Sexually Transmitted Diseases Prevalent in the UK
Obviously, there’s no royal immunity protecting people in the UK from STDs. Everyone must be responsible for one's health state.
The National Health Service, UK, on April 9, 2018, listed the common STDs as:
- Gonorrhea (Gonorrhoea)
- Genital warts
- Genital herpes
- Pubic lice
The mode of transmission of these STDs is through sex (including oral sex, vaginal sex, and anal sex).
Impact on the UK
Chlamydia is one of the main causes of infertility in the UK just as is obtainable in the US. It is reported that chlamydia infection is most prevalent among young women 18 to 19 years and men 20 to 24 years of age. This shows that young adults are the most affected by chlamydia in the UK. Basically, most chlamydia infections are asymptomatic and as such could pass undetected, spreading to other areas of the infected person’s body to facilitate complication including infertility, as mentioned above.
The ‘clap’ is rated the second most common STD in the UK and commonly affects young adults aged 20 to 24 years in the population. It is most commonly diagnosed among men who have sex with men. Over the last 10 years, certain strains of gonorrhea have developed resistance to a group of different antibiotics used in the treatment of gonorrhea.
The disease can creep in unnoticed, with the only significant symptoms being a burning sensation during urination and the presence of a white, yellowish, or greenish discharge from the vagina and the penis. The infected person without any symptom can spread the infection to another person, particularly through unprotected sex.
This is an STD caused by a protozoon, Trichomonas vaginalis. This disease affects both men and women and is also contracted through sexual intercourse. The organism can be found living in the urethra of both men and women. In women, it can also be found in the vagina. Men that have sores on their penises could be housing Trichomonas vaginalis. In almost all cases of Trichomoniasis, the patients are without any symptoms. Complications arising from untreated ‘Trich’ in women can affect pregnancy, leading to preterm delivery and low birth weight.
This is one of the most common STDs in the UK given that 95% of genital warts are caused by the human papillomavirus of types 6 and 11. Sometimes, they are called anogenital warts because warts can also be found in the anal region of an infected person. They are spread through direct contacts with the infected person’s warts. Presently, there is no permanent cure for genital warts and a pregnant woman can pass it on to her baby during birth.
Both type 1 and type 2 herpes simplex virus can cause genital infections. A person with oral herpes can give someone genital herpes when he or she performs oral sex on another's genitals. It is said that 70% of the UK population have been infected with the virus at one time or the other. Once a person contracts herpes, it stays for life, only receding and recurring repeatedly.
They are also called ‘crabs’ for their physical appearance. Pubic lice are parasitic insects that can spread from one person to another through sexual contacts. They crawl from pubic hair to pubic hair during sex or during intimate body contacts. They cannot jump or fly, so to survive, they feed on the infected person’s blood, which is the main reason why they bite.
In the UK, a study of men with STDs apart from pubic lice showed that 1.7% of the men were found to be infested with pubic lice as well as the STD they were being tested for. That showed a close relationship between pubic lice infestation and STD transmission. This may be due to the lesions brought about by continuous scratching of bites, which opens up an avenue for STDs that can be contracted through direct body contact.
2016 was remarkable in England's public health sector as 5,920 persons were diagnosed of syphilis, showing a sharp increase by 12% on the cases in 2015, and a 97% rise in cases reported in 2012.
As with the report in the US on syphilis, cases reported in the UK were mostly by men who have sex with men. Others largely affected were sexually active young persons aged 15 to 24 years.
The next time you meet a person from the UK, be sure not to throw cares to the wind. Before things get serious between you both, get yourselves screened for these STDs. STDs are silent destroyers.