Thursday, March 12, 2009

Condom Ad 3

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Condom Ad 2

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Clinton middle school students get condoms as part of health fair giveaway

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Clinton middle school parents were in for awkward conversations Thursday night after some students got condoms as part of a school health fair giveaway.

"I kind of freaked out," said a Clinton seventh-grade girl who was so shocked and embarrassed when she pulled a condom out of a goodie bag that she dropped it.

"I turned to my friend and said 'What do I do with this?' and I gave it to someone. I wasn't going to keep it."

The Ryan Medical Center, a health care provider located in the school, handed out the bags as part of an HIV/AIDS awareness program.

Most contained only health literature, lapel pins, keychains or lollipops, but a number included condoms.

Red-faced administrators rushed to e-mail a message to parents saying the racy handout was done without its knowledge and apologized "if this unfortunate incident has caused anxiety for you or your child."

The condom-giveout was in violation of Department of Education policy and the principal will review any future material that the Ryan Center wants to distribute to students, said DOE spokeswoman Marge Feinberg.

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Wednesday, March 11, 2009

What Sells in a Recession: Canned Goods and Condoms

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What's the last thing people want in a recession? More kids, apparently. According to data-tracking firm the Nielsen Co., dollar sales of products in the "family planning" category, which include condoms and over-the-counter female contraceptives, were up 10.2% for the first two months of this year. Unit sales were up 1.5%, which indicates that consumers are willing to pay higher prices today to prevent crib expenses tomorrow.

But economics alone can't explain this protectionism. To cut expenses, consumers are going out less, a phenomenon retail analysts call cocooning. Among couples, cocooning can lead to canoodling, which can lead to ... recreation. "People are spending a lot less on entertainment," says Rick Shea, a branding expert and founder of Shea Marketing Consulting. "And 'that,' for the most part, is free." (See pictures of Americans in their homes.)

Nothing says more about the American mind-set than what consumers are buying, and ignoring, at drugstores, supermarkets and mass-merchandising outlets like Wal-Mart and Target. TIME asked the Nielsen Co. to identify the best- and worst-performing product categories during this recession, and the findings are quite revealing. In general, people are buying more food to prepare at home, a function of their eating out less often at restaurants, which are suffering. At the same time, they're forsaking home furnishings and more discretionary items. "The American consumer is clearly getting back to basics," says Todd Hale, Nielsen's senior vice president of consumer and shopping insights. "The philosophy out there seems to be 'If you can't eat it, you don't need it.' " (See the top 10 food trends of 2008.)

So what's outperforming on the shelves? A catch-all category called "seasonal general merchandise," which contains thawing salt, body warmers and gift packages with candy, was tops, with a 32% rise. Analysts explain this jump by pointing to the unusually cold and snowy winter, plus the folks who traded down their Valentine's Day purchases from fancy dinners and jewelry to smaller-ticket gift packages. Unit sales for canning and freezing supplies like jars, bags and containers were up 11.5% during the eight weeks ending on Feb. 21, making them the second best-performing category on Nielsen's list. This suggests that consumers are trying to increase the shelf life of their food purchases so they don't have to head back to the store. "There's a segment of the population returning to the habits that my parents and grandparents had," says Tom DeMott, 56, chief operating officer of Encore Associates, a consumer-goods advisory firm. "They're canning and freezing products just so they can save a few bucks." (See which businesses are doing well despite the recession.)

Other categories in the top 20, as measured by a change in unit sales during the first two months of 2009, include baking mixes and supplies, flour and dough products; people are making brownies instead of buying them. Fresh-meat sales rose 7.3%, vegetables and dry grains were up 5.5%, dry pasta 4.4% and cheese 3.1%. Wine and liquor were also up. People aren't heading out for alcohol, but they still want to drink at home. In these bleak days, self-medication is certainly in style.

The worst-performing categories include discretionary items. Cookie and ice cream cone sales dropped 9.7%; people can do without dessert, and further, the boom in baking supplies shows that more people are making treats at home. Bottled water was down 11%, but that makes sense. "What's the economical substitute for that?" asks DeMott. "It's called a tap."

