Cheating and/or admitting to having an affair is never an easy subject to discuss with anyone. It often involves a lot of hurt, shame, anger or embarrassment regardless if you are the cheater or cheated upon person.
Unfortunately, many men and women become so wrapped up in the emotions of the incident(s) that they forget about their own sexual health and the sexual health of their partners.
Wearing condoms does not guarantee protection against all STIs, specifically herpes and the human papillomavirus (HPV). Only the correct use of condoms will protect against gonorrhea, chlamydia, syphilis, HIV, hepatitis C and trichomoniasis. Ask your health care provider for testing today.
Herpes and HPV only require contact or touching of skin cells. This means only skin-to-skin contact needs to occur and not necessarily the act of vaginal sexual intercourse. HPV in particular can also be spread to the anal area during anal play and the throat and mouth during oral sex, risking anal or oropharyngeal cancers and problems.
A herpes outbreak typically includes painful fluid-filled blister bumps in the area, whereas HPV can show up in the form of warts or abnormal cells on a Pap test or biopsy which increases the risk for vulvar, vaginal and cervical cancer.
Neither herpes nor HPV are curable, however they may go into remission. Herpes can be suppressed with anti-viral medication.
Gonorrhea, chlamydia, syphilis, and trichomoniasis are treated with antibiotics, however they must be tested for first. Left untreated these STIs can lead to worse infections in both the male and female reproductive tract and perhaps infertility in females, especially with chlamydia as it damages the fallopian tubes.
These infections do require sexual intercourse or fluid exchange in order to pass from one person to the next, and unfortunately are often passed quite easily.
Some people do not have any symptoms (no pain or discharge) therefore they assume they are all clear and free of any infection. Do not assume. Get tested.
HIV and hepatitis C are viruses that are passed through fluid exchange.