STDs & HIV

Below you will find information about STDs and HIV.
Info4escorts only describes complaints and consequences relevant to your sex work.
For more information on causes and treatments, go to your doctor.

STDs

(sexually transmitted diseases)
  • Most of the time STDs are transmitted as a result of unsafe sex

  • If you have been infected with an STD, you must have treatment and inform your client(s) and sex partner(s); this can be done anonymously via www.partneralert.be

    • In case of chlamydia and gonorrhoea: client(s) and sex partner(s) of the past six months
    • In case of syphilis: client(s) and sex partner(s) of the past 12 months
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  • Contact a doctor if the complaints continue or reoccur after treatment

Chlamydia

Complaints
  • Sometimes you will have no complaints
  • Vagina: sometimes discharge, abdominal pain, pain when urinating, blood loss after sex
  • Penis: sometimes watery (clear) to pus-like (yellow-green) discharge, pain or a burning sensation when urinating
  • Scrotum: sometimes pain
  • Anus: sometimes itching, pain, slimy discharge, pain when defecating
  • Throat: sometimes sore throat, unpleasant taste in the mouth, bad breath
Work advice
  • It is recommended not to have sexual contacts in the week of treatment
  • In case of anal infection: no anal sex
  • In case of throat infection, it is better not to give blowjobs
  • It is safe to start working again a week after treatment

Genital warts

Complaints
  • Pinkish red to greyish white lesions that look like cauliflowers
  • Itching, pain or a burning sensation, as well as some discharge from the urethra
  • Not everyone infected with the virus will have warts
Werkadvies
  • No oral, vaginal or anal sex when you have or notice warts
  • Once the warts have gone, you can go back to work, but it is still possible to transmit the virus
  • Therefore, always use a condom for vaginal, oral and anal sex
  • Genital warts can occur in places not covered by a condom.  Therefore, also be careful with skin to skin contact

Gonorrhoea

Gonorrhoea is very contagious. A condom offers the best protection.

Complaints
  • A burning sensation when urinating, most of the time within one to two weeks after infection
  • Penis: sometimes a green-yellow, clear discharge drips from the penis
  • In men, as well as the urethra, the prostate and epididymis can get infected
  • Vagina: sometimes green-yellow discharge, pain when urinating, abdominal pain
  • Anus: sometimes pain, itching, slimy discharge
  • Throat: sometimes sore throat, unpleasant taste in the mouth, bad breath
Werkadvies
  • It is recommended not to have sexual contacts in the week of treatment
  • In case of anal infection: no anal sex
  • In case of throat infection, it is best not to give blowjobs
  • It is safe to start working again a week after treatment

Hepatitis A

Complaints
  • You may not develop any complaints
  • After two to six weeks, you may develop complaints, such as tiredness, fever, headache, loss of appetite, nausea or diarrhoea.
  • You also may develop a high fever, as well as yellow skin, yellowing of the white of the eye, dark urine or pale bowel movements
Work advice
  • As long as the infection is not treated, only have safe sex
  • It is safe to start working again after treatment

Hepatitis B

Complaints
  • Acute:

    • Twee tot drie maanden na besmetting: vermoeidheid, verminderde eetlust, misselijkheid, een griepachtig gevoel, koorts, pijn rechts boven in de buik, oogwit en de huid kunnen geel worden (geelzucht)
    • De geelzucht verdwijnt na enkele weken, maar de vermoeidheid kan weken tot maanden aanhouden
  • Chronic:

    • In 5 to 10% of cases, the virus does not disappear and remains in your body for the rest of your life
    • Often there are no complaints, even so you are a carrier and therefore at risk of infecting others
    • For a few of these carriers, the liver remains inflamed.  In the long run, this increases the risk of developing liver cancer
    •  
Work advice
  • During an acute form of hepatitis B, you will not be able to work
  • No oral, vaginal or anal sex, not even with a condom, until you are cured
  • If you are a carrier, you must use a condom for oral, anal and vaginal sex
  • As hepatitis B is contagious, it is recommended to quit sex work

Hepatitis C

Complaints
  • The first years of the illness, you will often have no complaints or symptoms
  • Possible symptoms are tiredness, loss of appetite, nausea or vague abdominal pain
Work advice
  • If you have been infected, you must work safely
  • It is recommended to quit sex work

Herpes

Complaints
  • Painful blisters, sores on the outside of the penis and in or around the anus
  • You may experience fever or muscle ache
  • You may experience a burning sensation when urinating
  • Enlarged lymph nodes in the groin
  • A tingling sensation in your skin
  • The herpes virus will not disappear, and new outbreaks can occur for the rest of your life
Work advice
  • It is safer not to have sex during an outbreak
  • Also, no cunnilingus or blowjobs on anyone if you have blisters or sores
  • Also, no kissing
  • Do not touch the blisters and if you have, make sure to wash your hands

Lymphogranuloma (LGV)

LGV is a serious STD that can cause severe problems if untreated!

