Caused by the Hepatitis B virus, Hepatitis B is the most common contagious liver disease. Although not commonly thought of as an STD, this potentially fatal disease can be spread sexually. Symptoms occur 1-6 months after exposure and include fatigue, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, tenderness in the upper right abdomen, low-grade fever, sore muscles and joints, an altered sense of taste and smell, malaise and jaundice. Hepatitis B can be treated. More importantly, there is a vaccine against Hepatitis B which is recommended for all college students. The vaccination consists of three shots and is available through the Health Center.
Herpes (from the Greek word "to creep") is caused by the Herpes Simplex virus, a tiny mysterious organism. The virus enters the body through the skin and mucous membranes of the mouth and genitals, and travels along the nerve endings to the base of the s pine where it stays. There are two types of Herpes Simplex viruses. Type I is characterized by cold sores or fever blisters on the lips, face, and mouth. Type II usually causes genital sores. While Type I is usually found above the waist and Type II b elow, there is some crossover, primarily due to oral-genital sex.
Herpes cannot be cured. There are, however, drugs available which can speed the healing of any given outbreak of sores, reduce the pain of blisters and reduce the length of time a person is contagious after an outbreak.
Warts on the genital organs are caused by a virus (Human Papilloma virus) similar to the ones that cause common skin warts. In women they are found on the bottom of the vaginal opening, the labia, inside the vagina, or on the cervix. In men, warts usual ly appear on the scrotum or on the head (glans) or shaft of the penis. Warts may also appear around the anus after anal intercourse. A visual diagnosis and treatment to remove the growth(s) requires application of a weak acid or liquid nitrogen. Numero us applications may be necessary. Surgery may be required for larger warts.
There is some reason to believe that the Human Papilloma virus may cause precancerous cells to develop in the cervix. Therefore, it is extremely important to seek medical care for this condition.