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No one can deny the fact that STDs and STIs are one of the most prevalent diseases in the world today. With an estimate of 2,295,739 cases reported in the US alone and most of the cases having ages in the range of 15-24, the need to discuss STDs is more important than ever, and that’s what we’re here to do.
In this article, you will find all the necessary information related to STDs and their different types.
Well, STDs are short for sexually transmitted diseases. As the name implies, you have to engage in sexual intercourse with someone who already has the disease for you to get it. Some of the STDs can be fatal and chronic as well. Also, you may not be able to tell whether a person has an STD or not as sometimes, the patient may not display any symptoms at all. Henceforth, people who may consider themselves to be susceptible to STDs need to have themselves checked through the different available tests. Moreover, it is also important to highlight that viruses, yeast, parasites, and bacteria are behind the emergence of these diseases.
As of now, there exist about 30 types of STDs, which can have different reactions and causes. As discussed earlier, STDs can either have symptoms or be asymptomatic. Accordingly, their types can be divided into two categories: the first type that has symptoms and the other one without symptoms.
This STD is caused by HBV, which is short for the hepatitis B virus. Getting this disease would result in swelling of the liver and substantial liver damage as well. Furthermore, there is significance in noting that Hepatitis B can also contribute to the development of cancer.
One is expected to get this STD through unprotected sex, use of an unsterilized syringe, or having breast milk of an infected person. For people who get this disease after they turn adults, it is easier to get rid of it. However, people who are born with it have fewer chances of fighting off this disease. In addition, symptoms of this disease include jaundice, light-colored stools, fever, and stomach problems.
Hemophilus ducreyi is the source of this STD. The most notable thing about this STD is that it produces painful sores on the genitals. The patient is expected to develop ulcers after having this disease for 1-7 days. Men usually don’t experience any severe symptoms. Accordingly, men normally have only one ulcer, while females are expected to develop at least four of them.
People belonging to the lower class and commercial sex workers are the most vulnerable groups to this infection. Although this disease is highly contagious, one good thing about it is that it is curable. Erythromycin, azithromycin, and ceftriaxone can be used for its treatment. However, it should be noted that not many cases of chancroid have been reported in the U.S. for many decades.
From this STI, both genders are vulnerable to being affected; nevertheless, women have more chances of getting this disease. Trichomonas vaginalis is the source of this STD. The urethra for males and the vagina for females are the places where this disease is mostly experienced in. A great danger imposed by Trichomoniasis in pregnant women is the fact that it can be a cause of complications during pregnancy.
Alongside being affected, women are also more probable to display its symptoms, which can be a vaginal odor, vaginal discharge, and pain during urination and when having sex. Females who are suffering from this STD can also potentially develop HIV. Metronidazole is usually given for the treatment of this disease, which ends up killing the parasite.
Human immunodeficiency virus is the full form of HIV. It is a virus, as the name implies, with the mission to eliminate the CD4 cells of the immune system. These cells are extremely vital for the protection of the body against infections and various cancers.
This STD can spread if a person comes in contact with the rectal fluids, vaginal fluids, semen, or blood of a person who is already infected. HIV infection can lead to symptoms, such as rash, chills, or fever, which are present only for a few days. After the disappearance of these symptoms, the virus normally doesn’t show any more symptoms but continues affecting the immune system. In addition, the virus takes several years to display more noticeable symptoms, such as signs of opportunistic infections.
If HIV is not treated, it can lead to the development of AIDS. The development takes about ten years for most people, so there are great chances of its treatment in this time. AIDS is short for Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome and is also the last stage of HIV. AIDS is used to refer to all the infections and illnesses that occur after the HIV virus has greatly damaged the immune system. As of now, no cure has been identified for this disease, but its patients can lead a healthy and normal life using the various drugs available on the market. Although It is not possible to get AIDS from somebody else, it is possible to get HIV that could lead to AIDS. Symptoms of AIDS have been noted to include a cough, rapid weight loss, persistent diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting.
This disease targets both children and adults, but it is usually necessary to have a weakened immune system for you to get it. For the transmission of this disease, only direct skin contact is needed so some people might not refer to it like an STD. However, some people also consider it to be an STD as it can spread from having sex since only skin contact is needed for its transmission.
Your skin may experience small, round bumps that are filled with fluid, as part of its symptoms. These bumps can be removed by freezing them or using chemicals or electric current. However, it is to be done by a medical professional.
Unlike the other STIs, this disease can be transmitted just by sexual rubbing or touching with someone who already has it. The statistics also say that this STD is increasingly spreading nongonococcal urethritis in men and cervicitis in women. The reason might be the fact that it took a lot of time for its recognition.
