What Else You Must Know About Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs)

Sexually transmitted diseases, commonly known as STDs, are diseases that can be transmitted through sexual interactions with persons already infected with it. These diseases are also known as sexually transmitted infections (STI) or venereal diseases (VD). STDs are also known to spread by means of child birth and breastfeeding. Although many diseases such as the common cold or influenza can spread through sex, they are not called a sexually transmitted disease because sex is not the main vector of these diseases.

Well known for the past 100 years, STDs are a major challenge to present day health care. Because of its infectious nature, persons infected with sexually transmitted diseases are growing everyday in number. This geometric growth of infected persons has persuaded the government of different countries into taking necessary actions such as growing social consciousness.

There are a large number of known STDs and they all are different in nature. These diseases are the effect of various type of germ infections, namely bacterial, viral, fungal etc. Even there are parasites and protozoa STDs. While most of the STDs are treatable and curable, some are not. Of the later group, HIV (Human Immuno Virus) or AIDS is a big example. Syphilis, Gonorrhea, Chlamydia are some of the bacterial STDs, while HIV, Herpes, Hepatitis A, E and C are viral.

Symptoms of STDs can not be listed as the term STD refers to a group of diseases. Every such disease has its own symptom. But it often occurs that a person infected with a sexually transmitted disease is unaware of it. A person may never feel sick or may never show any symptom towards a sexually transmitted disease and may still be infected.

Sometimes the case may also be that a person who may have an STD is too reluctant to admit it. It is so unfortunate because not only those persons are hard to detect, they make it easier for another person to get infected.

While treatment of an STD depends on the particular disease and may or may not be an easy job to do, prevention of these diseases is easier. Sexually transmitted diseases can be prevented by as simply as practising safe-sex, meaning that one should always use a condom if unsure of his/her partner’s sexual history.

Today governments and NGOs of many poorly developed countries are trying hard to make condom use popular, while in developed countries like the USA, various posters and advertisements are being used to put an end to this dangerous spread of an STD by increasing awareness. Introducing sex education in school syllabus may be another way to act against these diseases.

10 Important Facts About Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STD) & Sexually Transmitted Infections (STI)

1. WHAT ARE SEXUALLY TRANSMITTED DISEASES (STDS)?

Sexually transmitted diseases are diseases that can be passed from person to person through sexual contact. In this case sexual contact means penis-vagina penetration, oral sex which is sexual contact using the mouth, and insertion of the penis into the rectum which is anal sex. Some of these diseases may be transmitted by exchange of sexual fluids such as semen or vaginal discharge. Some of the STD’s result in open sores, and it can be spread by contact with skin of someone else. There are also ways to transmit these diseases in a non sexual way, an infected pregnant woman can either give it to her baby during pregnancy, or when the baby is being delivered. Drug abusers can transmit the disease through sharing hypodermic needles that have been used by an infected person. The seriousness of STD’s varies, some are cured easily by drugs, others need a combination of treatments and drugs, whilst others have no cure, and the only option is treatment.

2. WHAT ARE SEXUALLY TRANSMITTED IINFECTIONS (STI’s)?

Any infection that is usually passed through sexual contact.

3. ARE THE TWO WORDS INTERCHANGEABLE?

Fifteen years ago both these categories came under one name Venereal Disease (VD). To distinguish between them they were separated into infections (STI) and diseases(STD). Infection means that a germ, bacteria, parasite or virus is present in the body. An infected person does not necessarily have any symptoms, which means that they do not usually feel ill..A disease is any abnormal condition of the body or mind that causes
discomfort, dysfunction, or distress, in other words your body tells you that you are unwell. This means that STI covers a wider range than the term STD. STD refers only to infections that are causing problems. Because most of the time, people don’t know they are infected with an STI until they start showing symptoms of disease, the AIDS Resource Center uses the term STD, even though the term STI is also appropriate in many cases.

Let’s see if we can simply un-muddy the waters here. Genital herpes has two states when the blisters are present and when they are absent. When they are
present they are causing symptoms, ie the blisters, at this stage it is an STD, and it is that this stage that the infection is most likely to be spread to another
person.When the blisters are absent then there are no symptoms, and this is then an STI, and the likelihood of an infection is reduced. However, HIV can be
an infection, in the sense that there may be no symptoms, when they develop symptoms then they have AIDS which is an STD. However it is important to
remember that HIV infection can be spread at any time.

4.WHAT IS THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN STD’S AND HIV?

A person who is already infected with STD, has a higher risk of contracting HIV if they have unprotected sex, without a condom. This risk is greater if the STD causes open genital sores, as these wounds provide a break in the skin which enables the HIV infection to enter the blood stream. STDs that can
cause genital ulcers include genital herpes, syphilis, chancre, gonorrhoea, trichomoniasis, and scabies.

5.WHY IS IT DIFFICULT TO RECOGNIZE THAT YOU MAY HAVE A STD?

First of all the majority of the people with STD have no immediate symptoms and when they do have them it can be misleading to diagnose as the
symptoms can be confused with non sexual diseases. Please note that this applies much more to women than men.

6. WHAT ARE THE MOST COMMON SYMPTOMS FOR WOMEN WHEN THEY ARE SUFFERING FROM AN STD?

unusual or bad-smelling vaginal discharge,

severe itching or burning in the genital area,

unusual bleeding,

pain in the pelvic region,

pain during sex,

rashes on the genitals,

open sores or warts on the genital area, and/or recurrent urinary tract infections.

7. WHAT ARE THE MOST COMMON SYMPTOMS FOR MEN WHEN THEY ARE SUFFERING FROM AN STD?

In men, the most common symptoms of STD are:

pain when urinating,

open sores or warts on the genital are

genital rash

discharge from the penis, and/or pain in the scrotum/testicles.

8. WHAT ARE THE OTHER SYMPTOMS NOT CONNECTED TO THE GENITALS?

The following symptoms are present in both men and women:

discharge from the anus,

swelling of the groin,

jaundice (yellowing of the skin and whites of the eyes),

oral thrush (white tongue),

arthritis,

sores or bumps in and around the mouth, and
generalized rashes.

9 CAN I CONTRACT STI AS A RESULT OF MUTUAL MASTERBATION?

Yes you can and listed below are some examples:

Bacterial Vaginosis

Cytomegalovirus (CMV)

Herpes Simplex

Human Papilloma Virus (HPV, Warts)

Pubic Lice

Scabies

10. CAN I PREVENT GETTING STI or STD?

The only foolproof way is abstinence from sex. A condom merely reduces the risk, and it must be used every time, before any sexual fluids are exchanged.