Can STDs Lay Dormant for 10 Years?

STD stands for sexually transmitted disease. It is also known as STI (sexually transmitted infections) and VD (venereal diseases).

You normally catch an STD by having unprotected sexual contact (includes, vaginal, oral and anal sex) with those people who are already infected. STDs are contagious and affect both men and women. These can also be contract by direct contact with an infected person’s biological fluid (such as blood, semen, vaginal discharge etc). Also during delivery, an infant can get it from an infected mother, which could cause severe complications in the new born.

What are the Different Types of STDs?

The most common pathogens that cause STDs are bacteria, viruses, parasites and yeast. These pathogens have been known to cause more than 20 types of STDs. The STDs are either as a direct infection from the pathogen or a secondary by-product of the existing infection.

Bacterial STDs include bacterial vaginosis, chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis, chancroid, pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), mucopurulent cervicitis (MPC), lymphogranuloma venereum (LGV), epididymitis, procitis and urethritis.

Viral infections include genital warts or human papillomavirus (HPV), hepatitis A (HAC), hepatitis B (HBV), hepatitis C (HAC), herpes simplex virus (HSV), human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) or acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDs), molluscum contagiosum (MCV), and procitis.

Parasitic infections include public lice (crabs), trichomoniasis (trich) and scabies.

Fungal infection includes candidiasis (yeast infections).

How do you Prevent STDs?

The best way to prevent STDs is by following abstinence. You can reduce your risk of contracting an STD by practicing safe sex. Therefore, using condoms, reducing the number of active sexual partners and being in a monogamous relationship should all help to reduce the risk of an STD infection. You can also take vaccination for viral STDs to avoid contracting the infection. However, this will be ineffective if you already have the infection in your system.

Can STDs Lay Dormant for 10 Years?

STDs causing pathogens can lie dormant for many years before the start showing physical symptoms. The number of years an STD can lay dormant depends on the pathogen and infection type.

Bacterial infections like gonorrhea and chlamydia generally do not stay dormant for more than a few years before flaring up to cause a symptomatic infection. Throughout the dormancy, the patient may continue to have low grade infection without symptoms.

Fungal infections like candidiasis can normally lie dormant for up to year and cause multiple bouts of recurrence, if the initial treatment was not successfully followed. When fungal infections come under attack by medications, they convert into a dormant spore form that causes the physical symptoms of the infection to disappear. If the patient stops therapy at this stage assuming they are cured, there is a strong likelihood of the infection lying dormant and then recurring at a later stage.

Parasitic infections like scabies typically do not stay dormant but public lice may stay dormant for up to a month or so. Infections like trichomonas can stay dormant for several years without any outward symptoms and cause bouts of symptomatic recurrence.

Viral infections are the main type of STD with the longest dormancy periods, which can last up to 10 years. The most important infection to watch out for this regard is the HIV infection. HPV, herpes and hepatitis are the other infections, which have an equally long dormancy period.

When Should A Person Be Tested for an STD?

If either you or your sexual partner has unprotected sex, it is advisable for both of you to be tested for an STD infection. If you have any of the signs or symptoms suggestive of an STD, you should be tested. Even in the absence of symptoms, sexually active adults are recommended to talk to their physicians and have an STD test added to their annual physical exam.

Once an STD is diagnosed, the physician can start the patient on the recommended treatment plan. In most STDs (except viral), early diagnosis predicts a favorable prognosis.

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