The eight most common sexually transmitted diseases
Although about 30 different bacteria, viruses, and parasites can spread sexually and cause STDs, the eight most common bacterial, viral, and parasitic STDs are the following:
- Hepatitis B
- Herpes simplex virus
- Human papillomavirus (HPV)
Current statistics suggest that an estimated 500 million people worldwide have genital herpes. Also, about 290 million women have an HPV infection. At the same time, an estimated 1 million people present with an STI daily in the world. Finally, about 376 million new infections with chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis, or trichomoniasis take place annually in the world.
The four curable sexually transmitted diseases (STDs)
You can cure four out of the eight most prevalent STDs, which are bacterial or parasitic. These are chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis, and trichomoniasis, and are curable with existing, effective single-dose regimens of antibiotics. Antimicrobial resistance (AMR), however, is a phenomenon that raises concern due to its increasing incidence. AMR is mostly an issue when it comes to gonorrhea, and reduces the treatment options against it. High rates of quinolone resistance, leading to other antibiotics' resistance, makes gonorrhea's pathogen a multidrug-resistant organism.
Chlamydia is the most common STD in the US, affecting an estimated 2.86 million people annually. It is usually asymptomatic and mostly affects young people. Chlamydia spreads through unprotected vaginal, anal, or oral sex and may cause vaginal or penile discharge, pain upon urination, intermittent vaginal bleeding, painful sex, and testicular swelling and tenderness. Chlamydia left untreated can lead to irreversible, long-term complications. Azithromycin and doxycycline are two of the most widely-used antibiotics to treat chlamydia. You can get tested for chlamydia at home with an STD rapid kit test and get your results in 15 minutes.
Gonorrhea is another prevalent bacterial STD that is usually asymptomatic. An estimated 583,405 gonorrhea cases presented in the US in 2018. The disease also spreads through unprotected vaginal, anal, or oral sex, and is predominant among younger adults and adolescents. If symptomatic, it has a similar presentation with that of chlamydia. Also, these two may often co-exist. Gonorrhea left untreated may lead to severe complications. Doctors usually prescribe a combination of ceftriaxone and azithromycin. You can get tested for it at home with an STD rapid kit test and get your results in 15 minutes.
Syphilis, although curable, continues causing high levels of mortality and morbidity worldwide. It is a life-threatening disease if left untreated. It spreads through unprotective oral, vaginal, or anal sex, but also non-penetrative sexual activities. Syphilis manifests in four stages. Firstly, it presents with a small, painless ulcer that represents the entry point of the infection. Following, it may present with rash, and it may mimic lots of other diseases. The third stage represents a long and asymptomatic period, followed by its final phase with multiorgan failure. The usual treatment against syphilis consists of antibiotics, and penicillin is usually the drug of choice. The earlier the therapy, the better the results. You can get tested for syphilis at home with an STD rapid kit test and get your results in 15 minutes.
Trichomoniasis is a common parasitic STD caused by the protozoan Trichomonas vaginalis. An estimated 3.7 million people live with trichomoniasis in the US. However, the disease is symptomatic in only about 30% of the people affected. It presents with genital discharge and itching or burning sensation. The STI spreads through unprotected anal, vaginal, or oral sex. To treat trichomoniasis, doctors usually suggest metronidazole or tinidazole. Previous infection does not provide life-long immunity against the pathogen. Therefore, you can get trichomoniasis again, regardless of your past experiences.
The four incurable sexually transmitted diseases (STDs)
You cannot cure four out of the eight most common STDs. However, although you cannot get rid of them, these STDs are manageable with medication. These are the following, and they are all viral:
- Hepatitis B
Herpes is a chronic viral STD that currently affects an estimated 500 million people worldwide. It does not require penetrative sex for its transmission, as herpes spreads from skin-to-skin contact. Although some people are asymptomatic, others present with painful sores that develop around or in their genitals and anus. Antiviral medication can reduce the outbreaks of the disease and control the symptoms.
HIV is another chronic viral STD that spreads through blood, unprotected sex, and sometimes, pregnancy. Although once a pandemic, HIV is now manageable with antiretroviral medication, and HIV-positive people can live an average life, with a minimum risk of spreading the disease to others. STD rapid kit tests can let you know if you have HIV in less than 20 minutes. Buy one today and get tested for HIV alone at home.
HPV is a very common viral STD that affects about 9 out of 10 sexually active individuals. An estimated 90% of these infections resolve on their own after an average of two years. However, HPV has many strains, some of which are dangerous and incurable. Complications of an HPV infection might be genital warts and cervical or oral cancer. Hopefully, there is a vaccine available against some malignant strains of HPV. Also, genital warts are manageable with various treatments.
Hepatitis B is a viral STD that may lead to liver cirrhosis and cancer. The disease is usually asymptomatic and may present with symptoms in advanced stages. Some people can fight the infection on their own. Also, there is a vaccine available against hepatitis B.
How to stay healthy if you have an incurable sexually transmitted disease (STD)
If you have an incurable STD, all you have to do is follow the recommendations from your doctor. Don't discontinue your treatment, unless indicated otherwise. Also, try and protect yourself from other STDs. Some of the STDs mentioned above make you more vulnerable to other infections. Therefore, make sure you protect yourself and take all the preventive measures against STIs. Also, make sure you follow a healthy lifestyle, eat well, and exercise regularly. Finally, take control of your sexual health, and screen yourself for STDs at home. You can do so with an STD combo kit test.