Sexually transmitted diseases

  • STD stands for Sexually Transmitted Diseases.
  • These are the diseases which are transmitted from one person to another during the sexual act between two individuals.
  • STDs may be viral, bacterial, protistan , or fungal.
  • Gonorrhea, Syphilis, AIDS etc are some of the examples of STDs.

Gonorrhea

  • It is also known as the clap or the drip, this sexually transmitted bacterial infection usually attacks the mucous membranes.
  • The bacterium, which is highly contagious, resides in the warm and moist cavities of the body.
  • Symptoms in men: urethral discharge, burning urination, cloudy urine
  • Symptoms in women: inflammation of cervix, thick, yellowish discharge, possibly burning urination, cloudy urine
  • As soon as a person is infected, he/she risks spreading the bacteria to other parts of their body.

Syphilis

  • Syphilis begins when the spirochete bacterium Treponema pallidum enters the body through a tiny break in the skin.
  • Syphilis is spread from sexual skin-to-skin contact with someone who has it. You get it when your vulva, vagina, penis, anus, or mouth touches someone’s syphilis sores, usually during sex. Syphilis can be spread even if no one ejaculates.

Symptoms

It often goes unnoticed in the early stages. The main early symptom is a painless, round sore. This is different than a canker sore. Some of the symptoms include:

  • Headaches
  • Neurological disorders, such as stroke or meningitis
  • Heart disease
  • Neurosyphilis, which is an infection of the brain or spinal cord

However, many people with STDs have no symptoms. In some cases, even if signs and symptoms go away, the bacterium is still there and can cause serious health problems later on.

Treatment

Penicillin (an antibiotic) is the best medicine to treat syphilis at all stages. Penicillin is one of the most widely used antibiotics and is usually effective in treating syphilis. People who are allergic to penicillin will likely be treated with a different oral antibiotic, such as doxycycline, azithromycin, or ceftriaxone. During your treatment, make sure to avoid sexual contact until all sores on your body are healed.

Preventative measures

 

Preventive measures can be taken to decrease the risk of contracting syphilis and include:

 

  • Abstinence
  • Long-term mutual monogamy with an uninfected partner
  • Condoms
  • Avoidance of alcohol and drugs that could potentially lead to unsafe sexual practices.

 

HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus)

 

  • HIV is the virus that causes AIDS. Put simply, HIV is the virus while AIDS is the illness/disease.
  • When a person has AIDS, their immune system is altered, and they become much more vulnerable to infections and diseases.
  • HIV exists in the body fluids of infected people, such as semen, blood, breast milk and vaginal fluids.
  • HIV can be transmitted through blood-to-blood contact, which may occur during sexual contact, blood transfusions, breastfeeding, childbirth, and the sharing of infected needles.
  • HIV cannot live outside the human body. It is an especially weak virus – much less tough than the cold virus.

Causes of HIV

HIV is a retrovirus that infects the vital organs of the human immune system. The virus progresses in the absence of antiretroviral therapy. The rate of virus progression varies widely between individuals and depends on many factors like:

  • Age of the patient
  • Body’s ability to defend against HIV
  • The infected person’s genetic inheritance

 

 

Prevention methods

  • Condom for sexual intercourse
  • Screen blood for transfusion
  • Use sterilized needles
  • Use sterilized surgical instruments

 

Prevention of sexually transmitted infections

Abstain from sexual penetration of body orifices Technique to help reduce the risk of STDs if you are sexually active include:

  • Use a new latex condom, whether it be oral, vaginal or anal sex.
  • Avoid using an oil-based lubricant, such as petroleum jelly when using a latex condom.
  • For sexually active people with multiple partners, getting vaccinated