How Do You Get An STD In The First Place?
Sexually Transmitted Disease as the name suggests are a group infectious diseases, in which the causative organism transmit through sexual activity and causes clinical disease. This causative organism may be bacteria/fungus/virus/protozoa. There are various ways of transmission of an STD, through which it can infect a normal person. This statement totally refutes the belief in our modern society that in order to get a sexually transmitted disease one should engage in sexual intercourse (vaginal) with an already infected person and it is the only way, this is untrue. There are many more routes of transmission of venereal diseases (STD), although transmission of disease mostly occurs via sexual contact. The agent in this case invades through the mucosa of the vagina, mouth, anus, urethra due to its moisture laden and warm environment which hastens its growth.
The different routes apart from vaginal intercourse are:
- Anal Intercourse
- Oral Intercourse
- Skin Contact (When a person comes in contact with lesions, rashes, vesicles)
- Intravenous Drug Users – the health of these people deteriorate at an increased rate after they get a STD infection. Sharing of certain entities in some diseases also leads to STD. These include toothbrushes, shaving razors, needles and syringes, clothing.
- Getting exposed to infected bodily fluids.
Along with these routes an infected pregnant woman may also transfer the disease agent to the unborn child (fetus) during the period of gestation or during the delivery. This makes the child vulnerable to secondary infections too and if thorough treatment is not provided many of STDs may even lead to death.
Pathological Species That Cause STDs
There are various species of micro-organisms that are responsible for causing the STDs. Some of them are listed below:-
- Neisseria gonorrhoeae – It causes Gonorrhea, Urethritis, Salpingitis, PID, Cervicitis, and neonatal eye disorders like conjunctivitis.
- Hemophylis ducreyi – Chancroid
- Treponema pallidum – Syphilis
- Chlamydia trachomatis- Urethritis, Cervicitis, PID, Neonatal conjunctivitis, LGV (Lymphogranuloma venereum), Epididymitis.
- Calymmatobacterium granulomatis – Granuloma inguinale aka Donovanosis
- HSV (Herpes Simplex Virus) – It is responsible for Genital Warts or Herpes.
- HPV (Human Papilloma Virus) – Anal warts and Genital Warts
- Hepatitis B Virus – Hepatitis both acute and chronic form.
- HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) – AIDS (Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome). It is the most dreadful of the STDs. It has no cure till date, death is certain once a person is diagnosed HIV positive.
- Candida albicans – Vaginitis
- Giardia Lamblia
- Trichomonas vaginalis – Vaginitis
- Sarcoptes scabei
- Phthirus pubis
Prevention and Management of STDs
Before jumping to management of sexually transmitted diseases, one should always keep in mind the precautionary measures for conducting healthy sexual practices because it has been rightly said “Prevention is better than cure” and in the case of STDs, its emphasis can be clearly seen. The preventive steps incorporate – Use of male/ female condoms while performing coitus, spermicide jellies, creams and diaphragm should be used in combination with condoms, IV drug abuse by its users should be totally avoided, unprotected sexual intercourse (vaginal, oral or anal) with random individuals or multiple individuals should be completely shunned.
Management of STDs is done according to the guidelines issued by the World Health Organization according to which earlier the diagnosis of the disease was based upon extensive laboratory tests. Nowadays Syndromic management is done when patients present with recognized signs and symptoms in accordance of sexually transmitted diseases. This is done as the clinical manifestations that appear due various causative agents similar or overlapping in nature. In this type of management treatment is not only restricted to the person positive for the disease, but also to person’s previous partners if present and the current partner.
STDs or Venereal diseases are those diseases that predominantly are the result of sexual contact with an infected person. There are various causative species that are responsible for STDs. The most common species are Neisseria, Treponema, HIV, HPV and HSV. There are various methods of prevention one should adopt to secure themselves and the management of these sexual diseases is syndromic as usually the symptoms seen are similar for different agents.
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