Sexually Transmitted Diseases, also known as sexually transmitted infections (STIs), are diseases or infections that have a significant probability of transmission between humans by means of sexual contact. Most sexually transmitted diseases can be prevented by the proper use of a condom or by abstinence.
What Are Some Types of STDs?
STDs include but are not limited to:
Chancroid is a highly contagious, but curable sexually transmitted disease. It causes ulcers or sores, usually of the genitals. Swollen, painful lymph glands in the groin area are also often associated. Left untreated, chancroid may make the transmission of HIV easier.
Chlamydia is an infectious genital disease. Not all infected people exhibit symptoms. It can be serious but is easily cured with antibiotics if detected in time. If left untreated, Chlamydia can progress into an infection of the uterus, fallopian tubes, and/or ovaries. This infection can cause scarring inside the reproductive organs, which can later cause serious complications, including chronic pelvic pain and difficulty becoming pregnant.
Crabs are small parasites that feed on human blood. A person can get crabs during sexual contact with a person who has crabs. During the close physical contact, the crabs can move from the pubic hair of one person to the pubic hair of another. The most noticeable symptom of crabs is itching. Some treatments require a prescription, while others do not.
Gonorrhea is transmitted during vaginal, anal, and oral sex. Many men infected with gonorrhea exhibit symptoms, while most women are without symptoms. Even when women do have symptoms, they can be mistaken for a bladder infection or other vaginal infection. Gonorrhea can be diagnosed through a urine test or by taking a specimen from the infected area. If left untreated, gonorrhea can cause complications such as infertility.
HBV (Hepatitis B) is spread by exposure to infected blood from skin puncture or contact with mucous membranes. Symptoms might include yellow skin or yellowing of the whites of your eyes (jaundice); tiredness; loss of appetite; nausea; abdominal discomfort; dark urine; gray-colored bowel movements; or joint pain. Some people who become infected with HBV develop chronic infection. Chronic infection increases the risk of cirrhosis of the liver, liver cancer, and liver failure. HBV can be spread from an infected mother to her infant during birth. To prevent the spread of HBV from infected mothers to their infants, a woman should have their blood tested for hepatitis B during each pregnancy. A blood test is the only way to diagnose hepatitis B.
Once acquired, Genital herpes stays in the body for life. In some people, symptoms come and go. When symptoms appear, it is called a “herpes outbreak.” Genital herpes is spread by having vaginal, anal, or oral sex with a person who has the herpes simplex virus, or HSV. The main signs of genital herpes are sores around the vagina, on the penis, or near the anus. Sometimes genital herpes sores appear on the scrotum, buttocks, or thighs. The sores begin as a rash of red bumps. The bumps then turn into blisters. It is common for the blisters to open up, sometimes causing severe pain. In time, the sores will scab over and heal.
HIV and AIDS
A blood test can determine if a person is infected with HIV or AIDS. HIV can be transmitted through the blood, sexual fluids, or breast milk of an HIV-infected person. People can get HIV if one of these fluids enters the body and into the bloodstream. An HIV-infected mother can transmit HIV to her infant during pregnancy, delivery or while breastfeeding. People can also become infected with HIV when using injection drugs by sharing needles and other equipment. Over time, infection with HIV can weaken the immune system to the point that the system has difficulty fighting off certain infections. When the immune system of a person with HIV has weakened to the point that medical intervention may be necessary to prevent or treat serious illness, a diagnosis of AIDS may be given.
HPVs are typically transmitted through sexual contact and is very common. Most HPV types do not to cause noticeable symptoms. HPV infection is a factor in the development of most cases of cervical cancer. HPV can be found through Pap test and can, in most cases, be prevented with a recently approved vaccine.
NonGonococcal Urethritis is an infection of the urethra caused by pathogens (germs) other than gonorrhea. NGU is most often caused by chlamydia, a common infection in men and women. The diagnosis of NGU is more commonly made in men than women, primarily due to anatomical differences.
Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID) is a serious infection in the (uterus, fallopian tubes and ovaries of a female. PID can be sexually transmitted or naturally occurring. It can lead to infertility in women or life-threatening complications.
Syphilis is a bacterial infection, that left untreated will progress with increasingly serious symptoms. A person can get syphilis from another person if the mucous membrane found inside the vagina, urethra, and anus or a cut/abrasion come into contact with an infected lesion. Testing for syphilis can include a blood test or a culture test. Syphilis is curable with antibiotics.