1 in 2 sexually active people will get an STD by the age of 25 — but most young people with an STD don’t even know they have it.
It has been proven the presence of STDs makes the body more susceptible to HIV in several ways:
- Some STDs cause open wounds or ulcers to form in the genital area. These openings provide a way for HIV to enter the blood stream.
- While some STDs don’t cause open wounds, the presence of the STD causes the body to increase the concentration of CD4 cells in the genital area. It has been shown that increased concentrations of CD4 cells in the genital area provides HIV with a favorable target for infection.
- People infected with an STD have increased concentrations of HIV in their genital fluids, increasing the possibility of HIV transmission. One study showed that men infected with HIV and gonorrhea have 10 times more HIV in their semen than men infected only with HIV.
WARNING: An antibiotic-resistant strain of gonorrhea—now considered a superbug—has some analysts saying that the bacteria’s effects could match those of AIDS. Because it resists current antibiotic treatment, the strain has been placed in the superbug category with other resistant bacteria.
Obviously if a person is diagnosed with an STD, they should receive treatment as soon as possible. There is some evidence that shows HIV transmission is less in people receiving treatment for an STD.
For a full list of STDs, their symptoms and treatments, click here.