are any parasite, virus or bacteria found in feces that can cause symptoms
in your bowels.
most common bacteria are Shigella, campylobacter and salmonella. The
first two are the most common among gay men, and while salmonella is
usually a result of contaminated food, it can also show up among gay
men as an STD.
most common parasites among gay men are amoebas (E. histolytica), giardia,
and cryptosporidium. It's been estimated that 10% of the world population
is infected with amoebas, although less than 10% of those infected will
develop severe symptoms.
do you get it?
Through any activity that transmits someone's fecal matter to your mouth
fingering, or sharing sex
toys. If you keep playing after anal sex, you can pick up an infection
from licking or sucking someone's balls, thighs, belly, or butt cheeks.
do you avoid it?
Contrary to popular thinking, a good anal scrub doesn't really help.
As with hepatitis
A, however, an awareness of where your hands, mouth
and dick have been does. The bottom line is keeping an infected person's
fecal matter out of your mouth.
As many as half of all infections have no symptoms. Most bacterial and
parasite infections are similar, ranging from watery diarrhea without
significant cramping to bloody diarrhea with sever abdominal pain. In
some cases, more systemic effects like fever, nausea, vomiting and/or
headache occur. Symptoms usually begin within 24 to 36 hours of infection.
Your health care provider will collect a fecal sample and get it tested,
although stool samples often have to be repeated as many as three times.
Different antibiotics are prescribed to combat different bacterial and
parasitic infections. As with any course of antibiotics, it is critical
that you finish the medication, even if your symptoms have subsided.
- If you're
and take medications that cause episodes of diarrhea, a bacterial
or parasitic infection can go undetected and untreated.
- If you
have AIDS, these infections can more likely develop into serious illnesses,
which may recur after treatment.
else should you know?
When rimming, use a latex barrier, such as a dental dam, or sheets of
clear, non-microwavable plastic food wrap.