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STIs

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STIs
STIs are also called veneral diseases (VDs) or STDs. They are infections or diseases which are transmitted or spread from an infected person to another through unprotected pareunia. It is important to note that there are some infections such as genital herpes and genital warts that can be transmitted through skin to skin contact (non coitus contact).

Causes 

Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) are the most common infections or transmitable disease all over the world. Experts reports that in 2015, over 1 billion persons had STIs. This number is outside of those that have HIV/ AIDS or that have both (that is STIs and HIV/AIDS).

STIs are scary, since most of these infections  do not show or present any sign and/ or symptoms (clinical manifestation) on exposure. This therefore increases the risk of transmission or spreading of the disease mostly among the  young adults (youths). STIs can be caused by either bacteria, viruses, fungi, protozoa or parasites. Some of which are:

Bacteria (singular is Bacterium)

These are a group of single celled micro organisms that lack a distinct nuclear membrane. Many bacteria are parasitic in nature and causes diseases by producing poisonous toxins. However some on the other hand are harmless and do not cause disease and are called normal flora. Some of the STIs caused by bacteria are:

1.  Gonorrhoea
This is a disease caused by the bacteria, Neisseria gonorrhoea. This veneral disease is spread primarily through pareunia, but may also be contracted through contact with infected clothing, beddings or towel. It is very possible for this disease to infect your mouth, throat, eyes, etc.

The signs and symptoms of gonorrhoea usually develop or appear within 7 days of infection or exposure. However, some people (about 50% of women and 10% of men) don't experience any signs and/ or symptoms even months after exposure.

2.  Chlamydia 
This is a very common STI caused by the bacterium, chlamydia Trachomatis. chlamydia is a bacterial infection that affects the genital track of young adults mostly. Chlamydia trachomatis infect both men and women and many of those infected don't show and/ or present any noticeable signs and symptoms, this therefore increases the risk of transmission of the disease. 

3.  Syphilis 
This is one of the oldest coital infections ever. It is caused by a spirochete bacteria called Treponema pallidum. Syphilis in its early stages of infection causes a painless but highly infections sore called chancre on your genital or around  your mouth. Syphilis is dangerous and should be treated as such.  Fortunately, it is curable using the appropriate antibiotics, so consult your doctor.. The later stages of syphilis infection could be problematic and causes serious problems such as heart problems, paralysis, blindness, insanity, etc.

4.  Chancroid 
This is an infection caused by the bacteria called Hemophilus ducreyi. It is typically transmitted from one person to the other through unprotected pareunia. The symptoms of Chancroid tends to start appearing  as a tender bump after about 3 to 7 days of exposure. This leads to enlargement and ulceration of lymph nodes in the groins.

Virus

Viral infections that could be transmitted through unprotected pareunia are:

1. Genital warts 
Genital warts is primarily transmitted through any type of unprotected intercourse or contact. It is caused by a virus called Human papillomavirus (HPV). Genital warts starts as small fleshly growths, bumps around your genital. Generally, warts are painless but may give rise to discomfort, irritation, itching, sore and/ or redness. These symptoms sometimes for some persons resolve on their own, while for others it seldomly develop to complications like cancer.

2.  Genital herpes 
Genital herpes is one of the most common coital infection which is caused by a virus called herpes simplex virus (HSV). This can be transmitted through any form of unprotected pareunia. Upon infection, the HSV causes lessons, which typically takes the form of painful blisters that eventually opens thereby forming sores around the genitals and thighs. As it is with some other STIs, it is possible to be infected with genital herpes and not show or present any signs and/ or symptoms. This therefore increases a person's chances of contracting it. Genital herpes is not curable and it persists all through the life at an infected person.

3.  HIV/AIDs
This is a viral infection caused by the virus called Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). It is mainly transmitted through unprotected intercourse. HIV interferes with your bodies ability to fight of disease causing organisms (pathogens). This it does by attacking and weakening your body's immune system (immune suppression), making it susceptible to infections and diseases. Apart from unprotected intercourse,  HIV and AIDS can be contracted by direct contact with infected blood, by sharing of unsterilized needles, use of infected sharp objects, by childbirth, etc.