The jams, jellies and spreads category was also down, by a sharp 12.1%. That includes peanut butter; while you might expect people to eat more peanut butter and jelly sandwiches instead of steak during a typical recession, the salmonella outbreak likely dragged down the numbers. Canned seafood, down 13.3%, is a little harder to explain. In general, seafood costs more than other products, but if consumers are trading down to canned goods, one might think they'd be buying more of it in cans. (Read "Why We Buy the Products We Buy.")

The categories rounding out the bottom 20 are for the most part expendable. Film and cameras, whose unit sales dropped 31.5%, was the worst of the bunch. "A camera is not something you need right now," says DeMott. Plus, who really wants to remember these tough times? And if couples are using contraception, they won't need a camera to snap precious baby pictures.

Sports and novelty cards were down 26.5%. "You really don't need that," says DeMott. Magazines slipped 17.1% (sigh ? don't we know it). Products that spruce up your home ? kitchen gadgets, lawn and garden items, buckets, bins and bath accessories ? were slumping. Sales of air fresheners and deodorizers also dropped. "If you're lucky enough to have a couple of extra dollars, do you really need your bathroom to smell minty fresh?" asks Shea. Both insect repellants and cough and cold remedies were struggling. We'll suffer mosquito bites and sniffles for a few extra bucks. (Read "America's Shrinking Groceries.")

What's more, experts say bug spray and other lagging products shouldn't expect a rebound anytime soon. The back-to-basics movement is here to stay. "There's an interesting psychological effect happening right now," says DeMott. "It's permeating every consumer segment. People think they have to hunker down, no matter what their socioeconomic status." So start stocking your shelves. We're now a country of cocooners.

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FDA approves new female condom

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FDA approves new female condom

The Food and Drug Administration has approved a new version of the female condom, allowing it to be sold in the U.S. and distributed more widely across the world.

The agency?s decision was expected after an FDA advisory panel endorsed the product late last year. The condom is manufactured by the Female Health Company, based in Chicago.

The new version, made of synthetic rubber instead of polyurethane, is cheaper than the original female condom -- a long lubricated sheath anchored at either end by a flexible ring. When inserted, the closed end of the sheath is positioned high in the vaginal canal.

Though the material is different in the updated version, the design is not. Both products are equally effective.

Costs will run about 30 percent below current prices, making the product more affordable for individuals as well as public health organizations, according to Mary Ann Leeper, strategic adviser to the Female Health Co.

Because it was expensive, the original female condom never really caught on, although it?s the only way for sexually active women to take steps on their own initiative to avoid sexually transmitted infections. In the U.S., prices ranged from $1.15 to $2.75 apiece, depending on the means of distribution.

Meanwhile, marketing for the female condom was inadequate, by most accounts. Without a strong reason to try it, women stuck with better-known contraceptive options.

Now, the challenge will be persuading public health departments to distribute the updated female condom more widely and to educate more women about its advantages, said Catherine Christeller, executive director of the Chicago Women?s AIDS Project.

The primary advantage is control. Instead of depending on a man to use a condom for safe sex, a woman can choose to use one herself.

Linda Arnade, a 23-year-old woman who described using the female condom to me in December, recently gave a presentation to staff from the Chicago Department of Health on the product?s characteristics. Arnade is an advocacy coordinator with the Chicago Women?s AIDS Project.

Another challenge is to convince women the product can be sexy as well as safe, Christeller said. Groups like the Pleasure Project in the United Kingdom are promoting the message that safe sex using the female condom doesn?t have to be boring, she noted.

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Sunday, March 8, 2009

Genital Shield Promises Rid World of STDs "Bull Sh*%"

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The only thing that is going to work is Education and More people using their heads

This guy Dug from Florida just filed patent papers for a product he believes will "change the world." It's called the Genital Shield, and ? though the name is a bit of a boner-shrinker ? he believes it will eventually rid the planet of STDs. His target consumer: responsible gentlemen with herpes.

The two-piece condom works like this: A latex mold covers the scrotum and pubic hair, leaving a hole for the shaft. A special jimmy then attaches to the "shield" in the manor of a Ziploc bag. The goal is to prevent diseases transmitted by skin-on-skin rubbing.

Naysayers such as Riptide might inquire, "Isn't that kind of like a Speedo?" But don't. Questions like those make the emphatic, hot-tempered 53-year-old Clearwater man testy. "Are you kidding me?" he snaps in a thick Bronx accent. "No, no. The guy is going to gain stamina, feelings of adequacy, and confidence. And the girl is going to get pleasure beyond her wildest dreams."

