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negative mental health

When to Get Tested for STDs

Image result for std test

Necessary Measures

Nobody likes getting tested for STDs. But it’s something that everybody has to do–even if sexual contact has yet to be initiated. That will be covered in a moment. First, you need to understand some of the risks which come from not getting tested:

  • Some STDs Remain Dormant For Months
  • STDs Can Affect Mental Health
  • You Can Spread Disease Unaware
  • You May Die

Dormant STDs

Syphilis, gonorrhea, and chlamydia: they’re hard to spell, they’re definitely bad for you, and they can lie dormant in your body for weeks or months after a sexual encounter. It depends on your physical constitution and age. Additionally, these are some of the most common STDs out there. Thankfully, all three are treatable–provided, of course, you don’t contract some super-gonorrhea strain resistant to modern antibiotics. And such strains don’t just exist, but they’re getting more prevalent. Getting tested quickly can help you take appropriate preventative measures, which may help you avoid being beyond treatment.

STDs Can Affect Mental Health

It’s well-known that syphilis can drive a person to insanity. Chlamydia additionally has certain qualities about it which likewise lead to negative mental health effects. But any STD is generally going to be bad for your mental health just for issues of self-esteem. Physical illness always has an impact on the mind. If you go untested, you could have something influencing how you think and act without realizing it.

You Can Spread Disease Unaware

Because certain STDs lie dormant, when you go unchecked after a “casual” sexual encounter, you could very well spread what you’ve contracted to others. This contributes to pandemic STDs which increase in strength.

You May Die

Certain STDs can lead to complications which ultimately result in fatality. HIV is manageable via medication for years, but once it hits the AIDS stage, life expectancy severely diminishes. Personal constitution can help defray the final moments, but those with fully active AIDS have been known to die very quickly. The BBC puts average life expectancy after contracting HIV at ten years.

Additional Considerations

Earlier it was mentioned that you should likely get tested even if you haven’t had a sexual encounter. This is true for several reasons. One, certain STDs can be passed on at birth, and you may not know about it. Two, on a legal basis, if you’re in a marriage with a prenuptial agreement, then contraction of an STD constitutes a demonstrable violation of the terms, and you could be protected in a legal sense.

When To Get Tested

With these things in mind, recommendations on when you should get tested include before engaging in intimate activity with a significant other, after engaging in intimate activity that you expect may be questionable, and as a general measure to establish your own clean bill of health. The latter can help you avoid difficult legal situations, while the other two have aspects of courtesy and caution defining them. It’s courteous in today’s day and age for you and your intimate partner to be open with one another, and know what your sexual health is like. It’s cautionary to get tested after the fact.

Good Advice

If you really want to avoid the risks, your best bet is to enter into a mutually committed and monogamous relationship. If neither of you have had sexual encounters before, it’s likely you won’t need testing at all–though this is still advisable just to ensure your sexual health is where you think it is. While having multiple partners is certainly something often pursued today, the fallout can be mind-altering, physically debilitating, and ultimately deadly. So get tested.

 

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Hepatitis Awareness Month

hepatitis-c-virus

Hepatitis is a medical condition caused by a virus that majorly affects the liver. Hepatitis can be grouped into two separate types, autonomic and secondary, depending on the causative agent. Secondary (noninfectious) hepatitis is when the body manufactures antibodies which act against the liver tissues. This occurs as a result of either toxins, drugs, alcohol or medication circulating in the blood stream. There is also virus-caused (infectious) hepatitis which can be classified into Hepatitis A, B, C, D or E.

Hepatitis is a very deadly disease because it affects the liver, which is one of the human body’s vital organs. The liver is paramount for performing critical tasks in the body including storage of nutrients and filtering toxins.

Signs and Symptoms of Hepatitis

  • Chronic fatigue
  • Dark urine and pale stool (frequent and unusual)
  • Abdominal pains
  • Weight loss
  • Signs of jaundice
  • Poor or loss of appetite

Hepatitis is a viral disease that develops slowly. Symptoms may be subtle and difficult to detect in early stages.

