Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDS)

Sexually transmitted diseases (STDS) are diseases that are spread through sexual contact. The risk increases with the number of sex partners you have. Most STDs can be avoided through safe sexual practices. Most STDs can be cured if detected and treated early. However, many STDs don’t have early symptoms.

 CHLAMYDIA  This is the most common and fastest spreading of all the STDS. It’s the leading cause of pelvic inflammatory disease. One quarter of those infected with chlamydia will become sterile as a result. For sexually active women, a yearly test for chlamydia is recommended.  Symptoms:
 - vaginal discharge
 – dull pain in the lower abdomen
 – itching or burning of the genitals
 – bleeding between menstrual periods
 Oral antibiotics such as tetracycline are prescribed.
 GONORRHEA  Gonorrhea is the most frequently reported STD in the United States. It’s caused by bacteria that thrive in moist, dark places such as the cervix, penis, throat or rectum. If left untreated, sterility can occur.  Symptoms:(Women rarely have early symptoms.)
  – painful urination
 – vaginal discharge
 Antibiotics can successfully treat gonorrhea.
VENEREAL WARTS  Venereal warts are caused by a viral infection.  Symptoms:
 - tiny, flat or cauliflower-like wart clusters
 - The warts should be treated immediately because they spread very fast. The warts can be frozen or burned off or treated with a liquid. If the warts come back, treatment can be repeated.
 GENITAL HERPES  Herpes simplex 11, also know as genital herpes, is a viral infection. Herpes appears as blisters on the genitals. The blisters may go away, but will return, especially after prolonged exposure to sunlight and stress. The average person with herpes has four to seven flare-ups a year. The sores appear up to 20 days after exposure.  Symptoms:
 - painful sores or blisters that appear on the vagina and/or rectum
- headache
 – fever
 – muscle aches
 – swollen glands
 Treatment: There is no cure. Antiviral medication can be given to treat the pain and lessen the severity and frequency of the attacks.
  Sexual contact and tight clothing should be avoided during outbreaks.
 SYPHILIS  Syphilis is a dangerous bacteria-based STD. Once in the body it can travel through the bloodstream and affect the vital organs such as the heart, brain and spinal cord. A simple blood test can detect syphilis.   Symptoms:
 There are often no symptoms.
 Syphilis occurs in three stages. 1) Up to 12 weeks after contact, reddish bumps called chancres will occur on the vagina, anus and sometimes the mouth or lips. These will go away in a week or so.2) Up to six months after contact, a rash may appear on the chest, back, arms, legs, palms, hands or soles of the feet. It’s often accompanied by flu-like symptoms such as fever, sore throat, weakness or sluggishness. Get medical help immediately. 3) If untreated, the symptoms will disappear only to recur up to 20 years later and cause serious, even fatal consequences.
 Syphilis is usually treated with injections of antibiotics.
 AIDS  The most deadly of all STDs is AIDS. The virus (HIV) attacks and destroys the body’s immune system so a person is easily infected with other life-threatening diseases. It’s spreading rapidly among heterosexuals, especially teenagers. At special risk are individuals who have multiple sex partners and IV drug users.Early detection by blood test is recommended.  Symptoms:
 - fever
 – diarrhea
 – night sweats
 – weight loss
 – fatigue
  – swollen glands
 – recurrent yeast infections
 There is no known cure.
 New medications are being used to help control AIDS and AIDS-related symptoms.

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