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The Relationship between HIV and STDs

By Atiya Jones

Have you ever heard that having a STD makes it easier to get HIV? Well it’s true. Not to be mistaken for the myth that if you have a STD it turns into HIV which is totally not true¸ people who are infected with a STD are two to five times more likely to become HIV infected according to the CDC. In addition if a person who is HIV positive has another STD, they are more likely to transmit HIV.

The reason for the increase of infection is due to break in the lining in the genital area caused by warts in such STDs like syphilis, herpes, and chancroid. It is those breaks that allow HIV to enter the body easy. With STDs that don’t have warts such as chlamydia, gonorrhea, and trichomoniasis the inflammation due to the disease causes an increase of CD4 cells in vaginal secretions and semen. These are the cells HIV needs to produce and survive.  For someone who is already HIV infected having an additional STD means that there are higher levels of HIV in bodily fluids, therefore making it more likely that HIV will be transmitted to the non-infected partner.

Of course the best way to prevent and decrease the spread of any STD and/or HIV is to treatment the STD and to use protection.

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