Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) are infections transmitted mainly through vaginal, oral or anal contact.
Over thirty different bacteria, viruses and parasites are known to be transmitted via sexual intercourse.
Eight of these are responsible for the most common sexually transmitted diseases, which may be curable or incurable:
Curable STDs are:
Incurable STDs are:
- Hepatitis Β
Some of these may be transmitted not with sexual intercourse, but with blood and its derivatives.
STD patients may be asymptomatic and not aware that they are carriers.
Common STD symptoms
- Urethral discharge
- Vaginal discharge
- Painful urination
- Burning sensation during voiding
- Skin lesions on the genitalia
- Abdominal pain
STDs affect patient sex life and reproductive ability to a great extent.
- The presence of STDs, such as herpes and syphilis, increase the risk of an AIDS infection (acquired immunodeficiency syndrome)
- A STD infection during pregnancy can result in death, low-birth weight, sepsis, pneumonia, conjunctivitis or congenital anomalies in the infant
- HPV infection is responsible for the development of cervical cancer in women
- Gonorrhea and chlamydia infections constitute the leading cause of female infertility
In view of the above, prevention against STDs is crucial.
Diagnosis is made based on:
- Clinical examination
- Blood or bodily fluid laboratory studies
Effective treatment options are available for a number of STDs:
- Chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis and trichomoniasis infections are treated with antibiotics
- There are several antiviral drugs to change the progress of herpes and AIDS, though they cannot cure the diseases
- For hepatitis B, there are medications which modify the immune response, as well as antiviral medicines which combat the virus and reduce liver damage