Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs)
Sexually transmitted diseases infect an estimated 1 million people, daily. In each generation that passes, the age of the average person who is sexually active lowers. In 2005, a study showed the at least 26% of males and females have had sex by their 15th birthday. An estimated 4 in 5 people have or will have an STD in their lifetime. At these alarming rates, I believe that everyone should be educated on STDs and their symptoms and treatments.
Acquired immunodeficiency syndrome, or AIDS, has killed more than 22 million to date, and has infected over 40 million people living today. In the United States, an estimated 40,000 new ...view middle of the document...
In males, Chlamydia can cause urethritis, an infection of the urethra, and in females, it infects the reproductive tract and may cause sterility if left untreated.
Chlamydia is transferred via unprotected sexual intercourse or unprotected contact of the genitals. It can also be passed to a newborn during childbirth. Antibiotics are used as a treatment.
Gonorrhea, caused by the bacterium Neisseria gonorrhoae, is second most commonly reported STD. In 2006, over 1 million people were diagnosed with it. The largest group affected is females ages 15-19. It is also known as “the clap.”
Symptoms of gonorrhea often occur 2-10 days after infection, but in some cases may not show up for several months. They include cloudy or bloody discharge from the penis or vagina, pain or burning during urination, frequent urination, and pain during intercourse. In males, it can cause urethritis. In females, it infects the vagina, urethra, uterus, uterine tubes, and pelvic cavity. It is a major cause of sterility if left untreated.
Gonorrhea is transferred via semen or vaginal fluids. Antibiotics are used as a treatment, and are usually given in a single dose.
Genital herpes, caused by herpes simplex virus type 2, has infected approximately 45 million people. It is more common in females than males, affecting 1 in 4 women versus 1 in 5 men.
Most people do not know that they have contracted the disease. Some experience an outbreak, while others never experience any symptoms. Signs of herpes include small red bumps or sores in the genital or anal areas and pain or itching around the genital and anal area and inner thighs. Itching usually occurs first, followed by small red bumps that rupture, heal, and disappear. During an outbreak, you may also have flu-like symptoms. Triggers for outbreaks may include stress, menstruation, steroids, chemotherapy, illness, surgery, intercourse, or fatigue.
Herpes can be spread through sexual and skin-to-skin contact. It can also be transmitted during childbirth. There is no cure for genital herpes. Antiviral medications , which retard viral replication, such as acyclovir, famciclovir, and valacyclovir are available. While the virus will remain in your body and can still be transmitted, these medications decrease chances of outbreaks and infecting others.
Genital warts, caused by the Human papillomavirus (HPV), infects approximately 1 million people each year. An estimated 50% of men and women who are sexually active have had an HPV infection. According to MedTV, “By age 50, at least 80 percent of women will have been infected with genital HPV infection.”
Symptoms of genital warts include small, flesh colored or gray warts around genital area, clusters of warts that a form a “cauliflower” shape, itching, discomfort, bleeding during intercourse, or some may have no symptoms at all. Symptoms may be noticed a...