A sexually transmitted virus or bacteria that doesn’t already have apparent symptoms on the host is best described as a sexually transmitted infection, or STI in short. Unfortunately, a number of STIs cannot be protected against by the use of a condom alone and a significant majority of the sexually active population have some form of STD or other because of that. All it really takes is one intimate encounter with someone who already has the infection, so go through the following three STIs that often goes undetected and see if you have any reason to get yourself tested.
Human Papilloma Virus (HPV)
The Human Papilloma Virus affects so many people in the UK and the entire world that it has been estimated that more than 80% of the sexually active population has had this virus at one point in their lives. While most strains of HPV have no lasting impact or even symptoms (other than the possibility of developing genital warts) in the majority of the cases, some rare instances of cervical and oral cancer have been found and confirmed to be a result of an STI. This is exactly why HPV vaccination is so important. In the UK, the HPV vaccine for men who are heterosexual isn’t as common compared to the HPV vaccine gay men percentage, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t necessary. Almost every heterosexual male who has the virus will inevitably and unknowingly infect every woman he has sexual contacts with, unless she has been immunised prior to the encounter. The HPV vaccine for boys in the UK is also actively encouraged because the earlier a male is immunised, the lesser the chances are of him getting infected and spreading the infection in turn. Read this blog on why men could benefit from the HPV vaccine to get all the information you need.
Herpes isn’t a life-threatening disease and the Herpes Simplex 2, or HSV-2 virus, mostly goes undetected and untreated in the majority of the population who carry it. The red blisters and painful sores on the face and mouth which are associated with herpes mostly come from HSV-1 infections, but even they may not ever affect some people seriously enough to be sufficiently distinguishable from seasonal rash, pimples or allergic reactions to the untrained eye.
Gonorrhoea and Chlamydia
Gonorrhoea in women can go undetected for long periods of time and is often found to co-exist with chlamydia in the host; another STD with minimal initial symptoms. Unfortunately, neither of the two are harmless as they can cause a number of serious and even life-threatening health issues, if allowed to spread deeper into the reproductive system. By the time they do begin to show symptoms such as untimely bleeding, pain, burning sensations, abnormal discharge, etc. it is likely that the disease has already spread quite a bit. Nevertheless, it is still possible to treat the infection at this point, but failing to do so for a long time would likely lead to pelvic inflammatory disease, scarring, and other forms of severe damage to the reproductive system of both men and women.
It is to be noted that even HIV cannot be detected within the first few months and it may even lay dormant for years before attacking the immune system. As can be seen, there isn’t necessarily a way to be sure you have a STD, unless you get yourself tested every few months. Therefore, the best way to reduce the chances of getting infected is to practice safe sex, go for regular check-ups, and get the immunisations that are available.