Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs in Men) (cont.)
Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD
Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Anatomic Pathologist with subspecialty training in the fields of Experimental and Molecular Pathology. Dr. Stöppler's educational background includes a BA with Highest Distinction from the University of Virginia and an MD from the University of North Carolina. She completed residency training in Anatomic Pathology at Georgetown University followed by subspecialty fellowship training in molecular diagnostics and experimental pathology.
William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR
Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.
In this Article
- Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) in men facts
- What are STDs and how can their spread be prevented?
- Diseases associated with genital lesions
- Genital herpes
- Lymphogranuloma venereum (LGV)
- Human papillomavirus (HPV)
- Diseases associated with urethritis
- Systemic STDs
- Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)
- Hepatitis B
- Hepatitis C
- Human herpes virus 8 (HHV-8)
- Ectoparasitic infections
- Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs) FAQs
- Find a local Urologist in your town
What is hepatitis C?
Hepatitis C is liver inflammation (hepatitis) that is caused by the hepatitis C virus (HCV). The HCV causes acute and chronic viral C hepatitis. Unlike hepatitis B, however, hepatitis C is infrequently transmitted sexually, so that it is an unusual STI. It is primarily spread by exposure to infected blood, such as from sharing needles for drug use, piercing, tattooing, and occasionally sharing nasal straws for cocaine use. Most infected people have no symptoms, so a delayed or missed diagnosis is common. In contrast to hepatitis B, where chronic infection is uncommon, the majority (75% to 85%) of people infected with hepatitis C develop chronic (long-term) infection. However, as is the case with hepatitis B, chronically infected individuals are infectious to others and are at an increased risk of developing severe liver disease and its complications, even if they have no symptoms.
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How is hepatitis C infection diagnosed?
Hepatitis C infection is diagnosed by using a standard antibody test. The antibody indicates an exposure to the virus at some time. Thus, the hepatitis C antibody is found in the blood during acute hepatitis C, after recovery from the acute hepatitis, and during chronic hepatitis C. Individuals with a positive antibody test can then be tested for evidence of virus in the blood by a test called the polymerase chain reaction (PCR), which detects the genetic material of the virus. The PCR test rarely is needed to diagnose acute hepatitis C, but sometimes can be helpful to confirm the diagnosis of chronic hepatitis C.
Human herpes virus 8 (HHV-8)
What is human herpes virus 8?
Human herpes virus 8 is a virus first identified in the 1990s that has been associated with Kaposi's sarcoma and possibly with a type of cancer called body cavity lymphoma (a tumor that arises from the lymph tissue). Kaposi's sarcoma is an unusual skin tumor that is seen primarily in HIV infected men. Human herpes virus 8 has also been isolated in the semen of HIV infected individuals. Because of these factors, the possibility has been raised that human herpes virus 8 is a sexually transmitted infection. Several important issues related to the role of human herpes virus 8 as a disease-causing agent have not yet been fully determined, such as whether human herpes virus 8 actually causes disease, how it is transmitted, what diseases it might cause, and how to treat these disease(s). Recent reports have shown that in children and men who have sex with men, a new (acute) infection with human herpes virus 8 can lead to an illness characterized by fever and rash, and/or to enlarged lymph nodes, fatigue, and diarrhea.
Next: Ectoparasitic infections
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