Brian Osterberg, president of IXu condoms, hates to burst Sturlingh's bubble. "God bless him. He's talking about it like it's the best thing since sliced bread ? but it's far from that," Osterberg says. "A patent application does not a marketable product make."

But Sturlingh is still banking on it. He has already spent $20,000 developing the idea. He points out old-school Trojans can't prevent the spread of the STD that causes genital warts or cancer ? the human papillomavirus ? which at least 50 percent of sexually active Americans carry. "Condoms are obsolete," he boasts. "They are the horse and cart, and I'm the automobile."

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Condom ad

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Friday, March 6, 2009

Zac Efron's Mom Bought Him Condoms For Christmas

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'High School Musical' star explains how he and Vanessa Hudgens were photographed at a 'sex shop.'

Back in December, someone snapped a photo of Zac Efron and his girlfriend and fellow "High School Musical" star, Vanessa Hudgens, hanging out at what appeared to be a sex shop. The image of the Disney stars made the tabloid and Internet rounds, of course, and got everyone talking, including Efron's mom, Starla.

"My mom is like, 'Zac, what did you buy in a sex shop?' " Efron said in an interview for the April issue of Elle magazine. "I was like, 'Mom, calm down, it's not a sex shop.' She wouldn't have any of it. She's like, 'I knew you were being sexual!' But she understood. My stocking was full of condoms this Christmas. She buys me the economy box."

Efron was quick to clarify that his reasons for going to the alleged sex shop weren't as naughty as everyone seemed to think it was. "It was Hallows Eve like, two years ago. It was just a costume store," the 21-year-old explained, according to AccessHollywood.com. (In other news, who calls it "Hallows Eve"?) "In the back they have an adult section for adult costumes. And this nice older woman asked for a photo."

Although he told the magazine that he'll "make as many light-hearted movies" as he can and enjoyed the way the "HSM" musical keeps "the kid inside of me" alive, Efron also revealed that part of him still doesn't get their popularity.

"As far back as I can remember, I couldn't understand or relate to a lot of kids," he said. "I still don't understand how 'High School Musical' became a hit."

Efron told the magazine that as his career advances, he would love to follow in the footsteps of another former teen idol. And, recently he finally got the chance to meet that idol: Leonardo DiCaprio. "I was all, 'Oh, hey!' And he turned around and right there I had the 'in,' " he recalled of their encounter at GQ's Men of the Year Awards.

"And I was like, 'I just want to shake your hand, dude, I'm a big fan. ... I'd love to sit down and talk with you sometime.' And he goes, 'Right on,' " Efron said. "A few nights later, I was at a Lakers game and I texted him, and he said he was coming. And this guy in a ball cap and coat with the collar up sits next to me. We talked the whole game, and he was just everything I thought he would be: smart, level-headed, charming, hilarious. You know, the older-brother vibe."

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In a spin over safe sex

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HOW'S this for a passion killer: a contraceptive that looks like a windsock and rustles like a plastic bag during sex? The female condom ? one of the more inglorious inventions to hit the birth control market ? is proof that sometimes it's hard to be a woman. The sexual revolution may have heralded a new era of reproductive freedom but choosing the right contraception has never been more confusing.

A bewildering array of products, from hormonal implants and injections to skin patches and female condoms ? all promising to make contraception more reliable and user friendly ? has given women more choice than ever. In fact, pregnancy prevention in the future may be as simple as squirting a dash of perfume, after a Melbourne company last week announced plans to test the world's first spray-on contraceptive.

Sexual health experts predict more traditional methods such as the oral pill will eventually become obsolete as women opt for long-term options with less margin for error. Why worry about remembering to take a daily pill when an implant can protect you for up to three years?

Read The Full Story

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Mass. college prevents condom distribution

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EASTON, Mass., March 5 (UPI) -- A spokesman for Stonehill College in Easton, Mass., says a student's attempt to distribute condoms was stopped due to school policy.

Stonehill spokesman Martin McGovern said since the school has a ban in place against on-campus distribution of birth control, senior Katie Freitas was stopped from offering her peers free condoms last month, The Boston Globe said Thursday.

"We're a private Catholic college," McGovern said Wednesday. "We make no secret of our religious affiliation and our belief system is fairly straightforward. We don't expect everyone on campus to agree with our beliefs but we would ask people, and students in particular, to respect them."

