A sexually transmitted disease is not the same as genital disease. Most genital diseases are not caused by sexually transmitted organisms. But most sexually transmitted infections do involve the genitals. Infection of the rectum, throat, and the eye are also common. A lot of sexually transmitted diseases spread from a single place and produce sores on parts of the body. At least a dozen diseases are sexually transmitted. Sexually transmitted diseases occur mainly in people 15 to 30 years of age. But sometimes people are born with it because of an infected mother. People with a sexually transmitted Disease are usually at high risk for catching other diseases. There are more male infections reported than female cases. This is caused by prostitutes and homosexual contacts. 50 percent or more infections result from homosexual contacts. Other infections like syphilis, herpes, and HIV infection may be passed on to the fetus or during childbirth. The fetus or baby can suffer from the disease and can die from it. The helping of STDs has three parts: treatment, counseling, and following up. Sometimes treatment is given in a single dose but in sometimes you have to take it more than once. A person can still be infected even if the symptoms go away. That is why a follow-up visit is important. To avoid spreading the infection the person should not have sex until the doctor says that it is cured. It can take up to fourteen days. This stops the Ping Pong effect.
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This infection is caused by the Herpes simplex virus. The symptoms are similar, and can result from either oral-to-genital or genital-to-genital contact. The virus causes blisters on the genitals, similar to the cold sores that occur on the mouth. Cold sores on the mouth are also caused by the herpes virus. These infections are caused by viruses cures are not available. It has been estimated that approximately 1 in 6 people in Australia has had a history of genital herpes at some time.
Not all people infected with the herpes virus will have symptoms. As many as 60-70% of people with herpes virus type 2 infections by a blood test have not had symptoms diagnosed as genital herpes. Things occur most often on the penile shaft, glans or anal area and on the labia, clitoris, vagina or cervix. They also are around the mouth or on the throat after oral sex. Genital herpes is usually more painful in women Vaginal and blisters may be so painful that women become unable to pass urine. It is important to get early treatment in order to prevent this from getting worse. Some symptoms happen for 1 to 3 weeks. Herpes lives in the body between symptoms. Relapses can happen by emotional or physical stress, fever, trauma, hormonal changes, sunlight, alcohol.
Genital herpes can be passed on through most forms of sexual contact, genital-to-genital, oral-to-genital, and mutual masturbation. Many people are unaware that cold sores may cause genital infection during oral sex. It is also possible for a person to transfer herpes from their own mouth to their genitals, and to their eyes. Condoms may further reduce spread between attacks.
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Some treatments that can relieve discomfort:
- Keeping sores clean and dry
- Wrapping an ice-block in a towel
- Bathing in salt water
- Drinking plenty of water
- If urination is painful, urinating in a hot bath or, for women, using both hands to separate the lips of the vulva to achieve a free stream of urine, preventing urine from touching the ulcers.
Anti-Herpes Drugs: Acyclovir
The use of condoms during vaginal and anal intercourse reduces the risk of genital herpes, but protects only those areas in contact with the condom. Because herpes can be transmitted from mouth-to-genitals condoms or dental dams may be used during oral sex. If there are sores , it is important to avoid oral sex. Because herpes can be spread by the hands between people, it is important to wash your hands if they have come into contact with sores.
VAGINAL CANDIDIASIS (“THRUSH”, MONILIA, YEAST)
The yeast like organisms that cause candidiasis is very common and normally is in the vagina as well as the mouth and in the intestines of most people. Candida is not an actual STD. It is seen in most sexually active people. The presence of candida doesn’t usually have symptoms. There is a change in the pH of the vagina and may cause a problem in the balance of the normal flora. As a result, candidal overgrowth can occur and then cause symptoms. Some things that cause symptoms are heat, moisture, diabetes, steroid medications, cancer, chronic infection, an malnutrition. Men can also get candidiasis, which causes balanitis which causes inflammation of the glans penis. This usually happens to uncircumcised men who still have a foreskin which gives moist conditions for candidal overgrowth. Some symptoms are itchiness in the anal and genital area, which intensifies at night, smooth to firm vaginal pus discharges, inflamed, split, and abraded skin and inflammation of the glans penis.
There is some treatment to change some of the factors that prevent the organism to spread. Minor vaginal candidiasis is treated with anti fungal agent in the form a capsule of nystatin which is inserted into the vagina, or a vaginal cream. Another way to treat this is natural yoghurt which can be inserted into the vagina or a vinegar and water douche. Genital and oral antifungal therapy can be effective also, however, thrush can always recur because candida lives in the bowel. Candida cannot be permanently taken care of. Carefully washing and drying of the anal and genital area using soap helps somewhat.
Chlamydia grows within cells. Chlamydia usually infects the cervix and fallopian tubes of women and the urethra of men. Chlamydial infections are said to be the most common of all STDs. It is also said that in a population of 15 million, there are up to 300,000 cases of chlamydia each year. There are many undiagnosed cases of chlamydia in the community. It has been estimated that the true population of chlamydia in sexually active people may be in the order of 5% to 10%. Chlamydia often produces no symptoms. 60% of women and 40% of men have no symptoms. Infection of the cervix and fallopian tubes occurs more, and chlamydia can also cause urethral infection. Symptoms can include pain in urination, bladder infection, a thin vaginal discharge of pus and lower abdominal pain. Inflammation of the cervix with pus is very common. Eye infections in infants born of infected mothers can also occur. In men, chlamydia may produce inflammation of the urethra similar to gonorrhoea. Symptoms for men may include discharges also. The most severe complication of chlamydia, is the risk of pelvic inflammatory disease (PID). As a result of infection to women it travels into the upper genital tract. Chlamydia can also lead to the genital tract in men causing epididymitis, although this is much less common formen than for women. The risk of infection from person-to-person is a lot like gonorrhoea. It can also be passed to the eye by a hand moistened with infected fluids. Chlamydia can be transmitted during anal intercourse causing inflammation of the rectum. Chlamydial infections are treated the best with a drug doxycycline, taken orally for 10 days. Other infections, such as PID, require longer treatment.
