Sexual assault and rape 303
Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and HIV/AIDS
The man who raped you may have had a sexually transmitted infection (STI) or
HIV/AIDS and passed it to you. A health worker can give you medicines to prevent
STIs such as gonorrhea, syphilis, and chlamydia even if you do not think you were
infected. It is better to prevent an STI than to wait for signs of infection.
You should also try to have an HIV test in 2 to 4 weeks (see page 172). Until you
have a negative test result, it is best to use condoms if you have sex to protect your
partner from possible infection. If you live in an area where many people have
HIV/AIDS, you may want to talk with a health worker about taking medicines to
reduce your risk of becoming infected.
Tears and cuts
Rape can damage the genitals by causing tears and
cuts. These can cause pain, but will go away in time.
If there is a lot of bleeding, see a health worker who
can stitch tears and give you medicine to prevent
infection. For small cuts and tears:
• Soak your genitals 3 times each day in warm
water that has been boiled and cooled. You can
put chamomile flowers in the boiling water to
help with healing. Or you can put the liquid
from inside the leaves of an aloe plant on the
cuts and tears.
• Pour water over your genitals when you pass urine so it will not burn. Drinking
a lot of liquid makes the urine burn less.
• Watch for signs of infection: heat, yellow liquid (pus), a bad smell, and pain
that gets worse.
Bladder or kidney infections
After violent sex, it is common for a woman to have a bladder or kidney infection.
If you have pain when you pass urine, or if there is blood in your urine, see a health
worker. You may need to take medicine. It helps to drink a lot of water, at least 8
glasses a day (see pages 105 to 106).
A Health Handbook for Women with Disabilities 2007