Just because we earn a good income, live in a fairly good suburb, and we are in monogamous relationship does not make us immune against STDs and HIV. You don't have to be a genius to figure out that the only sure way to avoid getting sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) is to not have sex. In today's age of AIDS and STDs it is smart to know ways to lower the risk of getting these infections.

Facts about sexually transmitted diseases

  • For the period 1 March 1997 to 30 June 1998 a total of 68 372 new cases of STDs were treated in the Port Elizabeth area
  • Remember that STDs are the gateway \ entry point for HIV
  • Drugs and alcohol increase your chances of getting STD and HIV as these substances affect your judgment and ability to use condoms properly
  • Early during infection, symptoms may be masked or confused with other illnesses

Statistics of new cases of the most common STDs as found on our campus for the period 1 March 1997 to 30 June 1998:

  • Gonorrhoea: UPE 117 (PE: 31744)
  • Genital warts/Herpes: UPE 3 (PE: 2054)
  • Lice/scabies: UPE 54 (PE: 4263)
  • Syphilis: UPE 59 (PE: 9540)

If you know of somebody suffering from a possible STD please refer them to a clinic or doctor immediately for treatment!

STDs lead to:

  • pelvic inflammatory diseases
  • tubal pregnancies
  • cancer of the cervix
  • sterility in men and women
  • damage to major organs, such as the heart, brain, kidneys
  • death, especially with H IV

Symptoms that may occur and need referral:

  • discharge from vagina, penis or rectum
  • pain or burning during urination or intercourse
  • lower abdominal pain (female)
  • pain in testicles or buttocks and legs (both sexes)
  • blisters, open sores, warts, rash or swelling in the genital or anal areas
  • persistent flu-like symptoms- including fever, headache, aching muscles or swollen glands-which may precede STD symptoms.

For more detailed information regarding the various STDs please contact the campus health service.