Hesperian Health Guides

Other STIs

HIV Infection

HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, is transmitted most often during unsafe sex. It is spread when semen, fluid from the vagina, or blood of someone already infected with HIV gets into the body of another person. Genital sores make it easy for the virus to pass from one person to another. Semen and discharge from someone with an STI and HIV contain a large amount of HIV.

Women can get HIV more easily than men during sex. You can get HIV from someone who looks completely healthy.

There is no treatment that can cure HIV, but treatment can lengthen and improve the life of someone with HIV. Practice safer sex to protect yourself and others from spreading HIV. If you think you have had unsafe sex with someone who might have HIV, see 'Medicines for AIDS - Antiretroviral Therapy'.

Hepatitis B (Yellow Eyes)

Hepatitis B is a dangerous infection caused by a virus that harms the liver. Hepatitis B is spread when the blood, saliva (spit), fluid from the vagina, or semen of someone already infected with the virus gets into the body of another person. It spreads very easily from one person to another, especially during sex.

If your partner has had some of these signs, do not have sex until he is completely well. Ask a health worker if you can get vaccinated.

  • fever
  • no appetite
  • tired and weak feeling
  • yellow eyes and/or skin
  • pain in the belly
  • dark urine and whitish stools
  • no signs at all
a woman holding her belly in pain while another woman offers her a hot drink

There is no medicine that will help. In fact, taking medicine can hurt your liver even more.

Most people get better from hepatitis B. A small number of people may have liver problems that never go away, including liver cancer. Rest as much as you can, and eat foods that are easy to digest. Do not drink any alcohol for at least 6 months.

Pregnancy and hepatitis. If you have any of these signs when you are pregnant, see a health worker. You may be able to get a vaccination to prevent your baby from getting hepatitis B.