For prevention, use of condoms during vaginal and anal intercourse works well. Because chlamydia can infect the eyes, care must be taken to avoid spreading sexual fluids into them.
HPV (Human Papillomavirus): can causes cervical cancer, GENITAL WARTS: cauliflower-like warts appearing on the genitals of men and women. They usually appear 3-8 months after infected sex; but most people are asymptomatic but can still transmit the virus. HPV is NOT a reportable virus= no data. Warts can usually be detected through visual inspection and medication, liquid nitrogen or lasers can be used to remove them.
HIV (acquired immune deficiency syndrome): HIV-1 destroys the body’s natural system of immunity to diseases, increasing the chance for opportunistic diseases to take over. Spread through semen, blood, sexual excretions; passed on during sex, contaminated blood/ needles, and childbirth. It’s a retrovirus (made of RNA) and used reverse transcriptase to incorporate itself into the DNA. 1) primary infection 2) asymptomatic infection 3) progressive infection 4) AIDS-defining opportunistic infection. To detect the disease, test with ELISA. Incurable. AZT can be used to slow the virus from multiplying. Protease Inhibitors attack the viral enzyme protease; HAART is a highly active antiretroviral therapy using multiple drugs. More people living with HIV because moderate drug treatments are keeping them alive. Marcus/ Life windows
Gonorrhea: one of oldest sexual disease, caused by gonococcus Neisseria gonorrhoeae. Symptoms: causes urethritis (inflammation of the urethra); thick-creamy pus & discharge; the inflammation can spread and causes damage to other reproductive tissues and organs. Women may have yellow-green discharge and/or vagnitis. Many women are initially asymptomatic and have a high risk of serious complications. Urine test can detect it in men and Cervical discharge in women. Can be treated with penicillin/ tetracycline.
Syphilis. Caused by the bacterium Treponema pallidum. (spiral-shaped and called a spirochete). Infection that causes a chancre to appear in the primary stage; usually on the genitals but can appear on mouth/lips. Can causes damage nervous system/ death. Secondary stage: rash is variable in its appearance, hairloss my occur. Latent syphilis. May have no symptoms and may last years; people who enter this stage continue to do so permanently…but cardiovascular syphilis or neurosyphilis may develop. Congenital syphilis; syphilis infected in a newborn baby resulting transmission from mother or baby. Can be diagnosed with chancre appearance or VDRL test. Can be treated with penicillin.
Viral hepatitis. Disease of the liver; can cause fever, fatigue, jaundice, vomiting, flu. Hepatitis B is the primary one passed on by sexual fluids. Most people are asymptomatic, but some people can develop cirrhosis or cancer, THERE IS A VACCINE against hep B.
Trichomoniasis: causes by protozoan. Often transmitted sexually; symptoms include frothy, white or yellowish discharge..unpleasant smell in women. Treated with metronidazole.
Pubic Lice. Tiny lice that attacked themselves to the base of pubic hair and feed on the blood of their human host. Causes itching..can get through sexual contact or from towels, sheets, toilet seats. Treated with drugs (Nix and Rid).
PREVENTION OF SEXUALLY TRANSMITTED DISEASES
Some ways to reduce the chance of having sexual contact with a person infected are:
- If you are born of uninfected and not having sex. Which makes life fairly uninteresting.
- Being careful in selecting your partners.
- If you cannot resist having sex with every person you have a relationship with, you can examine your sex partner by looking them to actually see if they have an infection.
- Use of a condom helps the risk of passing on the infection
- After unprotected sex with your sex partner you should go to the doctor and make sure you didn’t catch anything.
- If medical treatment is started, IT IS VERY IMPORTANT TO MAKE SURE YOU GO TO THE DOCTOR FOR RE-EXAMINATIONS UNTIL THE DOCTOR SAYS YOUR INFECTION IS CURED.
How to know if you have an STD
- Discharge of fluid from the penis or vagina
- Pain or irritation when urinating or having sex.
- Sores, blisters, warts, lumps or rashes anywhere in the genital or anal area.
- Itchiness or irritation in the genital or anal area
- Frequent diarrhea
If you have any of these, you should see a doctor at once. Do not wait for them to go away, even if they do, this does not mean the disease is gone. Most STDs can go undetected and cause serious illness later. Having no symptoms doesn’t mean that you do not have a STD.
How to avoid STDs
It is not hard to avoid getting STDs. The risk can be reduced by using condoms during vaginal or anal sex. Scientific research has shown that latex condoms are an effective against HIV and the viruses and bacteria that causes STDs. Condoms, will only protect you against disease if you use them every time you have sex. Sometimes is not good enough. Another way to avoid STDs not to have sex at all. Kissing, touching and masturbation. To have sex only with a partner who has no other sexual partners is an assuring way also.