Sexually Transmitted Diseases

Sexually Transmitted Diseases Sexually Transmitted Diseases: A Teen’s Worst Nightmare Sexually transmitted diseases are infectious diseases that can be spread by sexual contact. Some can also be transmitted by non-sexual ways, but these make up a minority of the total number of cases. An estimated ten to twelve million Americans have sexually transmitted diseases. Sexually transmitted diseases in the United States affect both sexes, all races, and every economic stature. STD’s come from different sources. Some are epidemic like gonorrhea, infections of the urethra, genital herpes, and genital warts.

Some diseases are caused by a bacterium such as Chlamydia, and others are from protozoan or yeast. Many of these infections are transmitted largely by sexual contact with an infected person. The practice of anal and oral sex also lead to cases of anal and oral infections. Gonorrhea, syphilis, and chlamydial infections can also be transmitted from a pregnant woman to her infant, either in the uterus or during birth. Sexually transmitted diseases are very hard to control. Some public officials attribute the increase in many of these diseases to increasing sexual activity.

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Others say the replacement of the condom with birth control pills and diaphragms might also increase the risk of STD’s. Many STD’s are transmitted more efficiently from men to women than the reverse, perhaps because the vagina serves as a reservoir that prolongs exposure to infectious secretion (Handsfield 2) The physical examination of patients with STD or at risk is a simple procedure. All patients require inspection of the entire skin surface. At a minimum they carefully inspect all skin surfaces that are uncovered or exposed during genital examination. This includes the face, head, hands, lower arms, lower trunk, pubic area, thighs, mouth and throat.

Also checked in men are the genitals and the pubic and inguinal regions, the penis, urethra, urethral bulb, and the scrotum are checked for tenderness and other abnormalities. For homosexually active men, the anus and perineum are carefully inspected. The examination of women includes inspection of the pubis area, the external genitals, perineum and anus, speculum examination of the vaginal mucosa and cervix, and a bimanual pelvic examination (Handsfield 4). A way to avoid STD’s and unwanted pregnancies is to use a condom. A condom is a sheath worn over the penis during oral, anal, and vaginal sexual contact (Virginia Tech Health Services).

Condoms can be made of latex rubber or animal membrane. Animal membrane condoms prevent pregnancy but have large enough pores for tiny HIV viruses to pass through. Latex condoms are much better in forming a barrier against HIV. Polyurethane condoms haven’t been fully tested, so people should avoid using them. Do not use novelty condoms like the ones that glow in the dark, these are not FDA approved. Always check the expiration date.

Never use a condom after the date stamped on the wrapper or on the seal. Do not use a condom that has been in a wallet for more than a month. Heat and pressure can damage it. Also, stay away from oil-based lubricants, like Vaseline, which can eat through the latex. And finally, do not open the packet with scissors or your teeth, the condom could rip. Nudge the condom away from the edge and gently tear the packet open.

Next to abstinence, which is having no sexual relations at all, condoms are the best protection against STD’s. When a condom is used correctly, they are about 90 percent effective in preventing pregnancy, and 95 percent effective when used with spermicide. Spermicide, also called Nonoxynol 9, has been found to be effective in killing the HIV virus in laboratory experiments when used at 5 percent strength. Spermicide immobilizes and kills sperm. It comes in jellies, creams, foams, suppositories, film, and as a coating on condoms. STD’s can also be avoided by remaining monogamous. This means only having sex with one person whom only has sex with you.

If you know that you are clean of all STD’s and that your partner is also clean, then you both can avoid STD’s by only being with each other. Chlamydia is a STD caused by the bacterium Chlamydia trachomatis. The bacterium is found in infected body fluids from the penis or vagina and it spreads through direct sexual contact and from mother to baby. Chlamydia is the most prevalent bacterial STD, about four million people will become infected with Chlamydia this year. Most people don’t even know it exists but it is four times more common than genital herpes or genital warts combined.

Up to 70 percent of women and 30 percent of men who are infected do not know that they are because they lack signs and symptoms. There are no symptoms for this disease so people are not aware that they have a problem until they develop complications. In women this includes pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), infertility, and dangerous complications during pregnancy and birth. In men the testicles become inflamed. Some signs of Chlamydia for men and women are a discharge from the penis, vagina, or rectum, cramps in the lower abdomen, burning or itching around the opening of the penis, pain in the testicles, pain when urinating, unusual vaginal bleeding, and bleeding after sex.

