Feb 4, 2015: Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs) are infections transmitted through sexual contact. They may be transmitted through any kind of sexual activity. But there are many misconceptions galore about STDs.
While many dismiss the possibility of ever contracting one since they don’t have multiple partners, there are several who are quick to assume that they don’t have one, since there are no debilitating, life-threatening effects.
It is important for anyone who is sexually active to go for STD tests every six months, especially if you have multiple partners, or have had sex without protection.
Whether the signs and symptoms are obvious to you or not, you definitely need to know when to check for one, so that you’re not putting either your partner or yourself at risk….
Human Immunodeficiency Virus is perhaps the most feared STD in the world, and justifiably so. While sexual contact is one of the prime factors, HIV, however, can also be transmitted through sharing of needles, or from an infected pregnant woman to her baby. The virus ultimately causes dysfunction of the entire body’s immune system at a later point in time. The time taken to go from infection to immune dysfunction is usually about 10 years. Sans any specific symptoms, HIV can manifest itself in the infected person through fever or flu-like illness which surface 2 to 4 weeks after contracting the virus. Today, numerous medications are available to help people manage the infection and stall or delay the illness.
=> Genital Warts
Human Papillomavirus infection (HPV) is a common STD. While some HPVs cause genital warts, however, certain HPVs cause common warts that are not STDs at all. It is believed that over 75 % of sexually active people have been affected with genital warts. Symptoms, if they do occur, include lesions which appear as soft, flesh bumps on the surface on the anus or penis. While vaccines and treatment to remove warts are available, the body is usually known to cure itself of the HPV infection.
It is a bacterial STD that is transmitted when one has oral, vaginal or anal sex with a person who has Chlamydia. One of the most common sexually transmitted diseases in the world, this infection often doesn’t even manifest symptoms in many people, while in some others, it may take several weeks to show. Some of the common symptoms that men affected with Chlamydia show are: pain when urinating, penile discharge and swollen testicles. The reason this is a persistent problem is that, even though symptoms disappear, the infection still remains putting both partners at risk. Therefore, the infection needs to be treated at the earliest.
Gonorrhea is a bacterial infection that can affect the anus, throat or urethra. It is transmitted through anal, oral or vaginal sex with an infected person. While most men with the disease don’t display any symptoms at all, some do, which include: pain when urinating, a green/white/yellow discharge from the penis and swollen testicles. Treatment often given for gonorrhea is also curative for Chlamydia, as both these disease usually occur together.
=> Hepatitis B
Caused by the Hepatitis B virus (HBV), Hepatitis B is particularly dangerous, because unlike the other STDs which cause certain common symptoms around the genital area, this STD can cause inflammation of the liver. One can contract HBV by coming in contact with the blood or bodily fluids of a person who has the infection. Common symptoms include: loss of appetite, low-grade fever, nausea and vomiting, muscle and joint aches, and jaundice.
Many men and women infected with this don’t even display symptoms and as with Chlamydia and Gonorrhoea, may not even know that they are infected. In case it does not manifest itself in symptoms, it typically causes urethritis (itching or burning), discharge from the urethra.
Syphilis is a bacterial STD that can be transmitted through anal, oral or vaginal sex. Syphilis may set in through four stages: if the first is untreated, secondary syphilis can develop causing the infection to spread to other organs. After this stage, some people may develop a latent infection for years finally resulting in tertiary syphilis which can cause brain infection, loss of sight and deafness. Fortunately, syphilis is curable with proper antibiotics.
The Herpes Simplex Viruses (HSVs) cause painful, blistering sores on exposed parts of the body and are transmitted through any kind of sexual contact. Like in other STDs, it is possible for people with herpes to not display any symptoms. In men, the sores can be found on the penis, buttocks, scrotum, anus, inside the urethra or on the skin of the thighs. The sores of Oral herpes occur on lips or around the mouth, and can be spread through kissing. HSV infections are not curable and persist for life; outbreaks can be soothed to an extent by antiviral medication.