A steady rise in Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs) is being seen in today’s world. Experts say this is mainly due to lack of awareness and caution that is rising amongst the youth and prevalent in the elderly. STDs are contagious and are caused on direct sexual contact with an infected person whether oral, vaginal or anal. Here is a brief breakdown on 5 STDs that you should be aware of.
This infection is caused by the herpes simplex virus (HSV) which is found in two types, namely type 1 (HSV1) and type 2 (HSV2). The latter is mostly responsible for genital herpes, which is characterized by the outbreak of lesions or blisters that cause a lot of pain. They are generally located around the anus, in the genital areas or on the thighs and buttocks. They may be itchy or not. It spreads with direct skin to skin contact with the anus, vagina or mouth of the infected person. Its symptoms are usually confused with those of an acne/pimple outbreak or a skin irritation.
This is an infection caused by bacteria named Neisseria gonorrhoeae which can thrive in moist areas like your reproductive tract, food tract or the excretory canal. Gonorrhea is spread on sexual (vaginal, anal, oral) contact with an infected person. Since this bacteria thrives in mucus membranes, it can be passed on from an expected mother to her unborn child. Common symptoms include painful urination, painful abnormal vaginal or penial discharge and pain or swelling of the testicles.
HIV and AIDS
HIV or Human Immunodeficiency Virus infects cells of the human body’s immune system and disables them over an average period of 10 years which makes it difficult for the body to ward of other infections and diseases. This advanced condition of the HIV is called AIDS. A person infected with the HIV is HIV seropositive, and can spread this infection to others when others come in touch with the infected biological fluids like sperm, vaginal discharges, blood and pre-ejaculatory liquids. Sharing un-sterilized needles while being injected or tattooing or having unprotected sex with an infected person can spread the virus. An expectant mother can spread this disease to her unborn baby and even while breastfeeding.
Human Papilloma Virus
Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) is highly widespread and is mostly conquered over by the healthy human immune system. It spreads through skin to skin contact or vaginal, anal or oral sexual contact with an infected individual. It doesn’t necessarily show any symptoms, but if not tackled by the immune system it manifests itself in the form of warts or miniscule skin colored cauliflower shaped warts called condylomata.
This infection is caused by bacteria that affect the rectum and the genitals. Mostly the infection causes no symptoms and goes undetected in men with symptoms like, swelling of testicles, penial itching or painful urination, but is most prevalent in women with symptoms including painful intercourse or periods, bleeding between periods or after sex, burning sensation during urination etc.