This disease can exist both with symptoms and without symptoms. For men, its symptoms can include problems during urination, and the penis discharging a water-like substance. For women, they can have signs like vaginal discharges, pain when having intercourse, and bleeding after sex and in-between periods. There is no verified method for diagnosing this disease, but your doctor might go for a NAAT test for its diagnosis.
It is one of the most prevalent STDs that exist. Herpes simplex virus type-1 (HSV1) and herpes simplex virus type-2 (HSV2) are the two sources of this disease, which can result in cold sores and genital sores, respectively. Both of these viruses infect the body in the same way — by entering the outermost layer of the skin and developing lesions.
Genital herpes rarely displays any side effects, hence is placed in this section. Accordingly, most people never get to know that they have this disease, but the virus never stops hurting their bodies. If the symptoms occur, they can include the occurrence of sores around the mouth, rectum, or genitals. They are mild, so people often mistake them for other skin conditions. Pregnant women who have this disease either have to take anti-herpes medicine or undergo a c-section delivery. This STD can be trouble for a lot of people as it cannot be cured; nevertheless, there are medicines available in the market that can get rid of its symptoms. Furthermore, it should also be noted that condoms do not provide complete protection against this disease, so telling your sexual partner about your condition is the best thing you can do.
We cannot do justice to this article without mentioning Chlamydia because it is the most common STD. It can be considered an asymptomatic STD due to the fact that it usually doesn’t present any symptoms. Even though it is termed as the most common STD, we still have not been able to fully identify its prevalence because it can be asymptomatic most of the time. Chlamydia trachomatis is the bacterium that causes this disease. Also, only humans are susceptible to being affected by this bacterium.
This STD can be transferred to both men and women. Having anal, vaginal, or oral sex with someone who has this disease will make you get Chlamydia. Although this disease is curable with antibiotics, it is possible to get re-infected by having intercourse with someone who has it.
HPV is termed one of the most common types of STD, which is short for human papillomavirus. This disease mainly affects the mouth, throat, cervix, and anus. HPV has approximately 100 types, and genital areas can be affected by almost 40 of them. Although there are no major effects of this disease, it can sometimes lead to the development of genital warts or cancers.
Most of the HPV cases don’t display any symptoms and don’t even know that they have this disease. In the US, it is really common to get this disease if you actively engage in sexual encounters. One is susceptible to getting this disease by having genital-to-genital contact or anal, oral, or vaginal sex with someone who already has the disease. However, it can be easily prevented with the help of vaccines.
Neisseria gonorrhoeae is the bacterium that causes this disease. With other names such as the clap or the drip, Mucous membranes are the primary target of this STD. It is really easy to spread this infection to other parts of your body just through physical contact. The eyes, rectum, mouth, penis, and vagina are the most vulnerable parts to get this disease.
Gonorrhea is mostly asymptomatic when it comes to females, but men can present signs such as testicular pain, a yellow, green, or white-colored discharge from the penis, and burning during urination. Sometimes, females can experience mild symptoms. For its diagnosis, the doctor will either analyze the affected area or the urine sample. Moreover, antibiotics are usually given for their treatment.
This disease is caused by Treponema pallidum and has three stages, which are primary, secondary, and tertiary. If it remains untreated, there can be great escalations in the disease. In the early stages, it is really easy to cure it with the help of penicillin. Gay men, sex workers, and people who have HIV are the most vulnerable to getting this disease.
Syphilis can also be thought of as asymptomatic, as it doesn’t present any symptoms in its early stages and the later stages. The secondary stage of syphilis shows signs, such as fever, swollen lymph nodes, sore throat, genital, oral, and anal sores that look like warts, and patchy hair loss. It is also important to mention that syphilis-affected, pregnant women can transfer this disease to their child.
The purpose of this article is to spread awareness amongst people all over the world about the sexually transmitted diseases that have had a major impact over recent years. Moreover, we should also get ourselves tested from time to time as several STDs normally don’t show any symptoms. If an STD is diagnosed, there is nothing to worry about because most of these viruses can either be eliminated or their symptoms can be managed using different medicines available in the market. However, pregnant women should be more cautious about STDs as they can transmit their disease to their children, which can result in disabilities and even fatalities. Although most of the aforementioned diseases are not chronic or fatal, they can be quite contagious and also lead to more severe problems in the future. Therefore, our best bet is to take all precautionary measures available when having sex.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2022, April 12). Human Papillomavirus (HPV). Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/std/hpv/stdfact-hpv.htm
World Health Organization. (2023, July 10). Sexually transmitted infections (STIs). Retrieved from https://www.who.int/en/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/sexually-transmitted-infections-(stis)
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2022, January 3). Genital Herpes – CDC Detailed Fact Sheet. Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/std/herpes/stdfact-herpes.htm