STD (sexually transmitted disease) is an illness caused by virus, bacterium, parasite, or fungus, and that is spread between humans through sexual contact, including vaginal intercourse, oral sex, and anal sex. Some STDs, such as syphilis and herpes, can be transmitted via kissing, swapping, needles, as well as through childbirth or breastfeeding.
Lately, medical experts tend to use the term Sexually Transmitted Infections STIs, as it is more correct and specific. One of the reasons is because Disease is a medical condition that has visible signs or symptoms. However, several of the common STDs have no signs in the majority of people infected. Therefore, both STD and STI are used in article.
In the United State, STIs (STDs) are more common in sexually active teenagers and young adults. According to a CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) study, one out of every four American teen girls has a sexually transmitted disease. Other studies suggest that African American teenagers have the highest rate.
STIs affect every social class in every country; it doesn’t matter if you are rich or poor, black or white. WHO estimated that more than 1 million people are being infected daily with STDs. In the United States, more than 18 million people are infected each year. About 60% of these infections occur in young people less than 25 years of age, 30% of them are less than 20 years.
If left untreated, some STDs can cause serious health problems with both short-term and long-term consequences. For instance, an untreated Chlamydia can cause pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) which can cause permanent damage to the fallopian tubes, uterus, and surrounding tissues. The damage can lead to chronic pelvic pain, infertility, and potentially fatal ectopic pregnancy (pregnancy outside the uterus) according to CDC. A person infected with Chlamydia is more like to become infected with HIV if exposed.
Untreated STDs may result in the following complications:
- Birth defects
- Bone deformities
- Heart disease
- Mental retardation
Some STDs such as genital herpes (HSV), human papillomavirus virus infection (HPV infection), and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) are incurable. Their symptoms are managed with Antibiotics. The best and only cure is prevention. You can never know too much about those deadly diseases; if you are a teen talk to your parents or a health care provider about STIs. Remember, do not practice unsafe sex; a couple minutes of pleasure can cost you a lifetime of pain and remorse.
There are more than 20 types of STDs; the following are some of the most common:
Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS) – human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) is responsible for causing acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS). The virus has only been recognized since 1984… click here for more details
Chancroid – A sexually transmitted infection caused by the bacteria Haemophilus Ducreyi. It is characterized by painful genital ulcers, swollen lymph nodes in the groin, and painful urination.
Chlamydia – A common STD caused by the bacterium chlamydia trachomatis, which can damage a woman’s reproductive organs
Ectoparasitic Infections – Sexually Transmitted infections that are caused by tiny parasitic bugs, such as lice or mites
Genital Herpes – A sexually transmitted disease (STD) caused by herpes simplex viruses type 1 (HSV-1) or type 2 (HSV-2)… click here for more details
Gonorrhea – A curable sexually transmitted disease (STD) caused by Neisseria gonorrhoeae. It is one of the most common sexually transmitted diseases in the world. Gonorrhea is transmitted during vaginal, anal, or oral sex.
Hepatitis B – Hepatitis B is a serious disease caused by hepatitis B virus (HBV). This virus can cause lifelong infections: cirrhosis of the liver, liver cancer, liver failure, and death. It is transmitted by blood contact, tattoos or body piercing, unprotected sexual contact, and breast-feeding (mother-to-child transmission)… click here for more details.
Hepatitis C – a liver disease caused by the hepatitis C virus (HCV). It is commonly spread by exposure to contaminated blood or needles… click here for more details
Human Papillomaviruses (HPVs) – this a group of over 100 different kinds of viruses, of which about 30 types are harmful. They can be spread through sexual contact, and cause genital warts and even cervical cancer… click here for more details
Genital Warts – this one of the most common sexually transmitted infection (STI)… click here for more details.
Syphilis – A sexually transmitted disease (STD) caused by the bacterium Treponema pallidum. It can be transmitted by sexual intercourse, mother-to-child transmission.