Expert Author John Dugan
In spite of educational efforts and the easy availability of protection, the number of patients diagnosed with a sexually transmitted infection, or STI, continues to increase each year, particularly among teenagers and young adults. This problem makes it clear that not everyone takes the risks seriously - at least until it happens to them.
At the first sign of penis blisters, sores, discharge, or anything else out of the ordinary, men are prone to panic, wondering who could have infected them and whether they are now doomed to a life alone, with no hope of enjoying sex again. A positive diagnosis of an STI can be truly devastating; not only in terms of the symptoms of the infection itself, but also in terms of the personal consequences. Fortunately, many STIs can be treated successfully, and with the right approach to penis care, men can overcome the physical and emotional effects and enjoy a happy, healthy, and safe sex life.
What is an STI, anyway?
A sexually transmitted infection is any infectious condition that is transmitted through sexual contact, whether through skin-on-skin contact or through the sharing of body fluids. Many STIs are caused by bacteria; these can generally be treated through a course of antibiotics. However, a large number of infections are viral in nature; while some of these may eventually be eliminated from the body, others are not curable, and those who have contracted them will face a lifetime of medications and the possibility of infecting a romantic partner.
Symptoms of STIs vary according to the cause, but many recognizable signs include fever, sore throat, blisters or warts on the genitals, itching, and discharge from the penis. On the other hand, it is important to keep in mind that not all infected individuals show any outward symptoms, but they can still pass the disease on to a partner. Therefore, safe sex and frequent testing are essential for all sexually active people.
Four tips for managing the physical and emotional effects
Aside from the uncomfortable and embarrassing physical symptoms of an STI, men who are infected face problems like loss of self-esteem, depression, anxiety, and relationship problems. The following tips can help men and their partners to manage these concerns and take the most positive steps possible toward recovery.
  • Know the enemy - understanding the disease and its implications is essential to treating it properly. Men who are infected should find out everything they can about the condition, as well as how it is treated, and should not be afraid to ask for help from trained medical professionals.

  • Stop the blame - it can be easy to feel hurt and betrayed when the signs of an STI appear. However, a sexually transmitted infection is not always a sign that a partner has been unfaithful. Either partner could easily have been infected in a previous relationship, so blaming one another is only likely to result in more hurt and distress.

  • Seek counseling­ - men who have a communicable disease often feel a great loss of self-worth and may feel socially isolated after contracting an infection. Joining a support group or talking to a sex counselor can be a good way to put things in perspective and learn how to manage the stress and anxiety.


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