If a woman with Chlamydia is pregnant and she is not treated, her baby has a 50-50 chance of developing conjunctivitis, which is an inflammation of the eyes that threatens eyesight, and a 20 percent chance of pneumonia. Chlamydia can also lead to premature birth or low birth weight. Chlamydia is the easiest STD to treat. Doctors can prescribe a single dose of an antibiotic called Azithromycin, or they can prescribe Doxycycline for 7 days. Either of these antibiotics will cure this disease within a week. Every year up to one million Americans develop genital warts, and as many as 50 percent of all men and women are now infected. Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) is the virus that causes genital warts.

These warts grow on the genitals, in the urethra, in the anus, and rarely in the throat. They are soft to the touch and may look like miniature cauliflower florets. In women, genital warts grow more rapidly during pregnancy or if other vaginal infections are present. They often itch and if they are allowed to grow, in severe cases they can block the openings of the vagina, anus, or throat and become quite uncomfortable. (Handsfield 4) HPV infection is spread from person to person through direct skin contact during vaginal, anal, or oral sex with someone who has genital warts.

Babies can get the virus if their mothers have genital warts at the time of delivery. Signs of genital warts occur six weeks to eight months after contact with someone with HPV. Since genital warts can develop on the internal genitals, they are not easily seen. Sometimes the infection doesn’t cause any warts and many people with HPV do not know that they have it. Freezing the warts with liquid nitrogen, applying certain chemicals, using laser therapy, and using electrical heat can easily treat genital warts. Even though the warts will be removed, some of the virus may still stay alive in the skin and cause more warts.

This means that more than one treatment may be needed to get rid of all the warts. The one thing not to do is use over the counter treatments for warts on sensitive genital skin. Genital warts can be avoided by being monogamous, by always using condoms, and by knowing the signs of HPV infection. Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) is the destruction of the immune system resulting from infection with the Human immunodficiency virus (HIV). AIDS is a gradual weakening of the immune system, which allows severe infections and cancers to grow.

It eventually leads to death from one of these illnesses. It may take six to ten years until the HIV infection becomes AIDS. This disease attacks the CD4 T-cell count, these are the major types of white blood cell lost during the HIV infection. The lower the person’s CD4 T-cell count, the more advanced the person is into the disease. Within one to three weeks after infection with HI …

Sexually Transmitted Diseases

A major question facing many teenagers is whether or not to have sex. A result of having sex is contracting sexually transmitted diseases. Sexually transmitted diseases, or venereal diseases affect 10 to 12 million Americans each year. (Daugirdas 75) In the United States, sexually transmitted diseases strike an average of one person every 1.5 seconds. (76) About half of STD patients are under the age of twenty-five. (Landers 45) Nearly 2.5 million teenagers are infected with these deadly diseases. (Welsh A-5) A few types of sexually transmitted diseases are gonorrhea, herpes, chlamydia, syphilis, etc.

These diseases can be fatal if not attended to. In addition to those epidemic diseases already mentioned, such diseases include syphilis, crab lice, vaginal infection caused by the Hemophilus bacterium, molluscum contagiosum, chancroid, and the list goes on and on. There are many ways to transmit these diseases. Transmission of all these diseases occurs only by intimate contact with an infected person, because all of the causative organisms die quickly if removed from the human body. (Leone 128) Although the usual area of contact is the genital, the practice of anal and oral sex also leads to cases of anal and oral infections.

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(130) A few of these diseases, notably chancroid and scabies, can be spread by the infected person from one area of skin to another by the hands. (Daugardis 86) Gonorrhea, syphilis, and chlamydial infections can also be transmitted from a pregnant woman to her infant, either in the uterus or during birth. Such congenital infections can be quite severe. Although venereal infections start at the external genitalia, they can spread to the prostate, uterus, testes, and nearby organs. (87) Most of these infections cause only irritation, itching, and minor pain, but gonorrhea and chlamydial urethritis are a major cause of infertility in women.

