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Sexually Transmitted Disease (STD) Awareness
April 11, 2019
April is Sexually Transmitted Disease (STD) Awareness month.
People may not know they have an STD because many do not have symptoms, and they can cause serious health consequences if they are not detected and treated appropriately. For example, chlamydia left untreated can put a woman at risk for pelvic inflammatory disease, a condition that can lead to infertility.
What is STD?
They are also known as sexually transmitted infections (STIs) or venereal diseases (VD).
Some STDs can spread through the use of unsterilized drug needles, from mother to infant during childbirth or breast-feeding, and blood transfusions.
The genital areas are generally moist and warm environments, ideal for the growth of yeasts, viruses, and bacteria.
People can transmit microorganisms that inhabit the skin or mucous membranes of the genitals. Infectious organisms can also move between people in semen, vaginal secretions, or blood during sexual intercourse.
Different Typesof STDs?
– attacks the immune system, leaving its host much more vulnerable to infections and diseases. If the virus is left untreated, the susceptibility to infection worsens.
– is an STD caused by Chlamydia trachomatis (C. trachomatis). This bacterium only infects humans. Chlamydia is the most common infectious cause of genital and eye diseases globally. It is also the most common bacterial STD.
HPV (human papillomavirus)
– is a name for a group of viruses that affect the skin and mucous membranes, such as the throat, cervix, anus, and mouth.
There are over 100 types of HPV, of which, about 40 can affect the genital areas. These types may also transmit to the mouth and throat.
– is the result of Treponema pallidum, a bacterium. It is transmitted by sexual contact, and the person passing on the infection will have a syphilitic lesion. A woman who is pregnant and also has syphilis can pass on this STD to her baby, which can result in stillbirth or serious congenital deformities.
– This sexually transmitted bacterial infection usually attacks the mucous membranes. It is also known as the clap or the drip.
The bacterium, which is highly contagious, stays in the warmer and moister cavities of the body.
Pubic lice (‘crabs’)
– manifestations are primarily spread through sexual contact. Pets do not play any part in the transmission of human lice.
The lice attach to the pubic hair, and may also be sometimes found in the armpits, mustache, beard, eyelashes, and eyebrows. They feed on human blood.
– is a common STD that can affect both sexes. However, women are more likely to experience symptoms. The infection is caused by a single-celled protozoan parasite, Trichomonas vaginalis.
– This STD is caused by the herpes simplex virus (HSV). The virus affects the skin, cervix, genitals, and some other parts of the body. There are two types:
HSV-1, also known as herpes type 1
HSV-2, also known as herpes type 2
Herpes is a chronic condition. A significant number of individuals with herpes never show symptoms and do not know about their herpes status.
Sexual intercourse using a condom is the safest way to prevent the spread of STDs. Condoms are known as barrier contraceptives, due to their presentation of a physical barrier to microbes.
Here are other steps you can take to reduce the risk of an STD:
- Abstinence: Abstaining from any sexual act is the most effective way to avoid an STD.
- Monogamy to one uninfected partner: A long-term, monogamous relationship with one person who is not infected can reduce the risk of contracting an STD.
- Vaccinations: There are vaccinations that can protect an individual from eventually developing some types of cancer that are caused by HPV and hepatitis B.
- Check for infections: Before sexual intercourse with a new partner, check that the partner and yourself have no STDs.
- Drink alcohol in moderation: People who have consumed too much alcohol are more likely to engage in risky behavior. Avoid using recreational drugs, which may also affect judgment.
- Explain you want safe sex: Before engaging in any sexual act with a new partner, communicate that you would only consider safe sex.
- Education: Parents, schools, and society need to teach children about the importance of safe sex, and explain how to prevent becoming infected with an STD, including information relevant to the LGBTQ community.
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