Freitas defended her decision to place boxes of condoms in student dormitories with the help of nearly 20 other students.

"Abstinence can be part of sex-ed and should be," Freitas, whose safe-sex effort ended when school administrators had the condoms collected, told the Globe. "But college students are going to have sex and they should be encouraged to have safe sex."

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State Lawmakers to Receive Condoms

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News Excerpt from: FOX 40 News
February 10, 2009

SACRAMENTO - Today, Planned Parenthood Affiliates of California will give condoms to lawmakers to honor National Condom Day. The presents are also the organization's way of calling attention to the importance of funding preventative health care statewide.

"With these Valentine's 'Condom Grams' we are saying to state lawmakers 'Don't break our hearts. Join together to maintain funding for vital preventive services'," said Kathy Kneer, PPAC President and CEO, "A healthy budget equals a healthy California."

The 'Condom Grams' include an assortment of condoms, information about the savings associated with family planning services, and a message asking the State Legislature to maintain funding for preventative services.


?????

With the recent pass on funding for condoms in the stimulus, it looks like Planned Parenthood has taken the situation further into their own hands and moved onto the lawmakers! Legislatures might not receive the exact "Condy gram" in the picture, but in any case, hopefully these actions will show how important contraception is beneficial to the state's, as well as nation's, health.

In addition, hopefully it will show how public family planning and preventative services are important to the economy -- as they have helped significantly reduce the number of unintended pregnancies and abortions that occur.

Hopefully the package of "goodies" will make an impact on the legislatures!

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New Stanford list of HIV mutations vital to tracking AIDS epidemic

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New Stanford list of HIV mutations vital to tracking AIDS epidemic

STANFORD, Calif. — In a collaborative study with the World Health Organization and seven other laboratories, researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine have compiled a list of 93 common mutations of the AIDS virus associated with drug resistance that will be used to track future resistance trends throughout the world.

The researchers analyzed data from about 15,220 patients across the globe to develop an updated and accurate list of the most common, resistance-related mutations of the virus. The list will be published March 6 in the online journal PLoS-One.

"The epidemic is changing, especially as new drugs are being developed," said Robert Shafer, MD, associate professor of infectious diseases and geographic medicine at Stanford and the senior author of the paper. "To effectively track the spread of drug resistance, particularly transmitted drug resistance, you need a sensitive and specific list that's considered standard and is adopted by all the surveillance studies."

The list is important, he said, as it helps countries gauge the effectiveness of their HIV medication programs. But assembling such a list can be a challenge, particularly with a virus that has so many resistance-related variants. On the one hand, if the list is too liberally defined, then HIV drug funders and providers may believe resistance is more widespread than is actually the case.

"That will cause problems in countries. They may be concerned about whether their drugs will work," Shafer said.

On the other hand, if the list is too restrictive, there is a risk of underestimating the actual extent of resistance, he said.

"So there is a real challenge to using the right number of mutations," Shafer said.

In 2007, Shafer and his colleagues published a similar list of 80 HIV mutations that has since served as the basis for global AIDS surveillance work. However, with the scale-up of antiretroviral drug programs in the last two years and the introduction of new medications, resistance patterns have changed. So there was a need for a newly updated reference, he said.

The data used in the study was derived from a publicly available, searchable database that Shafer and his colleagues began at Stanford in 1998. Known as the Stanford HIV RT and Protease Sequence Database, it includes information on the two key proteins targeted by HIV drugs: reverse transcriptase and protease. More recently, the researchers have begun gathering resistance data on integrase inhibitors, the latest class of antiretroviral drugs to be introduced. However, this data was not included in the study, as these drugs are not yet in wide use, particularly in developing countries.

To compile the latest list, the researchers added data from other laboratories in Europe, Canada and the United States to include more than 15,000 sequences from untreated individuals, double the number available in 2007. To ensure geographic diversity, information was included for eight different subtypes of the virus, as these vary from one region of the world to another.

The researchers scoured the data to ensure they included only those mutations that were clearly recognized as causing or contributing to resistance. They excluded polymorphisms, or variants of the virus that can arise naturally, as well as drug-related mutations that occur rarely.

The result was that 16 new mutations were added to the 2007 list, while three were dropped. Shafer said it was reassuring to find minimal changes were needed.

"It shows the first list was quite good," he said.