Complaints
  • 1st stage:

    • A painless lump or sore will appear on the penis (glans, foreskin) or anus. Often the first lumps or sores will go unnoticed
    • They heal spontaneously and if untreated, the infection will develop into the next stage
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  • 2nd stage:

    • Painful swelling of the lymph nodes in the groinThese lymph nodes become swollen due to a build-up of infected fluid, which may cause them to burst
    • Other complaints during this stage are fever, muscle and joint pain (flu-like symptoms)
Work advice
  • No anal, vaginal or oral sex during treatment

Pubic lice

Complaints
  • Itching (mainly during the night)
  • Red-brown lice droppings on your skin or in your underwear
  • Eggs (nits) close to the roots of the hair
  • Irritation and scratching may cause the skin to become red and infected
Work advice
  • No sex with others during the week of treatment
  • Wash clothes, bedlinen, towels, …at least at 60°C

Scabies

Complaints
  • The first time, it takes 2 to 6 weeks before complaints occur.  With the next infection, you will start itching already after a few days
  • Increasing itchiness, often at night and when you are feeling warm
  • Blisters, red lumps, scaling on the skin
  • Lines (burrows) appear, mainly on your wrist and in between your fingers
Work advice
  • No sex with others during treatment

Syphilis

Syphilis is easily transmitted and is therefore a very contagious STD!

Complaints
  • Syphilis develops over three stages.  The first and second stage may be without complaints!

  • First stage:

    • Two to twelve weeks after infection, a sore, that can grow to one centimetre, will appear on the mucous membrane of the genitalia (penis, vagina), anus or mouth
    • The sore is red, feels hard and hurts very little or not at all
    • On the penis, the sore is clearly visible
    • Sometimes, the sore is hidden in the anus or vagina and goes unnoticed
    • The skin may also get infected in other areas, sometimes even on the fingers, especially if you have small cuts
    • Lymph nodes located near the sore, e.g. in the groin, are often swollen
    • The sore disappears within one to three months, but the illness lies dormant and remains contagious
  • Second stage:

    • Three to eight weeks after the sore appeared, the second stage develops.  The sore has often disappeared by then
    • Feeling ill, with fever, muscle and joint pain, headache and a sore throat
    • Tiredness
    • A rash (that doesn’t itch and sometimes is hardly visible) all over your body, even on the soles of your feet and the palms of your hands
    • Bald patches in your hair
    • Eye infection and deteriorated eyesight
    • White-grey, wart-like growths around the penis and anus
  • Third stage::

    • If untreated, the disease will progress to the third stage after two to thirty years
    • In the third stage, almost all organs will get infected or damaged, even the skin and bones
    • Complaints can vary greatly depending on which organ is affected
    • It can even cause meningitis, and you may become confused and paralysed
Work advice
  • During the first 10 days of the treatment, no oral, vaginal and anal sex
  • After treatment, you can start working again

Trichomonas

Complaints
  • Men rarely develop complaints
  • Penis: pain and/or a burning sensation when urinating, sometimes discharge in the morning
  • Vagina: discharge, fishy smell
Work advice
  • It is recommended not to have sexual contacts until 7 days after treatment

Tuberculosis

Is not actually an STD, but as a sex worker you might be at risk.

Complaints
  • Persistent cough, often with bloody phlegm
  • Loss of appetite, weight loss, chest pain
  • (High) fever
  • Night sweats
  • Tiredness
Work advice
  • Avoid infected people
  • Limit the duration and intimacy of the contact
  • Air your workspace

HIV

Complaints
  • If you are HIV-positive, it does not mean you will develop complaints immediately.  You may live healthily for many years, but in the meantime, you may infect others with the HIV-virus
  • When the number of virus particles increases in your blood, your immune system will be affected, and you will develop complaints.  This may be after 2 years, but it may also take more than 10 years before you develop any symptoms
  • How long you are without complaints differs from person to person and is unpredictable
  • Tiredness, night sweats, weight loss, swollen lymph nodes, diarrhoea may be an indication of infection
Work advice
  • It is recommended to quit working as a sex worker
  • If you keep working, you must ALWAYS use a condom
Preventing an HIV-infection with Prep-medication
  • Conditions:

    • You are HIV-negative
    • You are not deterred by a commitment to have three-monthly appointments
    • You need to be re-tested every three months
    • You take your medication as prescribed
    • You are aware that Prep is not a replacement for using a condom
  • Medication can be prescribed at an aids reference centre

    • Make an appointment
    • During the appointment, it will be determined whether you qualify or not
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