Sexually transmitted infections (STIs)
STIs are also known as STDs (sexually transmitted diseases). HIV is not the only STI with which you can become infected during sex. But if you're properly informed and protected, you can enjoy your sex life without undesirable consequences.
STIs can be caused by bacteria, viruses, fungi, protozoa and arthropods. Often these infections don't cause pain or any other symptoms. This means that many people are unaware that they have contracted an STI and unknowingly pass it on to others.
Even though some STIs cause hardly any symptoms, they can have serious consequences for your health, e.g. infertility and chronic disease. However, most STIs can be cured if they are treated with medication at an early stage. This means it's important to see a doctor right away. STIs are more common than you might think, and they're all in a day's work for your doctor, so there's no reason to feel ashamed and postpone your visit.
A summary of the most important STIs
The most common STIs, some of which are difficult to treat, currently include HIV/AIDS, hepatitis B, genital herpes, chlamydia, trichomonas vaginalis, pubic lice, and infections with "high-risk" types of human papillomavirus (HPV), which cause cervical cancer.
Sexually transmitted infections caused by viruses
- HPV infections (human papillomavirus), which can cause genital warts (condylomata acuminata) and cervical cancer
- water warts (mollusca contagiosa)
- Hepatitis A (from oro-anal contact)
- Hepatitis B
- Hepatitis C
- Genital herpes
Sexually transmitted infections caused by bacteria
- Syphilis (lues venerea, chancre)
- Gonorrhoea (the clap)
- Chancroid (ulcus molle)
- Granuloma inguinale
- Lymphogranuloma venereum
- Chlamydia infection (ascending ocular genitalis)
- Urogenital mycoplasma infection
- bacterial vaginosis
- diarrhoea (from oro-anal contact, gut bacteria)
Sexually transmitted infections caused by fungi
- Yeast infections of the genitalia (candidiasis/thrush)
Sexually transmitted infections caused by protozoa
- Diarrhoea (from oro-anal contact, gut protozoa)
- Crabs (pubic lice, pediculosis pubis)