People with sexually transmitted diseases may have no symptoms or symptoms that are so mild that they do not aware the person to seek medical attention. For example, almost half of the women with gonorrhea have no significant symptoms, and up to 3 percent of men will feel perfectly well. (Welsh A-5) Some STDs have overlapping symptoms. Swelling of the lymph nodes in the groin may accompany many sexually transmitted infections and may be tender or painless. (Leone 135) Such swelling may be the only manifestation of a relatively rare STD called lymphogranuloma venereum.

Unusual or increased discharge from the penis or vagina can be a symptom of a number of STDs, including gonorrhea, chlamydia, and particularly in women, vaginitis, which encompasses three different infections: bacterial, yeast, and trichomoniasis, which is caused by a protozoan. (135) Some STDs can cause skin lesions in the genital area. One of the first symptoms of syphilis is the chancre, a relatively painless ulcer found at the site of infection, which is usually, but not always, the genital area. (Daugardis 107) Herpes causes sores in the genital area that are very similar to cold sores. Genital warts, caused by the human papilloma virus, resemble warts on other parts of the body and can be found both internally and externally in the genital region. (108) Large, painful genital ulcers are symptomatic of the bacterial infection chancroid, common is Southeast Asia, but rare in the United States.

(Leone 137) Small bumps around the genitals may be molluscum contagiosum, a viral disease spread by contact; this infection is also acquired nonsexually by young children. Itchy, crusted scabies lesions result from infestation with the mite Sarcoptes scabiei, which burrows into the superficial layers of the skin. Itching in the pubic hair region may result from infestation with Phthirus pubis, the crab louse, which is spread by close contact. (138) This epidemic nature of sexually transmitted diseases attests to the difficulty of controlling them. Some public health officials attribute the increase in many of these diseases to increasing sexual activity. Also significant may be the replacement of the condom with birth control pills and diaphragms.

Patterns of sexually transmitted disease also change. Whereas syphilis and gonorrhea were both epidemic at one time, widespread use of penicillin brought syphilis under moderate control. (Scott 52) Attention then turned to control of gonorrhea, at which time syphilis again began to increase in frequency. (52) The only definite way of controlling these deadly diseases is through abstinence. Other ways of control is by the use of a condom. Treatment for these diseases can be rather easy with the proper medication and if taken care of promptly. One of the most effective ways to treat these diseases is with antibiotics.

(59) Penicillin has been an effective drug against syphilis and gonorrhea, but many gonorrheal organisms are now resistant to this agent. (63) Ceftriaxone or spectinomycin is effective in these instances. (64) There are many other antibiotics being created everyday to treat these diseases. Sexually transmitted diseases is a serious problem facing the teens of this country, but through proper protection and knowledge of the diseases, they can overcome this epidemic. The only true way to protect oneself from any sort of diseases is by abstinence. Works Cited 1.

Daugirdas, John T. STD. Hinsdale, Ill.: Medtext, Inc., 1992. 2. Landers, Ann. Ann Landers talks to teenagers about sex.

New York: Fawcett Crest, 1963. 3. Leone, Bruno. Sexual Values. St.

Paul, Minnesota: Greenhaven Press, Inc., 1983. 4. Scott, Fred J. STDs : Prevention and Treatment. New York: Rosen Pub.

Group, 1990. 5. Welsh, Patrick. “Sex and Today’s Teen-ager.” Washington Post: Washington D.C., Nov. 29, 1987.

