What are Sexually Transmitted Diseases?
Sexually Transmitted Diseases, abbreviated as STDs are diseases that are most often, but not exclusively spread through sexual intercourse. There are 20 STDs recognized in the medical field now. They include gonorrhea, syphilis, HPV, HIV-AIDS, Hepatitis B, etc.
What causes STDs?
STDs are caused by bacteria, viruses as well as parasites. Bacterial STDs include chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis. Viral STDs include AIDS, genital Herpes, genital warts, and hepatitis B. Trichomoniasis is an STD caused by a parasite.
The causative agents of STDs hide in semen, blood, vagina, vaginal secretions, and even saliva. Most STDs spread through vaginal, oral, or anal sex. But, some STDs like genital Herpes and genital warts also through skin contact.
Signs and Symptoms
Many STDs show no signs and Symptoms; that is, they are asymptomatic. That is why it is essential to have STI screening regularly.
Chlamydia is a bacterial, sexually transmitted infection. Its symptoms during its early stage are not easily detectable. The symptoms are typically mild and often go unnoticed. Some of the symptoms are painful urination, vaginal or penile discharge, pain in lower abdominal, etc.
Gonorrhea is a bacterial infection that doesn’t show symptoms before ten days of exposure to the disease. Some of the significant signs of gonorrhea are thick, cloudy or bloody discharge from the vagina or the penis, swelling of the testicles, anal itching, irregular bowel movements, etc
The herpes simplex virus causes genital Herpes, also has unnoticeable signs and symptoms. The initial symptoms are genital or anal itching. Then, red bumps occur that develop into ulcers.
The most commonly known STD is HI-AIDS. The virus targets the immune system and leaves the body prone to diseases and infections. The early signs of HIV include fever, headache, sore throat, rash, fatigue, etc.
The late-stage symptoms include persistent problems, chronic diarrhea, unusual and opportunistic infections, soaking night sweat, etc.
Treatment and Cure
Antibiotics can cure the STDs caused due to bacterial, fungal, or parasitic infections. But, no cure is present for the STDs caused by viral infections.
How to prevent STDs?
The best way to prevent STDs is to not indulge in sexual activities. But, since that is not feasible, here are a few ways by which you can reduce your chances of acquiring STDs:
- Don’t indulge in sexual activities with strangers. You cannot identify an infected individual by his her appearance.
- Use condoms correctly. The use of latex and polyurethane condoms during sexual intercourse can reduce the risk of transmission of STDs.
- Reduce the number of sexual partners.
More than 1 million STDs are acquired worldwide every day. In the US, more than 23,000 people die every year due to STDs. Thus, STDs are extremely deadly. Awareness regarding STDs should be spread around the globe so that people can realize the truth about STDs and protect themselves from this life-threatening danger.
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