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    STD 2 continued...


    Can you spell chancroid? Chancroid [pronounced SHANG-kroyd] is a bacterial infection. It's spread by contact with the sores. Women may not notice the symptoms until the lymph glands in the thigh -- on one or both sides -- get swollen and painful. If not treated, these glands mat together and form a kind of abscess known as a bubo.

    Chancroid is more common in Africa and in Asia. Fortunately, this is a curable infection. See a doctor. And you have to tell your wife. Even if a woman doesn't seem to have symptoms, she may have been infected and should get a checkup.

    STD 3

    It can't be an STD -- can it? I still think of myself as technically a virgin. I did have sex -- but my lover only put his penis a little way into my vagina. And he doesn't have any symptoms. Maybe this burning feeling when I urinate will just go away. Won't it?


    Many sexually transmitted diseases can cause this symptom. The most common one is chlamydia [pronounced klah-MID-ee-ya]. Any genital, anal, or, less often, oral contact with infected body fluids can result in infection. In a way, you're lucky. Three-fourths of women -- and half of men -- don't have early symptoms of chlamydia. Left untreated, this bacterial infection can spread to the fallopian tubes. This can leave you unable to have children. There are tests. And there is a cure. If you're sexually active -- even if you don't go "all the way" -- you can still get STDs.

    STD 4

    Yuck. It's been about a week since I had sex. Boy, does my crotch itch. When I look down there, I've got a blue spot on the skin under my pubic hair. And there are lots of these teensy rust-colored dots. What gives?


    Those little rust-colored dots -- sometimes they're whitish-gray -- are lice. If you take a closer look with a magnifying glass, you'll see they look like little crabs. You can get crabs during sex. You can also get them by sleeping in the bed of an infested person. The little bugs have three forms: eggs, a larval stage called nits, and adult lice -- the ones that make you itch. The blue spots are a skin reaction to louse bites. Once you've identified crabs, you can get rid of them. But you'll have to get rid of all the eggs and nits that may have spread to your clothes, bed linens, and other items. After you kill off the lice, you'll continue to itch for a while. Hydrocortisone cream can help.

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