STDs: Help, Support and Overcome
STDs, or sexually transmitted diseases, are also called venereal diseases. They are caused by germs that live on the skin or in body fluids such as semen, vaginal fluid or blood. If you are the carrier of a certain virus or bacteria inside your system, though it might not affect you, it may merge, or combine with other similar viruses or bacteria, and it may create a common STD. The infection can spread through any type of sexual activity involving the sexual organs, anus, or the mouth. The infection can also spread through contact with blood during sexual activity.
STDs affect males and females of all ages and backgrounds. However, people who have multiple sexual partners and those who do not practice safe sex, or use unsterilized needles are the ones most effected by these diseases. Chlamydia is the most common STD. The person experiences pain while urinating, unusual discharge occurs and, in women, bleeding happens between periods and after intercourse.
Genital warts are another common STD. One of the most dangerous effects of genital warts is that it can cause cancer. Genital warts are most commonly associated with cervical cancer. Other effects of genital warts may be cancer of the vulva, anus, and penis. The STD genital herpes is responsible for the pain in the genitals and its surrounding areas. Gonorrhea is caused by the bacteria which causes an unusual type of discharge from the penis or vagina, and is also responsible for pain while urinating. If not treated properly, it can even cause infertility.
Syphilis is an infection caused by bacteria which leads to the development of highly infectious sores on sex organs or in some cases around the mouth. This sore remains for two to six months. Complications like skin rash and sore throat also develop. If not treated properly it can cause stroke, paralysis or even death. The HIV virus weakens the immune system. AIDS is the last stage of this infection, when the body can no longer fight life endangering infections. No cure for HIV/AIDS is available yet but there are medicines to enable people with the virus to live a healthy and long life. If affected by trichomoniasis, women experience itching and soreness around the vagina and there is a change in the vaginal discharge. Men experience severe pain during urination and ejaculation.
Help and Support for STDs
The main causes of STDs are unsafe sex, multiple sex partners, usage of unsterilized needles, transmission of virus and bacteria through blood etc. The common symptoms of sexually transmitted diseases include an abnormal discharge from the penis or vagina; small red bumps, blisters, and open sores on the penis, vagina or genitalia; pain or burning sensation when urinating; and inexplicable mild fever, headache and muscle aches, joint pain.
Prevention strategies for STDs include remaining faithful to one sex partner, avoiding the use of unsterilized needles in any situation, and the use of condoms during sexual intercourse, whether it be in a monogamous relationship or with multiple partners. Some STDs may be diagnosed without tests, however, other STDs require a blood test to confirm the diagnosis.
Don’t ever try to treat the STD yourself. These diseases are very serious and consulting a doctor is very important. Bacterial STDs are curable and the treatment is done using antibiotics. Viral STDs are incurable, but the symptoms can be managed with medications. The antibiotics given for the treatment of STDs should be taken for the full prescribed course even if the symptoms go away. Also, somebody else’s treatment should not be applied as it can make the treatment process more complicated.
HIV/AIDS is not curable, but management treatment can be undertaken to keep it in check. Anti-retroviral drugs are given for managing the HIV infection. Chlamydia and gonorrhea are treated with antibiotics. Penicillin is the best medication available for treating syphilis. Antiviral medicines are prescribed to reduce the severity of genital herpes. Suppressive therapy may also be used. There is no treatment available for genital warts. However, surgery can be performed to remove the warts. The success rate for trichomoniasis treatment is almost 90%. The drug used for its treatment is metronidazole.