Could you have an STD and not even know it? If you’re sexually active with more than one partner, there is an increased possibility that you can be infected with a sexually transmitted disease but remain symptomless. In fact, many of the most common STDs can fester for weeks, months and even longer without creating any warning signs. This can be dangerous not only for yourself, but also for your partners, since you can be spreading an ailment if you don’t take the proper precautions. The following is a look at some of the most common STDs among men, what symptoms (if any) they typically cause and mindful information about what could the infections lead to if they are not treated early and effectively:
Early infection with HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, often has no symptoms, and an estimated one-quarter of Americans who carry the virus (about 250,000 people) don’t know they are infected. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) estimates that approximately 50,000 people in the U.S. are newly infected with HIV each year. Nearly two-thirds of these infections occur in gay and bisexual men. African-American men and women are also highly affected, with eight times the infection rate of whites.
Typical Symptoms: Flu-like feeling and unusual fatigue with early stages, while late stage HIV and AIDS can cause unexplained rashes, weight loss, fungal infections in the throat, along with other recurrent severe infections in the body.
Keep in Mind: Early symptoms can be noticed shortly after being infected, but could also present months or years after being infected. If left untreated, HIV can cause the immune system to break down, leading to increased risks of developing cancers and life-threatening infections. Luckily, thanks to new antiviral medications, many people affected with HIV continue to live active, healthy lives if treated early.