What is STD?
A Little STD History
The apparent occurrence of Sexually Transmitted Disease (STD) is growing very fast not only in developing countries but also in the so-called first world countries. It is however regarded as a main hazard to human health which can cause serious worldwide social economic problems and public health disasters. STDs are a series of transmissible diseases categorized as infecteous through sexual activities or indirect contact transmission, like open-sore contact with contaminated blood.
However, STDs can affect both genitourinary apparatus and many other organs through the lymphatic system or via hematogenous dissemination. It is imperative to note that diseases which spread mainly through sexual intercourse were named Classics Venereal Diseases in the past. Classics venereal diseases include the following five diseases below:
- Granuloma inguinale
- Venereal lymphogranuloma
It was not until 1975 that the terminology, sexually transmitted disease, was first applied by the World Health Organization (WHO) to a series of transmissible diseases which infected humans through sexual activity or indirect contact transmission. Thus the limit of venereal disease was enlarged.
One good news, however, is that these can be detected on time by using home STD rapid test kits, known to have prompted many people to take action and arrest the situation sooner than it gets worse.
The Signs and Symptoms of STDs
The following are signs and symptoms with their different periods of manifestation:
- GONORRHEA: Symptoms may appear between 2-21 days after having sex; be that as it may, most women detect no symptoms. Possible symptoms may include thick yellow or white discharge, burning with urination, abnormal periods or “spotting,” and cramps in the lower abdomen. It is spread during vaginal, anal, and oral sex, and can lead to more serious infections, sterility, and could cause heart trouble, skin disease, arthritis and blindness. Men can carry this infection without symptoms.
- CHLAMYDIA: Symptoms show up 7-28 days after having sex, but most women have no symptoms. Possible symptoms that could occur include discharge, spotting, burning with urination, urinary frequency, abdominal pain, fever, and nausea. This disease can lead to sterility, more serious infections, and damage to the reproductive organs. It is spread during vaginal, anal, and oral sex, and men can carry this infection without symptoms.
- TRICHOMONAS: This can cause itching, burning or pain in the vagina, although some women have no symptoms. There is usually more discharge than normal in the vagina, which may look and/or smell different. It is spread during vaginal, anal, and oral sex, and men can carry the infection without symptoms. Uncomfortable symptoms will continue if left untreated.
- HPV (Human Papilloma Virus) or GENITAL WARTS: Symptoms show up 1-8 months after contact with the virus that causes genital warts. Small, bumpy warts may appear on the sex organs or anus, which may itch or burn. After the warts are treated and go away, they may return. This virus is spread during vaginal, anal, and oral sex with someone who has genital warts. Sometimes they go away on their own, remain unchanged, or grow and spread. Human Papilloma virus is spreading rapidly in the under-25 population. Men can carry HPV and not have any symptoms.
- HEPATITIS B: Symptoms occur 1-9 months after contact with this highly contagious and dangerous virus. Many people have no symptoms, or flu-like symptoms that don't go away. Fatigue, yellow skin, dark urine, and light-colored stools can occur. This virus is spread by vaginal, anal, and oral sex with someone who has contracted Hepatitis B. It can also be spread by sharing needles, blood contact, or just very close contact with an infected person. Some people recover completely, but others can never be cured. Symptoms may disappear, but certain people can still transfer Hepatitis B to others. It can cause permanent liver damage and death. There is, however, a very effective vaccination for this virus.
- SYPHILIS: There are 2 stages to this disease. First stage symptoms show up 3-12 weeks after exposure. A painless, reddish-brown sore can appear on the mouth, sex organs, breasts, or fingers, which lasts 1-5 weeks. This sore may disappear, but the disease still persists. The second stage shows up 1 week to 6 months after the sore heals. It could involve a rash anywhere on the body and flu-like feelings. Even when these disappear, the sufferer still has syphilis lurking in the body. It is spread during vaginal, anal, and oral sex with someone who has syphilis. This disease can cause heart disease, brain damage, blindness and death.
- HIV/AIDS: Symptoms may not show up for several months to several years after contact with HIV, the virus which causes AIDS. It can cause unexplained weight loss, fatigue, flu-like symptoms, diarrhea, and white spots in the mouth. In women, particularly, it causes yeast infections that don't go away. This deadly disease is spread by vaginal, anal, and oral sex with someone who has HIV, by sharing needles, or by contact with infected blood. HIV cannot be cured, and can cause illness and death.
- VAGINITIS: Bacterial vaginosis and monilia (yeast) are two types of vaginal infections that are not necessarily sexually transmitted. The provider can test, treat and help with prevention. These may also require a speculum exam of the vagina. Symptoms can include vaginal discharge, itching or burning. They are treated with medication.
With STD rapid test kits, all of these can be detected and managed on time. A wise investment it truly is!