What are sexually transmitted diseases?
Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) are diseases that can spread from
one person to another by sexual contact. STDs can cause pain, and some
can cause infertility and even death if not treated. Some common curable
STDs are gonorrhea, trichomoniasis, chlamydial infection, syphilis and
Each year there are more than 333 million new cases of curable STDs,
one million new cases of HIV infection, and millions of other viral STDs
such as herpes and hepatitis B.
How can sexually transmitted diseases be contracted?
By definition STDs are diseases contracted during sexual contact
but the important thing to keep in mind is that as far sexual contacts,
as far as STDs are concerned includes, more than just sexual intercourse
(vaginal and anal). Kissing, oral-genital contact, and the use of sexual
"toys," such as vibrators too can cause STDs.
What can be done to prevent STDs?
People can avoid STDs by changing their sexual behavior. They can
follow any of the ABCs:
a. Abstain from sex -
This is the only guaranteed
b. Be mutually faithful -
Always have sex with the same
person. This person must not have sex with any other person and must not
have a STD.
You cannot usually tell whether a person
has a STD. Just by looking at him or her. People with STDs, including
HIV, usually do not look sick.
c. Consistently use condoms -
Use them every time and
use them correctly. To prevent STDs, people at risk should use condoms
even when they use another family planning method. If a womans sex
partner is not willing to use to use condoms, she should try to use
spermicide. It is important to note that spermicides do not stop
HIV/AIDS. The diaphragm and cervical cap may also help prevent some
Are all STDs treatable?
Most STDs are treatable. However, even the once easily cured gonorrhea
has become resistant to many of the older traditional antibiotics. Other
STDs, such as herpes, AIDS, and genital warts, all of which are caused
by viruses, have no cure. Some of these infections are very
uncomfortable, while others can be deadly.
Many STDs can be treated and cured, especially in their early stages.
Some, such as HIV and herpes, cannot be cured, but sometimes their
effects can be stopped for a time.
Prevention is better than cure. Especially since, sometimes scarring or
infertility can follow.
A person who thinks he or she may have STD should:
- Get diagnosed and treated immediately.
- Take all of the medicine according to instructions, even if the
symptoms go away. The medicines can cause some side effects, such as
vomiting, diarrhea, or rash. If any of these side effects occurs and
is severe, the person must return to the clinic that provided the
medicine. All of the medicine must be taken for a lasting cure.
- Avoid sex with anyone until three days after the treatment is
finished and all symptoms are gone.
- Tell his or her sex partner or partners so that they get treated
too. Unless all sex partners are treated at the same time, they may
infect each other again and again. It is especially important for a
man to tell a woman. This is because many women do not have symptoms
until the STD has reached a more serious stage.
If friends have symptoms, urge them to seek care. Urge them use
condoms and/or spermicide and to see a health care provider for a check
up. There really is no such thing as "safe" sex. The only
truly safe sex is abstinence. Sex in the context of a monogamous
relationship wherein neither party is infected with a STD is also
considered "safe". Most people think that kissing is a safe
activity. Unfortunately, syphilis, herpes, and other diseases can be
contracted through this relatively simple and apparently harmless act.
All other forms of sexual contact carry some risk. Condoms are commonly
thought to protect against STDs. Condoms are useful in preventing
certain diseases, such as herpes and gonorrhea. However, they do not
fully protect against other diseases such as genital warts, syphilis and
Suggested Reading -
- How to use it.