hours (or with an IUD, eight days) of your risk. That something is Emergency Contraception.

FBI Files: Vasocongestion, AKA: Blue Balls

Am I blue? Find out what "blue balls" are really all about: the facts may surprise you.

The HPV Vaccine FAQ

A vaccine is available to help prevent the spread of some types of HPV for people of all genders. Have a click to find out more about it.

Not Everything You Wanted To Know About Puberty (But Pretty Darn Close)

Puberty is the process of physical changes and sexual maturation leading to sexual maturation as well as complete body growth. During puberty, your whole body goes through growth spurts until it has become physically mature in terms of bone mass and size, and the sexual organs and secondary sexual characteristics develop and mature. Chances are, if you're at this website, you have likely already started puberty.

10 of the Best Things You Can Do for Your Sexual Self (at Any Age)

If we look at our sexuality one way, it looks a million times simpler than it actually is. If we look at it another way, it appears a million times more complicated. While it's important that we bear everything in mind we need to in terms of infection and disease, birth control, our relationships, our bodies and the whole works, now and then we need to remember the bare bones and the human element of the thing, and keep the essentials in the forefront of our minds.

HPV & Herpes: Why Safer Sex Isn't Always Safe Enough

There are instances in which condom use alone - or the use of dental dams and gloves -- cannot offer the level of STI protection they can in other instances, with STIs which are transmitted not via fluid exchange, but by skin-to-skin contact: namely two of the most common STIs, HPV and Herpes.

Honorably Discharged: A Guide to Vaginal Secretions

Vaginal discharge and secretions are normal and usually healthy. The vagina is a passageway between the outside of the body and the internal reproductive system. Vaginal secretions are how the vagina cleanses and regulates itself -- how amazing is that? -- in the same sort of way that saliva helps keep your mouth clean and healthy and part of the fertility cycle.

The STI Files: Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV)

HIV is a virus that destroys the immune system and thus weakens the body's ability to fight disease and infection, even common infections like flus and colds. HIV usually progresses to AIDS. This makes HIV the most dangerous sexually transmitted infection today. It is the fifth leading cause of death for the young under 40 in the United States. At this time, no one has been cured of HIV or AIDS.

Information on this site is provided for educational purposes. It is not meant to and cannot substitute for advice or care provided by an in-person medical professional. The information contained herein is not meant to be used to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease, or for prescribing any medication. You should always consult your own healthcare provider if you have a health problem or medical condition.

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