Most Common STDs

A Sexually Transmitted Disease, also known as an “STD”, is an infection that is transmitted between two or more individuals usually during a sexual act or some other exchange of bodily fluids. It is estimated by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (“CDC”) that more than 50% of all people will contract a Sexually Transmitted Disease in their lifetime.

Once called venereal diseases, STDs are among the most common infectious diseases in the United States today. It is the sharing of blood or other bodily fluids that allows the infection to be transmitted from one person to another. More than 20 STDs have now been identified including the following most commonly transmitted diseases:

HIV / AIDS – HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) is a viral infection that can eventually lead to AIDS (Auto Immune Deficiency Syndrome). Once a person has been infected with HIV, this virus attacks the body’s immune system, killing the CD4 Cells (also known as the T-helper cells) which normally help to fight invading organisms and disease. When an infected person’s immune system is effectively destroyed by HIV, he or she develops AIDS.

Syphilis – Syphilis is a Sexually Transmitted Disease that is caused by the bacterium known as Treponema pallidum, that progresses in stages. The first symptom (or stage) of Syphilis, is a painless open sore(s) (or “chancre”). This sore, which contains purulent (or “pus” like) material or discharge, is usually found around or in the vagina (or in the male, on the penis). It can, however, also be found on or in the mouth, the anus (butt hole), or on the hands.

Gonorrhea – Gonorrhea (aka “the Clap”) is a Sexually Transmitted Disease caused by the bacterium known as Neisseria gonorrhoeae. It is transmitted through vaginal, penile, anal and oral sexual contact, with or without ejaculation. According to estimates from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 700,000 persons in the U.S. are infected with new gonorrhea infections each year (reported and unreported cases). Symptoms of Gonorrhea in men may include: burning upon urination and/or, a white, yellow or greenish color discharge from the penis. Women who are infected with Gonorrhea may experience pain or burning upon urination and/or a vaginal discharge. Some infected women may not have any symptoms. Oftentimes, burning with urination or a vaginal discharge can be confused with other diseases.

Chlamydia – Chlamydia occurs in both men and women and is caused by the bacterium, Chlamydia trachomatis. Although most of the symptoms of Chlamydia are mild, and may go unnoticed, an abnormal genital discharge and/or burning during urination may be an indication of the disease. In any event, these symptoms should be a cause for concern, and if they are present, you should schedule an appointment to see your doctor or other health professional for identification of the cause of the infection.

Hepatitis B – Hepatitis B is a viral disease that attacks the liver, and, according to health experts, is 50 to 100 times more infectious than HIV. The CDC has reported that approximately 30% of people infected with HBV have no symptoms. Hepatitis B can be transmitted to others, especially through sexual or drug-related behavior. It is spread through contact with the infected person’s blood and other bodily fluids including: semen; vaginal secretions; blood; discharge from open sores (“pus”) of the infected person.

Genital Herpes – Genital Herpes is one of the most common sexually transmitted viral diseases in the U.S. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, at least 45 million people in the United States (ages 12 and older) have been infected the disease, and as many as 1,000,000 people become infected with Genital Herpes each year. Symptoms of Genital Herpes can include painful blisters or open sores in the genital area. The symptoms of the recurrent painful ulcers, can be treated, but the Genital Herpes infection cannot be cured. Many people with Genital Herpes have no symptoms. This is unfortunate, since the virus can be transmitted unknowingly to others through sexual contact.

HPV (Human Papillomavirus) and Genital Warts – HPV is not a single virus, but a group of different viruses, many of which can infect the genital area of men and women including the skin of the penis, the outside area of the vagina, or anus (“butt hole”). Over 100 different strains of the HPV virus have been identified, more than 30 of which can be sexually transmitted, some of which cause genital warts. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that there are about 1 million new cases of genital warts in men and women each year in the United States. A person can be infected with one of the forms of Genital HPV through vaginal, penile, anal or oral sexual contact, with or without ejaculation. HPV infections have been identified by the CDC as one of the most commonly transmitted sexual diseases. HPV can also affect the inside linings of the vagina, cervix or rectum.

Trichomoniasis (or Trichomonas) – Trichomoniasis, also known as Trichomonas, is caused by a microscopic parasite called Trichomonas vaginalis. A parasite is an organism that lives either inside or on the outside of the human body (aka its “host”). And, it depends on the host for its survival. Trichomoniasis can affect either men or women, although symptoms of the disease are more common in women. Most men with Trichomoniasis have no symptoms at all, or may confuse the symptoms that are present with another disease. If symptoms exist in a male, they may include: a slight irritation inside the penis; painful urination, and/or mild discharge from the penis In a female, symptoms of Trichomoniasis may include: a yellowish-green frothy vaginal discharge that has a strong foul odor; burning upon urination; and/or pain or irritation in the vaginal area.

Some Sexually Transmitted Diseases, such as the HIV and Syphilis infections, can also be spread by non-sexual contact with bodily fluids. Such infections would include transmission to an unborn child through the mother during pregnancy and delivery, or infections spread from person to person through intravenous drug use (including tattooing or ear piercing procedures) with an unclean (“dirty”) needle.

Bacterial infections and those STDs caused by parasites can be effectively treated with medication and cured.

What Are the Rights of Victims Infected With STDs?

Recent data released by the Center for Disease Control (CDC) shows that there has been a significant rise in sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) over the last decade. The largest rise in infections is among those who are 65 and older, a group of people that were thought to be the safest.

However, there has been a steady rise in every STD except AIDS/HIV throughout the country for 10 years. Contributing factors to this increase is the failure of the infected person to tell their partner that they have a disease, use of protection during sexual encounters, or failure to seek medical treatment once infected.

STD treatments are very costly and can require a lifetime of treatment. Some STD’s may even cause other medical conditions to appear or to worsen. This is why it is imperative that you seek compensation so that you can receive the medical care necessary to treat these diseases quickly and completely.

To prove your case, the law requires that the victim prove:

1. That the person who infected them knew or should have known they were infected with the STD.

2. The carrier of the disease did not disclose to the victim that they had a STD.

3. The person acquired this disease as the result of this nondisclosure.

If these three facts can be proven, the victim has the right to receive compensation under personal injury law.

Infection Prevention

The best thing that anyone can do for their health is to have themselves screened for STD’s before they become sexually active with a new partner. It is not unreasonable to request this from your potential partner either. While it may make you feel a little uncomfortable to approach this subject, it is in the best interest of your health and theirs.

Sexually transmitted diseases, in most cases, can be treated with an antibiotic regimen if caught early enough. Sadly, some of these diseases are lifetime disorders, but they too can be managed with medication and treatment. Knowing if you are infected is crucial to recovery.

It is always important to use protection when you are sexually active. Even though this has been made clear through many public service announcements, schooling, and doctor visits, many people still opt to enjoy sex unprotected, risking their lives and that of their future partners.

It is not against the law to have unprotected sex with someone without disclosing a STD infection unless it is AIDS/HIV, it is a criminal act to have unprotected sex without informing the partner of the potential to contract HIV/AIDS. Other STD’s currently do not fall under this law. However, infecting someone can lead to a personal injury lawsuit being taken out against you.

In the end, the best thing that you can do is know your partner, use protection, and seek medical care in the event that you suspect you may have been infected with a STD. If you have been transmitted a sexual disease, seek legal representation so that you may cover all your expenses for treatment.