Shafer's Stanford colleagues in the study are Mark Kiuchi, Tommy Liu, Soo-Yon Rhee and Jonathan Schapiro, MD. The research was funded by the National Institutes of Health.

The Stanford database can be found at: http://hivdb.stanford.edu.

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Get Your Free Condoms

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Free Condoms Informational Page

Finally there is a place on the net to get Free Condoms Samples and Sex Education information all on the same site.

Sex drive is a powerful human instinct. It is normal to want to have sex. And it is normal to want to have sex without causing pregnancy, and without getting a sexually transmitted disease. Condoms helps women and men express themselves sexually and responsibly by greatly lowering the risk of unintended pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases (STD’s).

Whether you’re a College Student, Male or Female, Gay or Straight, please use Condoms to help prevent Unwanted Pregnancy and Help Us Fight the War on Aids and other STD’s.











































































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Thursday, March 5, 2009

Significant rise in HIV Cases

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As I sit down at my desk to start my day, I go through the motions of my morning routine. I check my email, my voice mail, then I go over news articles, and in less than 5 minutes I find article with these headlines: “HIV in Older People On The Rise,” “New HIV/AIDS Diagnoses Rise In Minorities,” “HIV/AIDS Cases on the Rise in Asia,” “Rise in North Ireland AIDS cases linked to foreign travelers,” “HIV rises among Pregnant,” “Number of People With HIV/AIDS on the Rise.” That’s a whopping 7 articles in 5 minutes talking about HIV on the rise. Once you begin to read them it is clear that our ignorance is killing us. We think it is a Homosexual disease or only drug abusers get HIV. We think the boy down the street or the teens in our schools are somehow immune but it is it is all around us and it’s not just HIV/AIDS; there are STDs as well. For the past 20-30 years, more than 25 different types of STDs have been infecting more than 19 million young adults in the United States each year. There are an estimated 120,000,000 people living with an STD in the US right now.
Here are some facts: Firstly, most men infected with an STD show no symptoms. Teenage girls are more susceptible to STDs than men and adult women. Unchecked, these STDs can leave women unfertile. Lastly, we have a cure for all STDs. We can stop the spread of them right now and it’s simple: “KNOWLEDGE-EDUCATION.”Everyone knows the risks of having unprotected sex so either wait until your married and enjoy that experience with the one true person you love or go buy that condom that cost a mere $1.00 at 7-11. 1 finale note to women: It’s your body so no matter what he feels or says “NO GLOVE, NO LOVE.”

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Sunday, March 1, 2009

Chlamydia

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What is Chlamydia?

Chlamydia is a common sexually transmitted disease (STD) caused by the bacterium, Chlamydia trachomatis, which can damage a woman's reproductive organs. Even though symptoms of chlamydia are usually mild or absent, serious complications that cause irreversible damage, including infertility, can occur "silently" before a woman ever recognizes a problem. Chlamydia also can cause discharge from the penis of an infected man.

How common is chlamydia?

Chlamydia is the most frequently reported bacterial sexually transmitted disease in the United States. In 2006, 1,030,911 chlamydial infections were reported to CDC from 50 states and the District of Columbia. Under-reporting is substantial because most people with chlamydia are not aware of their infections and do not seek testing. Also, testing is not often done if patients are treated for their symptoms. An estimated 2,291,000 non-institutionalized U.S. civilians ages 14-39 are infected with Chlamydia based on the U.S. National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. Women are frequently re-infected if their sex partners are not treated.

How do people get chlamydia?

Chlamydia can be transmitted during vaginal, anal, or oral sex. Chlamydia can also be passed from an infected mother to her baby during vaginal childbirth.
Any sexually active person can be infected with chlamydia. The greater the number of sex partners, the greater the risk of infection. Because the cervix (opening to the uterus) of teenage girls and young women is not fully matured and is probably more susceptible to infection, they are at particularly high risk for infection if sexually active. Since chlamydia can be transmitted by oral or anal sex, men who have sex with men are also at risk for chlamydial infection.

What are the symptoms of chlamydia?

Chlamydia is known as a "silent" disease because about three quarters of infected women and about half of infected men have no symptoms. If symptoms do occur, they usually appear within 1 to 3 weeks after exposure.