Diagnosis of Hepatitis

  • Check up on the risk factors depending on your history and physical examination
  • Blood tests can be done to detect the source of the disease
  • Abdominal ultrasounds to ascertain the type of hepatitis you have
  • Liver functionality tests to determine the efficiency and performance of your liver
  • Liver biopsy
    • This is a medical procedure where a portion of the liver tissue is extracted to see the extent of your liver that is affected

What Hepatitis Awareness Month Entails

Hepatitis awareness month is mainly a campaign by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) to create awareness of the epidemic. The CDC in collaboration with its health partners designated May as Hepatitis awareness month. They named May 19th in particular as the national day for Hepatitis testing and encourage people to do so on this day.

Hepatitis Risk Assessment Promotion

The CDC also advocates for using health assessment tools for testing. These tools include online assessment, testing, vaccination, one-time blood tests, hepatitis B screening, and others developed by CDC. It also provides reports and recommendations after these assessments are completed.

Publicity

The CDC encourages organizations that provide hepatitis-related services (testing and vaccination) to advertise themselves and be registered to offer such services. This helps people suffering from hepatitis to know where they can get help in their zip code areas.  This also goes a long way in helping to accurately capture the number of people suffering from the disease.

Utilization of Available Tools

During hepatitis awareness month, the CDC (along with other partners) donates free tools and equipment that are used to help people get vaccinated and tested for free.

If you have an organization offering similar services, you are able to get an array of tools (banners, posters, buttons, badges, etc.) free of charge which are provided in support of hepatitis testing and to help spread the word in your community.

Campaign Resources

During awareness month you are able to get multiple different hepatitis-related resources such as information from support fact sheets, info-graphics, templates, and many others. These resources will help you and those in your community understand the importance of hepatitis testing and vaccination.

 

 

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Different types of Hepatitis

o-HEPATITIS-C-facebook

The definition of hepatitis is injury to the liver with inflammation of liver cells. There are six kinds of this disease, types A, B, C, D, E, and G, and which one you have is determined by a blood test. All six types are caused by a virus, but each is contracted differently.

Some fast facts on hepatitis include:

  • Hepatitis A (HAV) is caused by ingesting contaminated water or food.
  • Hepatitis B (HBV) is an STD (sexually transmitted disease)
  • Approximately 300 million people worldwide have hepatitis B.
  • Hepatitis C (HCV) is spread by direct contact with the blood of an infected person.
  • Approximately 250 million people in the world have hepatitis C.
  • A person must already be infected with hepatitis B in order to contract hepatitis D (HDV).
  • Hepatitis E (HEV) is caused by drinking contaminated water.
  • Hepatitis G (HGV) is also caused by a specific virus.
  • There is also a hepatitis X, which is diagnosed when a case of hepatitis is contracted by a virus other than those that cause the others.
  • The initial symptoms of all of the forms of hepatitis can be confused with flu symptoms.

HAV

According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), approximately 1,781 new cases are diagnosed each year. It is caused by an acute viral illness; it never becomes chronic. Like other viruses, it is easily spread, especially when there are unsanitary conditions. It is spread by oral secretions (kissing) and fecal (poor or no hand washing). If proper hand washing does not occur, customers in restaurants and children in daycares are particularly susceptible.

HBV

The CDC reports that more than 1,800 people die from chronic HBV each year. It is contracted in many ways:

  • The transfer of blood or serum via shared needles
  • Transfer of contaminated blood via an accidental needle stick
  • Blood transfusions
  • Hemodialysis
  • To newborns by infected mothers
  • Sharing toothbrushes or razors
  • Body piercing or tattooing with an infected needle

About 6% to 10% of patients develop chronic HBV. It can last anywhere from six months to decades, and an infected person is contagious as long as they have the disease. Chronic sufferers are also more susceptible to liver cirrhosis, cancer, or failure. It is estimated that there are about two billion people in the world who have this form of hepatitis.

HCV

According to the CDC, there are 16,500 new cases of HCV reported each year. It is caused by shared needles, accidental needle sticks, blood transfusions, or hemodialysis. It is also contracted by sexual contact, but those incidents are rare. Over half of patients diagnosed with acute HCV develop chronic infections from which they continue to be contagious. In the United States, alone, 3.2 million people are infected with this common form of hepatitis.

HDV, HEV, and HGV

HDV is the most important one of the three, because patients can contract this virus concurrently with HBV. It requires a protein from HBV in order to survive. It is contracted by some of the same ways HBV is spread, by sexual contact, shared needles, and contaminated blood. The combination of these two viruses are very difficult to treat, and severe cirrhosis (liver scarring) occurs rapidly.

