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Gay Sexually Transmitted Diseases Symptoms

gay sexually transmitted diseases symptoms

Gay sexually transmitted diseases symptoms

Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) are different health conditions that are acquired through sexual or intimate physical contact. They are also called infections caused by different types of viruses and bacteria. Some STDs have a cure, while some are addressed by treatments involving antiviral drugs.

Why are gay people and MSM (men who have sex with men) at higher risk for different STDs?

Thousands of gay men and MSM are diagnosed with STDs in the United States every year. This accounts for more than 80% of sexually active gay men diagnosed with HIV, syphilis, or gonorrhea. But what are these STDs that people, especially the gay population, often experience? Consider the following list of STDs together with their related symptoms:

 

HIV (human immunodeficiency virus)

HIV is probably the most common STD. It directly attacks the immune system, leading to different health complications. When it evolves, it becomes AIDS (acquired immunodeficiency syndrome). Most of the symptoms of HIV infection happen in its acute stage. These are as follows:

  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Sore throat
  • Swollen lymph nodes
  • Skin rashes
  • Fatigue

 

When HIV advances, its symptoms include:

  • Swollen lymph nodes
  • Diarrhea
  • Weight loss
  • Fever or chills
  • Shortness of breath
  • Unexplained fatigue
  • Night sweats
  • Persistent headaches
  • Opportunistic infections

 

Genital herpes

The herpes simplex virus causes oral and genital herpes to develop. Among these two types of herpes, what gay people often get is genital herpes. This type of STD can be painful and annoying at the same time. Its symptoms are as follows:

 

  • Development of red bumps and blisters. Open sores also appear around the penis or anus.
  • Painful sensation around the genital area
  • Inflammation on the buttocks and inner thighs

 

Syphilis

Unlike other STDs, syphilis is caused by a bacterial infection. It mostly affects the genitals, particularly the skin surrounding the rectum or penis. Its symptoms are identified based on three stages. These are as follows:

 

Primary stage:

  • The appearance of small, painless sores around the penis, anus, and lips or mouth.

 

Secondary stage:

  • Skin rashes
  • Fever
  • Swollen lymph glands
  • Sore throat
  • Patchy hair loss
  • Headaches
  • Weight loss
  • Muscle pain
  • Fatigue

 

Latent Stage:

  • Lack of coordination
  • Numbness
  • Paralysis
  • Blindness
  • Dementia

 

 

Gonorrhea

Like syphilis, gonorrhea is also a bacterial infection of the genital tract. Besides the genitals, gonorrhea also develops in the mouth, throat, and eyes. Its major symptoms for the gay population include:

 

  • Painful bowel movements
  • Itchiness of the anus
  • Swollen testicles
  • Discharge from the penis
  • Painful urination

 

 

Chlamydia

Similar to gonorrhea, chlamydia also refers to a bacterial infection that focuses on the genital tract. Chlamydia is a widespread occurrence of unprotected anal sex. People who engage in oral sex may also be at risk of having this infection without the use of dental dams. Its symptoms include:

 

  • Discharge from the penis
  • A burning sensation when urinating
  • Painful and swollen testicles

 

Hepatitis

There are different types of hepatitis – A, B, and C. However, only types B and C are the most common that gay men experience. They are very contagious and affect the liver severely. Its most common symptoms are as follows:

 

  • Unexplained tiredness
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Abdominal pain
  • Loss of appetite
  • Fever or chills
  • Muscle pain
  • Dark-colored urine
  • Joint pain
  • Itchiness
  • Jaundice (yellowing of the eyes and skin)

 

 

Takeaway

Not all STDs develop symptoms, especially in their early stage. This makes people asymptomatic. Although symptoms are necessary to tell of a person’s condition, testing is a requirement to have an accurate diagnosis. If you suspect having any of the mentioned STDs, get tested immediately. The early treatment guarantees protection and secured health status.

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