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LOOKING AHEAD

After you have read and studied this chapter, you should be able to:

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1. LO1 Discuss the symptoms of, risks for, and treatments for the major sexually transmitted infections
(STIs)
2. LO2 Explain how different STIs affect the body and how they are transmitted and diagnosed
3. LO3 List strategies for protecting yourself from STIs

TEST YOUR KNOWLEDGE

1. If you have a sexually transmitted infection (STI), you will know it.

True or false?

2. About what percentage of Canadians living with HIV are unaware of their infection?

1. 5 percent

2. 15 percent

3. 25 percent

4. 55 percent

3. A man with an STI is more likely to transmit the infection to a female partner than vice versa.

True or false?

4. After you have had an STI once, you become immune to that disease and cannot get it again.

True or false?

5. Worldwide, HIV infection is spread primarily via which of the following?

1. injection drug use

2. sex between men

3. mother-to-child transmission

4. heterosexual sex

ANSWERS

1. FALSE. Many people with STIs have no symptoms and do not know they are infected; however, they can
still pass an infection to any partner.

2. c. It is estimated that 25 percent of Canadians living with HIV do not know they are carrying the virus that
causes AIDS.

3. TRUE. For many STIs, infected men are at least twice as likely as infected women to transmit an STI to a
partner.

4. FALSE. Reinfection with STIs is very common. For example, if you are treated for and cured of
chlamydia and then you have sex with your untreated partner, the chances are very good that you will be
infected again.

5. d. The vast majority of HIV infection cases worldwide result from heterosexual contact, and the majority
of new cases occur in teenage girls and young women.

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Considering the intimate nature of sexual activity, it is not surprising that many infections can be transmitted
from one person to another through sexual contact. Of course, colds, influenza, and many other infections can
spread from one sexual partner to another, but sexual contact is not the primary means of transmission for these
illnesses. Sexually transmitted infections (STIs)previously referred to as sexually transmitted diseases
(STDs)spread from person to person mainly through sexual activity.

STIs are a particularly insidious group of illnesses because a person can be infected and able to transmit the
disease yet not look or feel sick; this is why the term sexually transmitted infection (STI) has replaced the term
sexually transmitted disease in Canada. Everyone should have a clear understanding of what STIs are, how they
are transmitted, and how they can be prevented. Many STIs can also be cured if treated early and properly. This
chapter introduces the major forms of sexually transmitted infections; it also provides information about healthy,
safer sexual behaviour to help you understand how to reduce the further spread of these infections.

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