While HDV is similar to HBV, HEV is similar to HAV in terms of disease. It occurs most often in Asia and is contracted by drinking contaminated water.

HGV is a recent discovery. While it resembles HCV, there is still much to be learned about it. Caused by the flavivirus, it is currently under investigation.

Reduce Your Risk

Follow the these guidelines to protect yourself from contracting the disease:

  • Wash your hands frequently, especially after using the bathroom.
  • Only eat food that has just been cooked.
  • Only drink bottled or boiled water.
  • Do not eat fruits or vegetables until they have been disinfected.
  • Get a HAV vaccine if traveling to countries where the disease is prevalent.
  • Practice safe sex.
  • Do not share needles, toothbrushes, razors, or manicure tools.
  • Get the HBV vaccine series if you are at risk.
  • Make sure piercing/tattoo equipment is sterilized.
  • Drink alcohol in moderation.

Not all forms of hepatitis are viral, however. You can contract the disease from ingesting alcohol, medicines, or other chemicals. You can also develop hepatitis from certain medical conditions, such as a metabolic disorder, an immune-related injury, or a genetic problem.

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When to Get Tested for STDs

gt-get-tested-text

Image is from STDcheck.com

Necessary Measures
Nobody likes getting tested for STDs. But it’s something that everybody has to do–even if sexual contact has yet to be initiated. That will be covered in a moment. First, you need to understand some of the risks which come from not getting tested:

  • Some STDs Remain Dormant For Months
  • STDs Can Affect Mental Health
  • You Can Spread Disease Unaware
  • You May Die

Dormant STDs
Syphilis, gonorrhea, and chlamydia: they’re hard to spell, they’re definitely bad for you, and they can lie dormant in your body for weeks or months after a sexual encounter. It depends on your physical constitution and age. Additionally, these are some of the most common STDs out there. Thankfully, all three are treatable–provided, of course, you don’t contract some super-gonorrhea strain resistant to modern antibiotics. And such strains don’t just exist, but they’re getting more prevalent. Getting tested quickly can help you take appropriate preventative measures, which may help you avoid being beyond treatment.

STDs Can Affect Mental Health
It’s well-known that syphilis can drive a person to insanity. Chlamydia additionally has certain qualities about it which likewise lead to negative mental health effects. But any STD is generally going to be bad for your mental health just for issues of self-esteem. Physical illness always has an impact on the mind. If you go untested, you could have something influencing how you think and act without realizing it.

You Can Spread Disease Unaware
Because certain STDs lie dormant, when you go unchecked after a “casual” sexual encounter, you could very well spread what you’ve contracted to others. This contributes to pandemic STDs which increase in strength.

You May Die
Certain STDs can lead to complications which ultimately result in fatality. HIV is manageable via medication for years, but once it hits the AIDS stage, life expectancy severely diminishes. Personal constitution can help defray the final moments, but those with fully active AIDS have been known to die very quickly. The BBC puts average life expectancy after contracting HIV at ten years.

Additional Considerations
Earlier it was mentioned that you should likely get tested even if you haven’t had a sexual encounter. This is true for several reasons. One, certain STDs can be passed on at birth, and you may not know about it. Two, on a legal basis, if you’re in a marriage with a prenuptial agreement, then contraction of an STD constitutes a demonstrable violation of the terms, and you could be protected in a legal sense.

When To Get Tested
With these things in mind, recommendations on when you should get tested include before engaging in intimate activity with a significant other, after engaging in intimate activity that you expect may be questionable, and as a general measure to establish your own clean bill of health. The latter can help you avoid difficult legal situations, while the other two have aspects of courtesy and caution defining them. It’s courteous in today’s day and age for you and your intimate partner to be open with one another, and know what your sexual health is like. It’s cautionary to get tested after the fact.

Good Advice
If you really want to avoid the risks, your best bet is to enter into a mutually committed and monogamous relationship. If neither of you have had sexual encounters before, it’s likely you won’t need testing at all–though this is still advisable just to ensure your sexual health is where you think it is. While having multiple partners is certainly something often pursued today, the fallout can be mind-altering, physically debilitating, and ultimately deadly. So get tested.

 

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