The most common sexually transmitted infections (STIs)
Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) have become a common problem in our society. Insufficient condom use and promiscuity are the main reasons why, every year, millions of people around the world are diagnosed with an STD. Many of them can be treated and eradicated, while others endanger the patient's life, such as HIV. At OneHowTo.com we'll explain what are the most common STDs and how you can prevent them.
Human papilloma virus (HPV)
The human papilloma virus (HPV), is one of the most common and contagious sexually transmitted diseases partly due to its many strains. HPV includes more than 100 kinds of infections, of which approximately 40 are transmitted through sexual contact: oral, vaginal or anal sex.
Certain strains of human papilloma virus can cause genital warts, and others can cause the development of cervical cancer in women. Preventing HPV is possible if you're aware and follow some basic safe sex guidelines.
Caused by the herpes simplex virus type 2, genital herpes is a highly contagious STD, that's now included on the list of the most common sexually transmitted diseases. Because this disease can reside in the body for years without showing any symptoms, many people have unprotected sex, thus contributing to its being spread much faster.
Not only do anal or vaginal sex contribute to its being spread, but having oral sex with someone with herpes simplex type 1, the common type of oral herpes, becomes genital herpes upon contact with the infected genital area. Why it's important to know how to prevent this disease and maintain your sexual health.
Gonorrhoea is the result of a bacterial infection, due to moisture in the genital area. It grows and spreads very easily, presenting symptoms between 1 and 14 days after contagion.
Of all the STDs, gonorrhoea can be treated relatively easily and effectively. However, if it's not treated in time, it could cause certain complications such as infertility in women or epididymitis in men, so it's essential to prevent it from affecting your health.
Chlamydia is the most common of all bacterial STDs, but it doesn't always manifest symptoms. Nor is it visible on a pap test or urological test, so it can be a long time before a person learns of its existence.
Fortunately, chlamydia is effectively treated with antibiotics. However, in cases when it's not treated, it can lead to chronic pelvic pain and infertility.
Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)
Of all the STDs, HIV is certainly the most dangerous. This STD affects the patient's immune system, weakening it to the point that a mere flu can lead to hospitalization and even death. Today, people can live a relatively normal life with HIV by taking a combination of drugs daily to avoid the progression of the virus.
When HIV has advanced and the patient's immune system begins to be compromised, it's known as AIDS. HIV infection is preventable with proper use of condoms during vaginal and anal sex, and condoms and dental dams during oral sex.
Trichomoniasis is also a very common sexually transmitted disease. Caused by the parasite, trichomonas vaginalis, this condition often has no symptoms, but in the case that they do appear, it will happen between 3 to 21 days after exposure.
Women can experience pain when urinating, itching in the vaginal area, bad-smelling discharge and discomfort during sex. Men can experience pain when urinating and inflammation of the penile glans. Trichomoniasis is effectively cured with antibiotics.
Although it's a sexually transmitted disease that can be effectively cured, many patients with syphilis die because the disease goes undetected. If left untreated, syphilis can affect organs such as the heart and brain, putting the patient's life at risk.
The symptoms of syphilis may not always be easy to detect, so it's best to use a condom correctly and have a yearly gynaecological and urological exam, especially if you have casual sex often.
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