STDs are diseases or infections which are transmitted through sexual intercourse, they are also known as venereal diseases (VD) or reproductive tract infections (RTI).
Gonorrhoea, syphilis, genital herpes, chlamydia, genital warts, trichomoniasis, hepatitis-B and AIDS are some of the common STDs.
i. Syphilis can infect sex organs and sometimes lips and mouth as well. They can spread from one person to another. It is caused by the spirochete Treponema palladium. At final stage the infected person chronic ulcers on many body parts and damage to internal parts.
ii. Gonorrhea most often affects the urethra, rectum or throat. In females, gonorrhea can also infect the cervix. It can also cause arthritis and/or eye infections. It is caused by a diplococcus bacterium Neisseria gonorrhoeae.
iii. Genital warts are contagious, fleshy growths in the genital or anal area. They are one of the most common types of STDs.
iv. AIDS (Acquired Immuno Deficiency Syndrome) is a set of symptoms caused by HIV (Human Immunodeficiency virus or Human T-cell leukemia virus) virus in humans. The HIV virus does not directly affect sex organs as such but produce other set of symptoms in the body of infected person like it affects lymphocytes or macrophages, etc. AIDS is usually developed from infection after few months or can even take years. Diagnostic test for AIDS is ELISA (Enzyme Linked Immuno Sorbent Assay). Western blot can be used as confirmatory test. The virus of AIDS is transferred via blood and semen.
v. Hepatitis-B is caused by Hepatitis-B virus. It is transmitted by blood transfusions or contaminated needles or body fluids (like semen, saliva, sweat, breast milk, etc). As it can be transmitted by breast milk the baby lactating infected mother also gets infected. The infected mother can also transfer the disease to foetus via her placenta. It is incurable STD.
The preventive measures to avoid STDs are as follows:
i. Individuals should avoid sex with unknown partners/multiple partners’ especially HIV-infected people.
ii. Individuals should use condoms during coitus if there are chances of STDs.
iii. And if in doubt individuals should go to a qualified doctor for early detection and thereby getting complete treatment if diagnosed.
iv. Individuals should not share injection, needles, razors, toothbrushes; etc with infected persons especially AIDS patients, which could also lead to STDs.
v. Diagnose blood before blood donation or blood transfusions.
vi. Infected mother should not be lactating infants.
vi. Infected pregnant mother should terminate her pregnancy.
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