Sexually transmitted diseases have long been a topic of health concern around the world. Sexually transmitted diseases refer to a variety of diseases and infections that are caused by the pathogens that can be acquired or transmitted through sexual intercourse. Sexually transmitted diseases are also known as venereal diseases, and they develop when the germs that live on the skin or the body fluid, including semen, vaginal fluid, or blood
These germs can be transmitted from an infected person to a healthy person through sexual contact with skin, blood or fluids. Sexually transmitted diseases can develop in both males and females. There are various risk factors that contribute to the development of sexually transmitted diseases such as:
- Having more than one sexual partner
- Sexual intercourse with an infected person
- History of sexually transmitted diseases
Symptoms of the sexually transmitted disease may occur after days or weeks of exposure. Some signs and symptoms that occur in most of the sexually transmitted disease may include
- Burning sensation while urinating
- Skin rash
- Discharge from the penis or vagina
There are numerous sexually transmitted diseases and some of the most common types of sexually transmitted disease include:
AIDS (Acquired immunodeficiency syndrome) is one of the major public health concern, affecting a large number of people worldwide. AIDS is caused by HIV (Human immunodeficiency virus), a virus that enters the blood and attacks the immune system. It eventually destroys the immune system of the body and as a result, it fails to prevent the body from germs, infections, bacterias, and viruses.
HIV can be passed from one person to another through unprotected sex. This virus can be found in the semen and vaginal fluid and can pass this virus onto another person. It can also be passed by sharing needles to inject drugs. Another way through which HIV can be passed on is pregnancy. It can be passed onto a baby from an infected mother and it can be passed during three stages:
- At the time of delivery
- Through breast milk
- During the pregnancy
Syphilis is a not a common sexually transmitted disease but if it is left untreated it can cause some serious complications. It is an infectious disease caused by the bacteria known as Treponema pallidum and it can easily be passed on from one person to another through sexual contact. Syphilis is divided into stages
- Primary syphilis is characterized by the sores which are firm, round and painless. It usually occurs on or around the genitals, in the rectum, around the anus and sometimes, it can also occur in or around the mouth.
- Secondary syphilis is characterized by the skin rash, swollen lymph nodes and fever and these signs are mild and mostly left unnoticeable.
- Tertiary syphilis is associated with serious medical problems.
- Latent syphilis has no medical manifestations.
Most often, the symptoms of syphilis are mild and left unnoticeable. Therefore, it can easily be passed on from one person to another before the symptoms become noticeable.
Chlamydia is one of the most common sexually transmitted diseases which can be cured easily, but if it is left untreated it can cause complications as well. Chlamydias are intracellular parasites that cause an inflammation of the urethra, vagina, cervix, uterus, anus, and ovaries. It is caused by bacteria which is known as Chlamydia trachomatis.
Some of the frequent signs and symptoms that occur in people having chlamydia include vaginal discharge, anal swelling, pain, reddening of a vagina, abdominal pain, fever, discomfort while urinating and discharge from the urethra.
The Chlamydia trachomatis bacteria is spread through vaginal sexual intercourse, rectal sexual intercourse, and oral-genital contact. If a woman is infected during pregnancy, the bacteria can be passed on to the baby.
Chancroid is a bacterial infection that is caused by bacteria Streptobacillus Haemophilus Ducreyi and spreads from one person to another through sexual intercourse. It is characterized by the genital ulcerations, accompanied by inguinal lymphadenitis.
Few days after an infection, it begins with a red papule which soon becomes ulcer and is accompanied by severe pain and pustular coat at the center. An ulcer is characterized as soft, which begins as a single lesion but soon, it increases rapidly and forms multiple lesions.
Chancroid is one of the most important and common causes of genital ulceration syndrome.
5. Human Papillomavirus
In the United States, human papillomavirus infection is one of the most common types of sexually transmitted disease. Human papillomavirus is small and double-stranded DNA viruses that affect and spread infection in the epithelium. There are more than hundred types of human papillomavirus and almost half of these viruses affects the genital tract.
Human papillomavirus primarily spread from one person to another through vaginal, anal or oral sex. This virus can also be spread through skin to skin contact. Human papillomavirus infection is characterized by anogenital warts, respiratory papillomatosis, and cervical cancer precursors.
Gonorrhea is a sexually transmitted disease that affects both men and women and it causes infections in the genitals, rectum, and throat. It is caused by the bacteria, known as Neisseria gonorrhoeae that are mainly found in the semen and vaginal fluids. It is a serious disease that can be painful and can also cause various complications including infertility.
Gonorrhea is usually passed on through sexual contact and whenever any healthy person comes in contact with infected semen or an infected discharge from vagina, throat, and rectum, the virus can be passed on to the healthy person.
Gonorrhea is characterized by symptoms such as burning sensation while urinating, unusual discharge from the penis and some women may also experience vaginal bleeding during the menstrual cycle.