HEPATITIS C

Everybody loves sex, right?! Temptation and passion are so great that we can easily forget to even think. Imagine yourself on the beach in some exotic place, like on the beach of Hvar Island in Croatia. It is a hot summer day and you met a nice girl after the speedboat tour that you had with Zen travel. It was a long day, you had a few too many drinks and she looks just gorgeous in that tight bikini. All you think of is, well, not protecting yourself during sex and possible consequences if you don’t. Even in those tempting moments, you need to take care of your own safety and prevent the possibility of having some serious health problems in the form of STD.

What are sexually transmitted diseases or STDs?

STDs (Sexually transmitted diseases) are infections that are spreading from one person to another during vaginal, anal or oral sexual activity. They are also called venereal diseases (VD) and it’s really easy to get them, so it makes them the common contagious disease, but the comforting fact is that they can be cured easily. Most of these infections are among people ages 15 to 27. Some STDs, such as HIV, cannot be cured.

There are many types of STD’s

There are many different types of STD’s; some are carried in vaginal fluids, body fluids like semen and blood, and some can be passed just from the skin to skin action with no fluids passed. You can also be infected with trichomoniasis through some objects such as wet clothing, toilet seats or towels. STDs are infecting your genitals, mouth, lips, and throat.

The symptoms aren’t always obvious, so it is really important to practice safe sex, use condoms correctly and learning more about STDs.

You are at high risk if…

  • If you often exchange your sex partner or if you have sex with someone who is promiscuous and has many partners
  • If you don t practice safe sex (condoms or dental dams) every time you have vaginal, anal or oral sex.
  • If you are not getting tested for STDs regularly
  • If you are drinking alcohol, using drugs or sharing needles (when you get drunk or drugged), you can easily forget to use condoms and make some wrong decisions that can increase the chance of getting infected with STD’s.

The importance of safe sex

Safe sex is the most important thing you should practice with your partner if you want to stay healthy and even have better sex. It is really important that you and your partner treat your body responsibly and with respect because it is really easy to get an STD, which some of them can have long-term consequences like infertility and certain cancers, while some of them cannot be cured and can be deadly, like HIV.

The best way of having a save sex is using condoms or internal condoms every time you practice anal, vaginal or oral sex.

Most of the symptoms are not really common, so people can be infected without knowing, so it is really important that you get tested regularly, so you can get the right treatment, even if you use condoms each time. If you have some STDs symptoms- don’t have sex at all. Masturbation, outercourse, kissing, touching your partner‘s genitals with your hands or dry humping with clothes on; these are all great and totally risk-free ways of getting sexual pleasure and being intimate with another person without a fear you will get infected. Living healthy is also essential. If you drink much alcohol or sung drugs, you can easily get wasted and forget about the importance of safe sex and using condoms properly.

Always remember that taking care of your sexual health is essential and nothing to be shy about!

What is Hepatitis C?

Hepatitis C is a viral infection that causes inflammation and damage to the liver. And how does the liver work? First of all, the liver is one of the largest organs in the body and has many important functions like absorbing toxic substances in the body and converting them into harmless substances. It is a well-known fact that the liver is a renewable organ, but chronic inflammation can lead to liver cirrhosis (scarring of the liver), and in that case, liver transplantation is essential.

How do you get infected?

The virus is transmitted by blood from one person to another, or through blood transfusion, so those who share needles, injections, nail clippers, toothbrushes, and razor blades are at the highest risk! You can also get infected if you tattoo or pierce yourself under non-sterile conditions.

The possibility of getting hepatitis C while having sex is rare. It is more common to get infected if practicing with same-sex partners through bleeding injuries and wounds.

Is there a vaccine?

Although there is no vaccine for this type of hepatitis yet, people with hepatitis C should be vaccinated against Hepatitis A and Hepatitis B. If the virus is detected early and treated on time, there is a huge possibility that it will be successfully cured. The liver cannot hurt, so it’s quite hard to detect a virus, and the symptoms are similar to those with other illnesses and diseases, such as fatigue, weakness, tiredness, nausea, poor appetite, vomiting, muscle aches, and body rash. The virus of hepatitis C is ten times more infectious than the HIV virus, so it can be really hard for people who live with it.

You can get infected by accident; it’s not your fault!

Let’s mention the case of Samantha from the United Kingdom, a young and healthy girl that was really excited to get her first tattoo with her boyfriend Anthony. Somehow, we are always hoping the staff knows their job the best, so the fact that all the instruments and conditions are sterile should be unquestionable and logic. However, she was not that lucky. Her tattoo turned out amazing, but when she went to a blood transfusion 1 year after getting tattooed, because her grandmother got sick, and in need of blood, she found out that she had hepatitis C, she was shocked and terrified.

The aftermath

She had some really bad experience with people who knew she had hepatitis; some of her friends and schoolmates just ignored her, making her feel like she had a plague, despite the fact that this type of virus is not contagious like other viruses, so you can’t get it from the casual contact such as kissing, hugging, sneezing, sharing eating utensils or shaking hands.

It is important to have the right treatment and support of your family and friends!

Infected individuals often experience a lot of stigmas, which comes with ignorance, so lots of uninfected individuals have a wrong perception of this disease. The fact is that people should be aware of their health status and well-educated, so if you have any doubts, test yourself; it’s really fast, simple and reliable!

We are all the same in the eyes of the disease!

Remember, everybody can get infected, and it can strike anyone exposed to the virus, even celebrities are susceptible to hepatitis C, such as Pamela Anderson, a former Baywatch star and playboy icon that got infected in the 1990’s by rocker ex-husband Tommy Lee, lead singer of the band Aerosmith, Steven Tyler, Christopher Kennedy Lawford, a nephew of President John F. Kennedy’s, former NFL Player Rolf Benirschke, the former heavyweight champion Billy Graham and many others.

Don’t become statistics, celebrity or not, be your own king or queen and take care of yourself and your health!

List of major sexually transmitted diseases

HIV is the virus that causes AIDS and is transmitted by body fluids and blood. It is the most common disease among the gay population so it is also known as “gay cancer”, “gay plague”, or GRID (gay-related immune deficiency.)

TRICHOMONIASIS is one of the most common STD caused by a parasite called trichomonas vaginalis (TV).

HUMAN PAPILLOMAVIRUS (HPV AND GENITAL WARTS) is a very common viral infection that has no obvious symptoms and can resolve spontaneously, although some HPV types can cause warts; a skin infection of many types.

GONORRHEA – known as the clap, is a disease that can infect both women and men, causing genitals, rectum and throat infections.

CHLAMYDIA is one of the most common sexually transmitted infections, most common in sexually active teenagers.

SYPHILIS is a highly bacterial infection caused by having sex with an infected person.

HERPES is a sexually transmitted disease that is causing herpetic sores around the mouth or around the genitals.