Last week we talked about how men’s members measure up, shedding some light on what an “average” dick actually is. And while, much like a Health Sci, we tried to dress it up in a lab coat and pretend it was medically relevant, it was ultimately a column stating “It’s not the size, it’s what you do with it.” Continuing the “Sex Ed Messages From Year 9” theme, this week’s column is all about STIs. We’ve already covered the basics (wear condoms, get tested if you’re concerned, lather, rinse, repeat), so check out Column #4 for that stuff – this week’s column is cold hard facts about dicks, drips, gashes, and rashes.
Chlamydia:Number of NZ cases per year in 20-24 year olds: 1,973 per 100,000 (1.97%).
As common as: Red hair (1-2%).
Symptoms: Asymptomatic in 25% of lads and 70% of ladies.
Women: May get change in discharge, bleeding between periods, and/or post-sexy time bleeding.
Men: May get pain when peeing and/or watery discharge.
Untreated: Can cause infertility, pelvic inflammatory disease, testicular inflammation, and arthritis.
Treatment: 1-2 pills.
Genital Warts:National rate of virus: Quite high (lifetime risk of getting virus 80%, people <25 with virus ~20%).
Viral infection in student age group as common as: Smoking in NZ (21.0%).
Symptoms: Painless, skin-coloured or pink warts, some people get itching/burning. Infection usually asymptomatic.
Treatment: Cream. Doctors can freeze or laser extreme cases off.
Genital Herpes:National rate of people with virus: Ridiculously high. (up to 80% of adults have HSV1, up to 20% have HSV2. Both can cause genital herpes).
As common as: A fresher girl wearing tights as pants (too fucking common).
Symptoms: Usually asymptomatic/“subclinical” (80% of people with herpes unaware they have it). Ranges from mild rash through to multiple ulcers (can be painful). May also get pain with peeing or fever. Get “flares” of symptoms (symptoms come and go).
Treatment: Wait for flare to pass (can use acyclovir to speed up), if severe or frequent can be placed on regular acyclovir to minimise symptoms.