In women, the bacteria initially infect the cervix and the urethra (urine canal). Women who have symptoms might have an abnormal vaginal discharge or a burning sensation when urinating. When the infection spreads from the cervix to the fallopian tubes (tubes that carry fertilized eggs from the ovaries to the uterus), some women still have no signs or symptoms; others have lower abdominal pain, low back pain, nausea, fever, pain during intercourse, or bleeding between menstrual periods. Chlamydial infection of the cervix can spread to the rectum.

Men with signs or symptoms might have a discharge from their penis or a burning sensation when urinating. Men might also have burning and itching around the opening of the penis. Pain and swelling in the testicles are uncommon.

Men or women who have receptive anal intercourse may acquire chlamydial infection in the rectum, which can cause rectal pain, discharge, or bleeding. Chlamydia can also be found in the throats of women and men having oral sex with an infected partner.

What complications can result from untreated chlamydia?

If untreated, chlamydial infections can progress to serious reproductive and other health problems with both short-term and long-term consequences. Like the disease itself, the damage that chlamydia causes is often "silent."

In women, untreated infection can spread into the uterus or fallopian tubes and cause pelvic inflammatory disease (PID). This happens in up to 40 percent of women with untreated chlamydia. PID can cause permanent damage to the fallopian tubes, uterus, and surrounding tissues. The damage can lead to chronic pelvic pain, infertility, and potentially fatal ectopic pregnancy (pregnancy outside the uterus). Women infected with chlamydia are up to five times more likely to become infected with HIV, if exposed.

To help prevent the serious consequences of chlamydia, screening at least annually for chlamydia is recommended for all sexually active women age 25 years and younger. An annual screening test also is recommended for older women with risk factors for chlamydia (a new sex partner or multiple sex partners). All pregnant women should have a screening test for chlamydia.

Complications among men are rare. Infection sometimes spreads to the epididymis (the tube that carries sperm from the testis), causing pain, fever, and, rarely, sterility.

Rarely, genital chlamydial infection can cause arthritis that can be accompanied by skin lesions and inflammation of the eye and urethra (Reiter's syndrome).

How does chlamydia affect a pregnant woman and her baby?

In pregnant women, there is some evidence that untreated chlamydial infections can lead to premature delivery. Babies who are born to infected mothers can get chlamydial infections in their eyes and respiratory tracts. Chlamydia is a leading cause of early infant pneumonia and conjunctivitis (pink eye) in newborns.

How is chlamydia diagnosed?

There are laboratory tests to diagnose chlamydia. Some can be performed on urine, other tests require that a specimen be collected from a site such as the penis or cervix.

What is the treatment for chlamydia?

Chlamydia can be easily treated and cured with antibiotics. A single dose of azithromycin or a week of doxycycline (twice daily) are the most commonly used treatments. HIV-positive persons with chlamydia should receive the same treatment as those who are HIV negative.

All sex partners should be evaluated, tested, and treated. Persons with chlamydia should abstain from sexual intercourse until they and their sex partners have completed treatment, otherwise re-infection is possible.

Women whose sex partners have not been appropriately treated are at high risk for re-infection. Having multiple infections increases a woman's risk of serious reproductive health complications, including infertility. Retesting should be encouraged for women three to four months after treatment. This is especially true if a woman does not know if her sex partner received treatment.

How can chlamydia be prevented?

The surest way to avoid transmission of STDs is to abstain from sexual contact, or to be in a long-term mutually monogamous relationship with a partner who has been tested and is known to be uninfected.

Latex male condoms, when used consistently and correctly, can reduce the risk of transmission of chlamydia.

CDC recommends yearly chlamydia testing of all sexually active women age 25 or younger, older women with risk factors for chlamydial infections (those who have a new sex partner or multiple sex partners), and all pregnant women. An appropriate sexual risk assessment by a health care provider should always be conducted and may indicate more frequent screening for some women.

Any genital symptoms such as an unusual sore, discharge with odor, burning during urination, or bleeding between menstrual cycles could mean an STD infection. If a woman has any of these symptoms, she should stop having sex and consult a health care provider immediately. Treating STDs early can prevent PID. Women who are told they have an STD and are treated for it should notify all of their recent sex partners (sex partners within the preceding 60 days) so they can see a health care provider and be evaluated for STDs. Sexual activity should not resume until all sex partners have been examined and, if necessary, treated.

