HIV stands for Human Immunodeficiency Virus.
How HIV is transmitted: There are four fluids that can pass HIV from one person to the next. Contact with infectious blood, semen, vaginal fluids, and breast milk can transmit HIV.
Symptoms of HIV: Men can go 8 to 10 years without having symptoms from HIV. In general, HIV symptoms appear in different way depending on the person. The best way to know if you or someone you know is HIV positive is to get a test.
Testing: There are several different kinds of HIV tests. It is important to understand the type of test you are taking, and what the results are telling you. At HeyDenver, HIV antibody tests are given. Click here for answers to frequently asked questions about HIV testing.
If you have questions about living with HIV, dating and HIV, protection and HIV, or other topics around HIV, please call us at 303.962.2880.
Gonorrhea & Chalamyda
Symptoms of Gonorrhea: Gonorrhea is a bacterial infection that can reside within the tissue of the anus, urinary tract, and throat. Most individuals who are infected with Gonorrhea report to a health agency complaining of a yellowish or green discharge. This is oftentimes paired with swollen lymph nodes, pain while urinating, and tender testicles. There is the potential for infection of the tissue in the anus and the throat since we have oral and anal sex. These infections do not always have symptoms, which is why guys should receive a bi-annual rectal and pharyngeal (throat) culture for Gonorrhea.
Treatment: Gonorrhea is easily treated with a series of antibiotics. If you follow your health care provider’s advice regarding the medication, the infection should clear within a few days. However, it is important to avoid having sexual contact in order to prevent re-infection or additional spread of the disease.
Testing: You should be tested
- Urethral- 1-2 times per year, or if you are experiencing burning, pain while urinating, or discharge
- Rectal- 2 times per year (for individuals who engage in protected or unprotected anal sex or rimming), or if you are experiencing pain with bowel movements, rectal discharge, or rectal bleeding.
- Pharyngeal- 2 times per year (for individuals who are engaging in receptive oral sex), or if you are experiencing symptoms.
Symptoms of Chlamydia: Many man do not report symptoms for Chlamydia, which is why it is important to be tested twice per year for all STDs. Symptoms may include a clear or white discharge from the penis, bleeding, rectal discomfort and burning during urination. Occasionally, men report extreme sensitivity or itching around the opening of the penis. Individuals who engage in receptive anal sex may get Chlamydia infection in the rectum.
Treatment: Chlamydia is treated with antibiotics in either a single dose, or by a week long treatment. It is important to inform sexual partners and to abstain from sex until the medication is completed and the infection has cleared.
Testing: You should be tested 1-2 times per year, or if you are experiencing itching, pain while urinating, or discharge
Syphilis is a disease caused an organism that maintains a spiral shape, which allows for travel throughout the body’s tissues, mucus membranes, lymphatic system, and blood. The vast majority of all syphilis infections are transmitted via by sexual contact. According to the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, 90 percent % of all syphilis cases in 2006 were identified within a 1.5 mile radius of the intersection of 17th and Logan, which is the heart of the Capital Hill neighborhood. More than three-quarters of these cases were in men who have sex with men.
Symptoms of Syphilis: Signs and indications Symptoms of primary syphilis are characterized by painless, open sores (chancres) on the skin of the site of contact called chancres that heal in about six weeks. After these symptoms have cleared, many people fail to seek medical care, which causes the infection to transition into a secondary infection. A secondary syphilis infection is characterized by pox-like spots on the palms of the hands and soles of the feet. These individuals also report fever, weight loss, digestive difficulty, and lymphadenopathy (swollen lymph nodes). Tertiary syphilis is the stage at which concerns for neurological and cardiovascular health begin. Some individuals who allow their syphilis infection to reach this stage report symptoms of dementia, arrhythmia, and mania. However, due to the availability of antibiotics that cure syphilis, these late-stage manifestations infections are rare.
Treatment: A blood test can quickly catch syphilis before it causes any permanent damage, and syphilis treatment consists of simple antibiotic therapy. Most commonly, penicillin is the preferred method of antibiotic for treating Syphilis.
Testing: Testing for syphilis is provided at HeyDenver during certain times.
More info on Syphilis can be found here.
HPV in Men.
The HPV vaccine is available for gay and bisexual men under 26 for free! Call 720.777.2248 or visit www.bc4u.org to find out more about HPV and the free vaccine!
HPV in Men
This virus is contracted via genital contact (skin, mucus membranes, etc.). You may not be able to see anal warts or HPV when it is present.
Warts can bleed during sex and increase risk for contracting other STIs and HIV.
In rare instances, HPV has been linked to various types of cancers, including anal cancer. Individuals who are infected with HIV or other immune diseases are more susceptible to these kinds of cancers.
Guys who bottom should talk with their doctors about getting a regular anal screening (pap smear); HIV + bottoms should consider being examined every 12 months.
Symptoms of HPV: Many individuals will never develop symptoms of HPV. Most commonly, individuals experience genital warts and identify infection after discovering a wart. Genital warts are characterized primarily by a cauliflower-like shape and texture. These lesions, often called papules, are usually raised skin with a pink, white, or grayish pigment. These outbreaks are localized to the genital region (anus, testicles, penis, thighs, and groin area). Symptoms can occur in a few weeks and up to a few months after sexual contact with an infected person.
Treatment and Prevention: While there is no cure for HPV, there is treatment for the warts that are caused by the virus. Liquid nitrogen is used to freeze off the wart. In some cases, when there are multiple warts, or if there are warts within the anus, surgery may be necessary. In order to avoid infection, men should talk to their partners about their history of genital warts. Since this infection can be spread from skin-to-skin contact, condoms may not necessarily prevent HPV infection
Hepatitis A, B and C
Hepatitis A, B, and C
How Hepatitis is spread:
Hep A: Ingestion of fecal matter, even in microscopic amounts, from close person-to-person contact or ingestion of contaminated food or drinks.
Hep B: Contact with infectious blood, semen, and other body fluids from having sex with an infected person, sharing contaminated needles to inject drugs, or from an infected mother to her newborn.
Hep C: Contact with the blood of an infected person, primarily through sharing contaminated needles to inject drugs. Please visit The Hep C Connection Website for more information and local resources. You may be tested for Hep C at HeyDenver if you meet the screening criteria.
Vaccine: If you are a man that identifies as gay or bisexual, you are eligible for a free Hep A and B vaccine at Denver Public Health. Call 303.602.3540 for more information.