for Veterans and the Public
If you got infected with HIV from unprotected sex, there is a chance you may have become infected with other sexually transmitted diseases, too. These include syphilis, gonorrhea, and chlamydia. Hepatitis B and hepatitis C can be sexually transmitted as well, particularly among men who have sex with men.
Infections of syphilis, gonorrhea, and chlamydia can occur in the throat, penis, vagina, and rectum. The bacteria that cause syphilis and gonorrhea can also spread through the blood to other parts of your body. Having one of these other diseases can make your HIV worse. They can also make you 2 to 5 times more likely to pass HIV along to a sexual partner. Syphilis, for example, can cause open sores on your genitals, which allows easy passage of HIV from you to your partner.
Tests for STDs, hepatitis B, and hepatitis C should be done at baseline. STD tests should be repeated at least once a year if you are sexually active and have had more than one sex partner since your last clinic visit. Men who have sex with men who have multiple or anonymous sex partners are recommended to be screened every 3-6 months, and this is a good idea for anyone with new partners.