HIV HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) is a virus that attacks the body’s immune system. If HIV is not treated, it can lead to AIDS (acquired immunodeficiency syndrome). HIV is spread when blood, semen, or other body fluids from a person infected with the virus enters the body of someone who is not infected. This can happen through sexual contact, sharing needles, mother to baby during pregnancy, birth, or breastfeeding. Some people have flu-like symptoms within 2 to 4 weeks after infection (called acute HIV infection). These symptoms may last for a few days or several weeks. Possible symptoms include: Fever, Chills, Rash, Night sweats, Muscle aches, Sore throat, Fatigue, Swollen lymph nodes, and Mouth ulcers. HIV Specific Resources Hepatitis C Hepatitis Cis a liver infection caused by the hepatitis C virus (HCV). HCV can range from a mild illness lasting a few weeks to a serious, long-term illness. HCV is often described as “acute,” meaning a new infection, or “chronic,” meaning long-term infection. The hepatitis C virus is usually spread when someone comes into contact with blood from a person infected with the virus. This can happen through sharing needles, syringes, or other drug-injection equipment, from mother to baby at birth, health care exposures, sexual contact, or unregulated tattoos or body piercings. Acute hepatitis C occurs within the first 6 months after someone is exposed to the hepatitis C virus. Hepatitis C can be a shortterm illness, but for most people, acute infection leads to chronic infection. The majority of people who contract Hep C don’t know because they never develop symptoms, making regular testing essential. Chronic hepatitis C can be a lifelong infection if left untreated. Chronic hepatitis C can cause serious health problems, including liver damage, cirrhosis (scarring of the liver), liver cancer, and even death. When present, signs and symptoms of HCV infections can include: yellow skin or eyes not wanting to eat upset stomach throwing up stomach pain fever dark urine light-colored stool joint pain feeling tired Herpes The Buncombe County STI Clinic can only perform a herpes test during an active outbreak. We do NOT perform the herpes blood test. Herpes is an STI caused by two types of viruses- HSV-1 and HSV- 2. There are two types of Herpes infections- Oral and Genital. Most people with genital herpes have no or very mild symptoms. Mild symptoms may go unnoticed or be mistaken for other skin conditions like a pimple or ingrown hair. Because of this, most people do not know they have a herpes infection. You can get genital herpes by having vaginal, anal, or oral sex with someone who has the infection. You can get herpes if you have contact with: A herpes sore; Saliva from a partner with an oral herpes infection; Genital fluids from a partner with a genital herpes infection; Skin in the oral area of a partner with oral herpes; or Skin in the genital area of a partner with genital herpes. You also can get genital herpes from a sex partner who does not have a visible sore or is unaware of their infection. It is also possible to get genital herpes if you receive oral sex from a partner with oral herpes. Herpes sores usually appear as one or more blisters on or around the genitals, rectum or mouth. This is known as having an “outbreak”. The blisters break and leave painful sores that may take a week or more to heal. Flu-like symptoms (e.g., fever, body aches, or swollen glands) also may occur during the first outbreak. People who experience an initial outbreak of herpes can have repeated outbreaks, especially if they have HSV-2. However, repeat outbreaks are usually shorter and less severe than the first outbreak. Although genital herpes is a lifelong infection, the number of outbreaks may decrease over time. Chlamydia Chlamydia often has no symptoms, but it can cause serious health problems, even without symptoms. If symptoms occur, they may not appear until several weeks after having sex with a partner who has chlamydia. You can get chlamydia by having vaginal, anal, or oral sex with someone who has chlamydia. Also, you can still get chlamydia even if your sex partner does not ejaculate (cum). A pregnant person with chlamydia can give the infection to their baby during childbirth. Even when chlamydia has no symptoms, it can damage a woman’s reproductive system. Women with symptoms may notice An abnormal vaginal discharge; and A burning sensation when peeing. Symptoms in men can include A discharge from their penis; A burning sensation when peeing; and Pain and swelling in one or both testicles (although this is less common). Men and women can also get chlamydia in their rectum. This happens either by having receptive anal sex, or by spread from another infected site (such as the vagina). While these infections often cause no symptoms, they can cause Rectal pain; Discharge; and Bleeding An unusual sore; A smelly discharge; Burning when peeing; or Bleeding between periods. Bacterial Vaginosis Bacterial vaginosis (BV) is a condition that happens when there is too much of certain bacteria in the vagina. This changes the normal balance of bacteria in the vagina. The condition most often occurs in those who are sexually active. Douching, not using condoms, and having new or multiple sex partners can upset the normal balance of vaginal bacteria, increasing your risk for getting BV. Many people with BV do not have symptoms. If you do have symptoms, you may notice: A thin white or gray vaginal discharge; Pain, itching, or burning in the vagina; A strong fish-like odor, especially after sex; Burning when peeing; and Itching around the outside of the vagina.