HIV/ AIDS is perhaps the most feared STI worldwide. There is no cure for HIV / AIDS, however there are treatments plans which are designed to enable persons living with HIV/ AIDS to live a healthy, long and otherwise fulfilled life. On infection, HIV/ AIDS present no symptoms or clinical manifestations. This increases the risk of spreading and contracting the disease, once Immune suppression becomes pronounced, serious complications such as: Tuberculosis (TB), pneumonia, dementia may develop. AIDS is the final or last stage of HIV infection. At this point your body will no longer be able to fight off life threatening diseases and opportunistic infections, death may eventually occur.

4.  Hepatitis B
This is a viral infection which is transmitted through unprotected pareunia form an infected persons to another. It is caused by the virus called hepatitis B virus (HBV). This virus attacks and causes inflammation of the liver. HBV is transmitted by contact with the body fluid of an infected person through  unprotected coition, even kissing can lead to the contraction of hepatitis B.

HBV can equally be transmitted to the foetus by a pregnant mother. Many infected persons do not present clinical manifestation on exposure which increase the risk of spreading the disease. Certain notable signs and symptoms of hepatitis B include, yellow coloration of the skin, Fever, pain in the upper abdomen, whitish of the eye, etc. Experts says coital transmission of hepatitis B is believed to be responsible for the significant increase in the HBV cases worldwide. Complications for hepatitis B are responsible for about 2 million deaths yearly.

Protozoa

These are single celled organisms that could either occur free in nature or exist as parasites and therefore causes diseases by secreting toxins to the host body. Example of protozoal infection that could be transmitted through unprotected pareunia from an infected person to another is:

1.  Trichomoniasis 
This is a coital infection which is spread through unprotected intercourse. Trichomoniasis is caused by the protozoan called Trichomonas vaginalis.  This pathogen infects the urinary  and genital tract in both men and women. Some persons show no symptoms on early exposure and this increases the risk of spreading this infection. The incubation period of Trichomoniasis is about 25 to 28 days. In men, Trichomoniasis causes pain or burning sensation during/ after passing urine, a whitish discharge and sometimes mild irritation or itching. In women, Trichomoniasis cause somewhat yellowish watery discharge with unpleasant smell and pain on passing urine.

Parasites 

Parasitic infections that can be transmitted through unprotected pareunia are:

1.  Pubic lice (pediculosis pubis)
This is also known as crab louse, it is an ectoparasitic infection that is transmitted from an infected person to another through genital contact. Pediculosis pubis which is a coital infection is caused by the parasite called Phthirus pubis or crab louse. These lice are small bugs that are visible to the unaided eyes. They are found on the public region (pubic hairs), armpit or head, and they cause intense itching.

2.  Scabies
This is an ectoparasitic infection which is transmitted through coition form one person to another. It is caused by a parasite known as Sarcoptes scabiei. The parasite Sarcoptes scabiei is microscopic, hence it is not visible to the naked eyes. It is normally found on the surface of the skin of the pubic region and sometimes these tiny mites burrow into the skin. They can be transmitted through direct contact and through genital or coital contact. They can also be contracted through infected clothing, beddings and/ or towels. scabies normally cause intense itching which generally starts weeks after exposure.

Prevention of STIs

STIs can be prevented in many ways, the most common and effective ways to prevent sexually transmitted infections (STIs) are;
  • Abstinence,
  • Use of protection (condom)
  • Maintain a single coital partner,
  • Use of vaccines,
  • Counseling and early diagnosis, etc.

See a Doctor

Are you are experiencing any or some of the Signs and symptoms stated above?, then it is time to see a doctor. Are you having lower abdominal pain? Feeling pain or burning sensation during urination? Are you having coloured and odorous discharge? Are you feeling persistently tired, lethargic or fatigued? Are you experiencing bleeding during or after intercourse? having any red swollen or sores around your genitals, Are you experiencing an unusually heavy Menstrual flow? are you feeling malaise, intense itching around your genitals or feeling this general body weakness for reasons you can not possibly explain. Make an appointment with your doctor and get yourself checked, tested and treated. It is time to get well and enjoy a happy and healthy life.




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