Sexually Transmitted Diseases

Syphillis is a bacterial Sexually Transmitted disease. Each year there are over 100,000 cases of syphilis in adults, and over 3,000 babies are born with the disease. Syphillis is almost always passed from person to person through direct contact with a syphilis sore, lesion, or moist rash. It is almost always passed during sex., vaginal, oral, and anal. Moist kisses can pass the disease if one of the people has a lesion on the lips or mouth. A person might be able to contract the disease by touching a sore with his or her bare hand. Pregnant women with the disease can pass it to the babies they are carrying.
When a person in infected with syphillis the first stage is marked by the outbreak of a single chancre or sore. The chancre is firm, round, small, and painless. It show up at the spot where the bacteria entered the body. The chancre may last 1-5 weeks and heals on its own. The second stage starts when one or more rashes break out. While the chancre is going away the rashes can appear. The rashes can look like spots on the palms of the hands and bottom of the feet , a prickly heat rash, small blotches or scales all over the body, a bad case of acne, moist warts in the groin area, slimy white patches in the mouth, sunken dark circles , and pus-filled bumps like chicken pox. The symptoms of the second stage can also include fever, swollen lymph glands, sore throat, patchy hair loss, headaches, weight loss, muscle aches, and tiredness. Sometimes the rashes are so faint they are not noticed. The rashes last 2-6 weeks and clear up on their own. About 25% of untreated people will have a return of second stage symptoms within 12 months. One could overcome the disease only when the first or second stage sores are present.
As the rash fades, the disease may slowly begin to attack the nervous system and internal organs, mainly the heart. This happens in about one-third of untreated persons. Most of the time there are no symptoms for this third and latent stage. Symptons that come later include the lack of muscle movements, paralysis, no longer feeling pain, growing blindness, insanity, personality changes, impotency, shooting pains, blockage or ballooning of the heart blood vessels, tumors or “gummas” on the skin, bones, liver or other organs, severe pain in the belly, repeated vomiting, damage to knee joints, and deep sores on the soles of feet or toes. Untreated syphilis will kill nearly 20% of those infected by it. A baby born to a mother with the disease or one untreated after her 34th week of pregnancy almost without question infect the baby with syphillis. At or shortly after birth the baby may have skin sores, a very runny nose which is sometimes bloody, slimy patches in the mouth, inflamed limb bones, a swollen liver, and a small head. Untreated babies may become retarded or have seizures. About 12% of infected newborns will die because of the disease.
A good way of treating this disease is a shot of benzathine penicillin. This will cure a person who has had the disease for less than a year. If a person has had it longer than 1 year then three shots are required. Correct treatment will destroy syphilis in the body, but will not repair any damage done by the disease.
Herpes is a viral STD in which an infection is caused by two different but closely related viruses: herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) and herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV-2). Both can easily be caught. They have similar symptoms. And both can occur on different parts of the body. When the infection is on the mouth, it is called oral herpes. When it is on or near the sex organs, it is called genital herpes.
Very often there are no symptoms. The most common symptom is a cluster of blistery sores, usually on the vagina, vulva, cervix, penis, buttocks, or anus. Symptoms may last several weeks and go away or may return in weeks, months, or years. The first episode of symptoms of a genital herpes infection is called “primary herpes.” Symptoms include blisters, open sores, pain in the infected area, itching, burning feelings if urine goes over sore, severe swelling may block the urethra. But there are more sever types of symptoms like swollen, tender lymph glands in the groin, throat, and under the arms, fever, chills, headache, general run-down feeling, and an achy, flu-like feeling. The symptoms of later episodes are usually less severe than the first.
Many people carry the virus in their bodies but do not have their first episode of symptoms until they are infected another time.
Herpes is spread by touching, kissing, and sexual contact, including vaginal, anal, and oral intercourse. It can be passed from one partner to another or from one part of the body to another. Herpes is most contagious when sores are open and “weeping” until the scabs heal and fall off. Over the course of one year, the chance of getting genital herpes from an infected partner who has no symptoms is 10 percent. Primary herpes usually begins from two to three weeks after the virus enters the body. But it may happen earlier. And it may take much longer. The sores usually heal in about two weeks. But the virus stays in the body. It can “flare up” and cause sores again. Symptoms are more painful and last longer in women or men with illnesses that weaken the immune system like leukemia and HIV.
When herpes flares up again, it is called a “recurrence” or “outbreak.”
No one is sure what causes recurrence. Other infections, stress, surgery, menstruation, sexual intercourse, and skin irritations like sunburn may bring on recurrences. A good diet, enough rest and sleep, and peace of mind may prevent recurrences.
Symptoms may be relieved by warm baths or wet tea bags (not herbal). Loose cotton clothes will help prevent chafing. A clinician may prescribe acyclovir, famiciclovir, or valacyclovir. They may speed up the healing of sores and weaken the virus. Using these medicines during outbreaks themselves is called episodic therapy.
People who have more than six outbreaks a year may be advised to take small daily doses of acyclovir, famiciclovir, or valacyclovir to help reduce the frequency of recurrences. Daily use of these medicines is called suppressive therapy. At this time there is no cure for herpes. However, in most cases outbreaks become fewer and weaker over the course of a few years. They usually end within five or six years.
Most women who have herpes needn’t worry. Rarely does a woman with recurrent herpes pass the infection on to her newborn. The greatest danger for the fetus is during delivery if a woman is having her first episode. In some of these cases, contact with herpes sores can lead to severe damage of the nervous system or death. If herpes sores are present when a woman begins labor, a caesarean section can be done to avoid infecting the newborn. Very rarely is a fetus infected earlier in pregnancy.
Up to 80 percent of Americans have the most common form of herpes (HSV-1) at some time. It usually appears as oral herpes and is most often spread without sexual contact. More than 45 million Americans have gotten herpes through sexual contact. Half a million new cases are diagnosed every year. Most often genital herpes is caused by HSV-2. Millions do not know they have it because they never had, or noticed, the symptoms.