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Bacterial Vaginosis

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Bacterial vaginosis (BV) is the name of a condition in women where the normal balance of bacteria in the vagina is disrupted and replaced by an overgrowth of certain bacteria. It is sometimes accompanied by discharge, odor, pain, itching, or burning.

How common is bacterial vaginosis?

Bacterial vaginosis (BV) is the most common vaginal infection in women of childbearing age. In the United States, BV is common in pregnant women.

How do people get bacterial vaginosis?

The cause of BV is not fully understood. BV is associated with an imbalance in the bacteria that are normally found in a woman's vagina. The vagina normally contains mostly "good" bacteria, and fewer "harmful" bacteria. BV develops when there is an increase in harmful bacteria.
Not much is known about how women get BV. There are many unanswered questions about the role that harmful bacteria play in causing BV. Any woman can get BV. However, some activities or behaviors can upset the normal balance of bacteria in the vagina and put women at increased risk including:

* Having a new sex partner or multiple sex partners,
* Douching

It is not clear what role sexual activity plays in the development of BV. Women do not get BV from toilet seats, bedding, swimming pools, or from touching objects around them. Women who have never had sexual intercourse may also be affected.

What are the signs and symptoms of bacterial vaginosis?

Women with BV may have an abnormal vaginal discharge with an unpleasant odor. Some women report a strong fish-like odor, especially after intercourse. Discharge, if present, is usually white or gray; it can be thin. Women with BV may also have burning during urination or itching around the outside of the vagina, or both. However, most women with BV report no signs or symptoms at all.

What are the complications of bacterial vaginosis?

In most cases, BV causes no complications. But there are some serious risks from BV including:

* Having BV can increase a woman's susceptibility to HIV infection if she is exposed to the HIV virus.
* Having BV increases the chances that an HIV-infected woman can pass HIV to her sex partner.
* Having BV has been associated with an increase in the development of an infection following surgical procedures such as a hysterectomy or an abortion.
* Having BV while pregnant may put a woman at increased risk for some complications of pregnancy, such as preterm delivery.
* BV can increase a woman's susceptibility to other STDs, such as herpes simplex virus (HSV), chlamydia and gonorrhea.

How does bacterial vaginosis affect a pregnant woman and her baby?

Pregnant women with BV more often have babies who are born premature or with low birth weight (low birth weight is less than 5.5 pounds).

The bacteria that cause BV can sometimes infect the uterus (womb) and fallopian tubes (tubes that carry eggs from the ovaries to the uterus). This type of infection is called pelvic inflammatory disease (PID). PID can cause infertility or damage the fallopian tubes enough to increase the future risk of ectopic pregnancy and infertility. Ectopic pregnancy is a life-threatening condition in which a fertilized egg grows outside the uterus, usually in a fallopian tube which can rupture.

How is bacterial vaginosis diagnosed?

A health care provider must examine the vagina for signs of BV and perform laboratory tests on a sample of vaginal fluid to look for bacteria associated with BV.

What is the treatment for bacterial vaginosis?

Although BV will sometimes clear up without treatment, all women with symptoms of BV should be treated to avoid complications. Male partners generally do not need to be treated. However, BV may spread between female sex partners.

Treatment is especially important for pregnant women. All pregnant women who have ever had a premature delivery or low birth weight baby should be considered for a BV examination, regardless of symptoms, and should be treated if they have BV. All pregnant women who have symptoms of BV should be checked and treated.

Some physicians recommend that all women undergoing a hysterectomy or abortion be treated for BV prior to the procedure, regardless of symptoms, to reduce their risk of developing an infection.

BV is treatable with antibiotics prescribed by a health care provider. Two different antibiotics are recommended as treatment for BV: metronidazole or clindamycin. Either can be used with non-pregnant or pregnant women, but the recommended dosages differ. Women with BV who are HIV-positive should receive the same treatment as those who are HIV-negative.

BV can recur after treatment.

How can bacterial vaginosis be prevented?

BV is not completely understood by scientists, and the best ways to prevent it are unknown. However, it is known that BV is associated with having a new sex partner or having multiple sex partners.

The following basic prevention steps can help reduce the risk of upsetting the natural balance of bacteria in the vagina and developing BV:

* Be abstinent.
* Limit the number of sex partners.
* Do not douche.
* Use all of the medicine prescribed for treatment of BV, even if the signs and symptoms go away.

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