How STDs Affect Men
A lot of emphasis is placed on the impact of STDs on women and their fertility. Less focus is given to the affect that STDs have on men. With the number of STD infected males rising daily, it is important to examine the risks and the solutions.
Men And HPV
HPV is a sexually transmitted disease that will affect 50% of sexually active people at some point in their lives. Many of them won't even know they had it. HPV does not cause symptoms in most of the men who catch it. However, it can lead to genital warts and in some cases, penile or anal cancer. Millions of men unknowingly carry the virus and risk giving it to their partners.
Who Is At Risk of HPV Related Health Problems?
Penile and Anal cancer are rare in men with healthy immune systems. Gay and Bisexual men are 17 times more likely than heterosexual men, to develop anal cancer. Men whose immune systems are weak are more likely to get severe outbreaks of genital warts or to develop anal cancer. Because of these risk factors, some doctors recommend yearly anal Pap tests for gay, bisexual and HIV positive men.
A doctor should be consulted if any blisters, warts, sores or ulcers are found around the penis/ scrotum area.
Men And HIV/AIDS
Around 44% of newly diagnosed cases of HIV are among men who have had sex with men. It is the most feared of all the sexually transmitted diseases. Early signs of HIV/AIDS infection can include flu-like symptoms and tiredness. As the disease progresses the immune system breaks down, exposing the body to cancers and life threatening infections.
It is estimated that 250,000 Americans carrying the virus don't know they are infected. This is why being tested if you might have been exposed to HIV is very important.
Men And Gonorrhea
Gonorrhea is a very common STD. In men, it causes symptoms such as pus-like discharge from the urethra and a burning sensation during urination. If gonorrhea is left untreated it can lead to epididymitis which is a painful condition of the testicles. Gonorrhea can be treated with antibiotics although contracting gonorrhea puts you at much greater risk of contracting the HIV virus, if you are exposed to it.
All sexually active men should take the health risks of STDs seriously. Regular medical check ups play an important role in the prevention of the spread of STDs. A sexually active male with many partners should be having the following tests on a regular basis:
-Swabs and urine tests for chlamydia and gonorrhea
-Blood tests for syphilis, HIV and herpes
-Immunizations for hepatitis A and B