Sexually transmitted diseases and related infections have been plaguing sexually active people for hundreds of years. It is not a subject adults care to think about, but must consider while having unprotected or casual sex.
Here are some facts that every sexually active person should know:
1. Most STDs will not present with any kind of symptoms.
2. STDs are spread through vaginal, anal, or oral sex.
3. Among younger adults ages 16 – 22, one out of four has acquired a STD.
4. College-aged adults show the greatest avoidance in practicing safe sex with one out of two students (50%) not using a condom during vaginal, anal, or oral sex.
5. When drinking alcohol, many adults will forego the use of a condom, resulting in them being at greater risk for acquiring a STD.
One of the leading authority websites for STDs is Positive Singles. The website offers comprehensive information on different types of sexually transmitted diseases, testing and treatment locations, and a network to connect with others infected with a STD.
Here are the most common STDs:
HPV – The Human Papilloma Virus
The Human Papilloma Virus is the most common of all STDs. This virus can affect both the genitals and the cervix. Various strains of HPV will present with different symptoms. Symptoms may include a type of genital wart that looks and feels like a cauliflower head. Some strains have no symptoms and are only identified through a pap smear for women.
CT – Chlamydia
Chlamydia is an infection acquired during sex due to a particular strain of bacteria. Symptoms for women include a discharge from the vagina. Symptoms for men include a painful burning while urinating.
HSV – Herpes
This STD is a virus that infects areas of the mouth or genitals. An outbreak of herpes begins with a feeling of burning and itching, which is followed by tiny blisters forming a cluster. Another symptom is painful urination. Some herpes strains cause a fever, enlarged lymph nodes, and overall muscle aches. With some infections, the symptoms are not noticeable.
GC – Gonorrhea (Also known as the Clap)
This STD is spread through bacteria and can infect various parts of the body, such as the cervix and vagina in women and the urethra in men. For both men and women, infections can appear in the anus or throat.
Symptoms can include a discharge from the vagina or penis, abdominal pain, bleeding, or burning during urination.
HIV is a serious infection affecting the blood, which can result in a person having AIDS (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome). It is one of the most feared STDs as it can lead to death. Early symptoms mimic those of the flu, such as swollen lymph nodes, chronic aching and fatigue. Some people will exhibit no symptoms while carrying the disease for years.
It is spread through body fluids, including blood, discharge or semen from the vagina or penis, and breast milk. Apart from sexual transmission, sharing an infected needle or syringe will spread HIV.
Syphilis is a STD caused by bacteria and is spread through sexual contact. It often begins as a sore in the mouth or on the genitals. The sore can heal without being treated, but can also cause symptoms such as fatigue, high fevers, skin rashes, and a painful throat. Left untreated, the final stages can result in heart or neurologically related issues.