Trichomonas vaginalis is a member of the eukaryotic STD. T. vaginalis belongs to the Family Trichomonadidae, which includes Trichomonads with three to five anterior flagella. All members of this Family also have pelta located at the anterior margin of their bodies.
The Genus Trichomonas encompasses those tube like parasites that have four anterior flagella. There are several Species in this Genus, which infect the tubular organs of various animal hosts. Such Species include vaginalis, tenax, gallinae, muris, foetus, and augusta. None of the members of this Genus form cysts.
Trichomonas vaginalis grows best in an anaerobic environment, but will also grow in an aerobic environment. It grows best in an environment with a pH of 5.8 to 6.0, and at a temperature of 34-39oC. Reproduction takes at least five to eight hours to occur. Organisms can be obtained from urine, vaginal, and prostatic secretions. T. vaginalis grows faster and survives longer when E. coli is present. When E. coli is not present, T. vaginalis grows well in a totally bacteria-free environment. Such an environment can be obtained by adding a penicillin mixture to the medium.
The most definitive diagnostic test for trichomoniasis is creation of a culture. Specimens should be inoculated in a broth medium and incubated at 37oC for a maximum of 5 days. The most commonly used diagnostic tool is the wet smear. Vaginal and penile secretions are placed in a test tube and mixed with 1mL of normal saline. A drop is placed on a glass slide fixed with normal saline, and another drop is placed on a slide fixed with 10% potassium hydroxide. If the slides are fixed immediately, the motility of the organism is maintained. This technique is fast, but it has low sensitivity. Nitrazine paper can also determine the presence of Trichomonas vaginalis by test the pH of the vaginal and penile fluids.
T. vaginalis can decompose glucose, maltose, fructose, and galactose, and it produces lactic acid, succinic acid, pyruvic acid, and carbon dioxide. It does not use pentoses or sugar alcohols. The protist can survive up to 24 hours outside of the body.

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Trichomonas vaginalis is one of the most common protozoan sexually transmitted diseases. Trichomoniasis, commonly called “trich” is caused mainly by sexual contact. Since the protozoan can survive several hours outside of the body, the disease may be transmitted through saunas and whirlpools and on toilet seats, damp towels, and bed sheets. Both men and women can be infected with trichomoniasis.
Trichomoniasis is has symptoms in about 50% of cases, and the infected individual may be infected for several years before symptoms appear. The female vagina and urogenital tract may be infected, and symptoms may include inflammation and irritation of vaginal tissue. Vaginal secretions may become abnormal in amount, odor, color (yellow-green or gray), consistency, and pH. Pain may occur during one is urinating and while have sex. “Strawberry cervix” is seen in 2% of cases. The male genitals and urethra may be infected, and although male symptoms are uncommon, white penile discharge and painful urination can occur.
The best know treatment for Trichomoniasis is oral metronidazole. This drug is normally given doses of three times a day for seven days. However, it may also be given in one dose twice a day for seven days. When both sexual partners are treated, the cure rate is 95%.
Approximately 20% of pregnant women are infected with T. vaginalis. During the first trimester of pregnancy, metronidazole should not be used. During this time, amoxicillin or ampicillin are safer drugs to use. It is possible for the disease to be transmitted to the infant during delivery
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