Sexually Transmitted Diseases,
commonly known as STD’s, are diseases that can be contracted
and spread by having sex with someone who has one of the diseases.
Sexual activity can include contact with the mouth, anus, vagina
and penis (all of which are capable of spreading STD’s).
These can be serious illnesses and require immediate attention.
Some STD’s, such as AIDS, are deadly and have no cure,
therefore it is important to learn ways to protect yourself
such as: genital herpes, hepatitis B, chlamydia, syphilis, gonorrhea,
Genital Herpes- Genital herpes is the most common
sexually transmitted disease in the United States, affecting
about 1 out of every
5 people. Genital herpes is a contagious infection that is
spread in several ways. One of which is through sexual contact
anal and oral sex) with a person who has the infected sores,
another way to spread the disease is during birth if the mother
has an active infection. Symptoms include: swollen glands,
inflamed skin (on or near sex organs), blister-like sores, fever,
burning sensation during urination, as well as muscle aches.
Hepatitis B- Hepatitis B is an STD that mainly affects the liver.
The damage caused by the Hepatitis B virus can cause scarring,
failure, and cancer of the liver. While some people can eventually
grow immune to the virus after being infected for several months,
others continue to get worse. However, it is important to get
regular check-ups, for you can contract, and live with the disease
without noticing any symptoms. The virus can be spread through
unprotected sex, as well as by kissing, and even sharing food
Chlamydia- Chlamydia is another one of the most common sexually
transmitted diseases in the United States, and can sometimes
be passed on to sexual partners unknowingly due to the possibility
that symptoms don’t always appear. However, when they
do, men usually experience: painful urination, pain and swelling,
as well as cloudy discharge from the penis. Women with Chlamydia
usually experience: painful urination, painful periods, itching/burning,
as well as abdominal pains and even fevers.
Syphilis- Once a major health risk, syphilis is now one of the
least common sexually transmitted diseases. It is a bacterium
that can spread via sexual activity, kissing, as well as close
bodily contact (but can also be spread from mother to child during
birth). Once again, it is important to get regular check-ups if
you are sexually active. Syphilis can be diagnosed quickly and
inexpensively by means of a simple blood test.
Gonorrhea- Gonorrhea, which is most often spread by people
who have numerous sexual partners, is a disease passed on via
contact and through birth. Gonorrhea, a fairly common STD,
is a bacterium that thrives in warm, moist areas (such as the
and uterus in women, and the urethra in men). Symptoms don’t
always appear, so regular check-ups are recommended.
When symptoms arise, women can experience: abdominal pain, burning
during urination, swollen glands, red/itchy eyes, as well as
yellow/green discharge from the vagina. Men with gonorrhea experience
of: burning during urination, swollen glands, as well as yellow/green
discharge from the penis.
HIV/AIDS- HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) is the virus that
causes AIDS (acquired immune deficiency syndrome). HIV breaks
down ones immune system, which is responsible for protecting the
body from certain diseases. Therefore, ones body becomes less
effective in fighting infections and cancer. Once a person acquires
certain diseases (such as cancer or other infections) they are
said to have developed full blown AIDS. HIV and AIDS are not identical;
and it can take many years for someone with HIV to develop AIDS.
However, neither of the two can be cured and people will most
likely die from the disease.
HIV/AIDS can be contracted many different ways, such as: the
exchange of blood (having sex or sharing needles while abusing
semen, through broken skin, as well as through breast milk.
HIV can be spread through all forms of sex including oral sex
anal sex. Mothers with HIV can even pass the disease onto their
children. Signs of HIV can only be found in blood tests, and
one can be infected for years without knowing so.