Types of Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs)
In the late 1950s, there were only five types of sexually transmitted diseases of which syphilis and gonorrhea figured prominently. A new type of STD appeared and in the 1980s, the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) infected 12 million worldwide and claimed 160,000 lives in the U.S. and 25 million in sub-Saharan Africa. Today, there are 25 types of STDs.
What is STD?
STD is an infection or a venereal disease caused by sexual contact and through the exchange of body fluids. Having multiple sex partners increases the chances of being infected. Consequently, the rise in STD infections continues, and 1 in 5 Americans have multiple STDs, and some 12 million are infected each year.
The alarming increase in STD should alert you to take precautions. STD can kill, maim, and leave psychological scars. Knowing the different types of Sexually Transmitted Diseases and their symptoms can prompt you to seek medical treatment before the disease spreads to other organs in the body.
Common Types of STD
• Genital Herpes or Herpes Simplex – This is seen as an acute viral infection of the skin. The first type or herpes labialis appears as cold sores on the lips and cankers on the genital area and is common during childhood and infancy. The second type is sexually transmitted and appears as sores in the mouth and in the genitals. The disease can lie dormant but reappear during pregnancy. Severe infections and fever can also trigger the appearance of latent herpes.
• Chlamydia – This causes pelvic inflammatory diseases in women. The infection starts in the cervix and spreads rapidly to the other reproductive organs. If left unchecked, this causes infertility, miscarriages, and premature births.
• Human papillomavirus (HPV) – This often appears as warts and if detected can be removed by chemicals and lasers. Warts may not appear in spite of infection. This virus is associated with cancers of the cervix, vagina, and penis.
Major Types of STD
• AIDS is the most dreaded of all STDs because it is transmitted fast through the exchange of body fluids, infected blood, and needles. It can also occur with other STDs. It claims the lives of men, women, and children – lowering life expectancy. There is no known cure for AIDS, although there are medications that can delay the onset of symptoms.
• Syphilis is treatable with penicillin. It appears as a painless chancre, which may disappear without treatment. But in severe cases, this can cause damage to internal organs and cause irreversible blindness. Symptoms may include headaches, seizures, and stroke.
• Gonorrhea is caused by bacteria that thrive in warm and moist areas of the reproductive tract. It attacks the urine canal of both sexes and can develop in the mouth, anus, and throat. The frequent area for infection in women is the cervix. In both sexes, this can injure the joints, brain, and heart valves. Newborns can be infected when passing through the birth canal and become blind, but the application of silver nitrate on newborns has solved the problem. Antibiotics can treat the disease.