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05 Feb 2003

Concerned
Hi I would like to know, if you are infected with STD eg Hapies. how greater is the risk of testing for HIV.
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Expert
Sexologist
sexy

01 Jan 0001

Yes. Having a sexually transmitted disease (STI) can increase a person's risk of becoming infected with HIV, whether the STI causes open sores or breaks in the skin (e.g., syphilis, herpes, chancroid) or does not cause breaks in the skin (e.g., chlamydia, gonorrhea).

If the STI infection causes irritation of the skin, breaks or sores may make it easier for HIV to enter the body during sexual contact. Even when the STI causes no breaks or open sores, the infection can stimulate an immune response in the genital area that can make HIV transmission more likely.

In addition, if an HIV-infected person also is infected with another STI, that person is three to five times more likely than other HIV-infected persons to transmit HIV through sexual contact.

Not having (abstaining from) sexual intercourse is the most effective way to avoid STIs, including HIV. For those who choose to be sexually active, the following HIV prevention activities are highly effective:

Engaging in sex that does not involve vaginal, anal, or oral sex
Having intercourse with only one uninfected partner
Using latex condoms every time you have sex

If you have additional questions about STIs, or have personal concerns, call the National AIDS Hotline at 0800-012-322
See www.safersex.co.za

Dr Elna McIntosh
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