As the name suggests, sexually transmitted diseases and infections are those diseases and infections which could be contracted during sexual intercourse. As much fun as sex is, there is still the danger of contracting an infection while having the night of one’s life. Sexually transmitted diseases and infections could be transmitted through the several forms of sexual intercourse including oral sex, anal sex and vaginal sex. Although sexual intercourse is the major mode of contracting a sexually transmitted infection, one could also contract such infections from their mothers during childbirth, from sharing of sharp objects and through breastfeeding.
The article covers the basics on some of the commonest sexually transmitted diseases and infections globally affecting males and females.
Chlamydia is one of the commonest sexually transmitted diseases in the US, especially amongst teenagers and young adults. Chlamydia is caused by an organism known as Chlamydia trachomatis which is exclusively found in humans.
Chlamydia can be contracted through oral, vaginal and anal sex. Although chlamydia could occur without the manifestation of symptoms, its symptoms include a change in vaginal discharge, penile discharge, abdominal pain, pelvic pain and painful intercourse. Research has established that more men get chlamydia symptoms than women. Since chlamydia is caused by bacteria, the use of antibiotics is the routine therapeutic measure for chlamydia.
Herpes is another common sexually transmitted infection. Herpes simplex virus is the causative agents of herpes which is a chronic condition that affects the skin, cervix and genitals amongst other parts of the body. There are two types of herpes: type 1 and 2. The types of herpes are transmitted through different modes. Type 1, for example, can be transmitted through non-sexual methods such as utensils, while type 2 can be contracted through anal, oral and vaginal sex.
One could have herpes without manifesting any symptoms. In such cases, the virus does not become active when it enters the body. When symptoms of herpes occur, they include pain during urination, fever, and genital warts. Herpes can be easily contracted since it only requires skin-to-skin contact. Sinc herpes is a virus; it cannot be cured with antibiotics.
HIV is a virus that affects the human immune system and leads to AIDS. HIV can be contracted through sexual and non-sexual modes. The sexual modes of contracting HIV include vaginal sex and anal sex. The virus is resident in body fluids and is transmitted when they are exchanged. Body fluid where HIV is resident include semen, blood, breast milk and vaginal fluids. Thus, apart from sexual intercourse, HIV can be contracted through breastfeeding and sharing of sharp objects.
HIV fights against the immune system of the body and reduces its ability to fight off infections leaving the body vulnerable to infections. For now, HIV can only be managed and cannot be cured.
Sexually transmitted diseases are still major public health threats around the world. These diseases are transmitted when specific body fluids are shared and during sexual intercourse. The practice of sex safe and other measures to reduce one’s exposure to those body fluids are essential is stay safe from STDs.
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