SEXUALLY TRANSMITTED DISEASES

SEXUALLY TRANSMITTED DISEASES

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Sexually Transmitted Diseases

Sexually transmitted diseases is a big issue in the current society, especially in the united states, whereby the CDC report of 2019 shows a very high increase in the number of people infected with sexually transmitted infections. The STDs led to issues like the increase in the number of child deaths at birth due to chlamydia alongside other factors and sexually transmitted infections (Aral et al., 2007). It informs us on how it is an urgent and essential issue that needs to be looked into and solved. Therefore this paper focuses on sexually transmitted diseases, why they are so prevalent, and the possible measures to take and prevent them from taking place.

Sexually transmitted diseases are many and varied. They cannot be discussed exhaustively because they are many due to their nature. Therefore, most people can even have one of them and cannot know unless they are tested. Consequently, it is a difficult situation within the American society whereby the youths are most affected by this situation. However, it affects everyone and not just the youths. Some common diseases that affect people include chlamydia, syphilis, gonorrhea, Trichomoniasis, Herpes, and Hepatitis. These are the common diseases that are sexually transmitted even though there are others. Therefore, it is essential to develop knowledge about the common sexually transmitted infections to make sure that a person prevents oneself and is safe from getting these diseases.

Chlamydia

Chlamydia is one of the most curable diseases and which at the same time, is very prevalent in most parts of the United States. Chlamydia affects the urethra in men, while in women, it affects the cervix. It is a disease that is not easily visible, and it makes it very difficult for medical officers to identify symptoms unless they test a person. Most people do not usually have visible signs and symptoms, and therefore they do not know if they have the disease. The only possible sign is discharge from the penis or vagina or pain during sex.

Consequently, it is essential to prevent this type of disease from being part of a person’s life. The possible ways to avoid this is through the screening and the identification if a person has the disease, then if they have it, they begin medication. This disease needs to be treated since it makes it possible for a person to enjoy their sexual life and have good health and a safe future because chlamydia can make a person infertile if the disease is untreated for a very long time (Rietmeijer, 2002).

Gonorrhea

Gonorrhea is also known as clap. It is a bacterial infection and affects almost similar places as chlamydia does. Signs and symptoms of gonorrhea include a burning sensation when a person is urinating. One can also have discharge from the penis or vagina. In the same manner with chlamydia, gonorrhea, most of the time, does not have signs and symptoms. Some people might be able to get along with it without their knowledge. It can also affect the throat and be passed through oral sex. Currently, there is the challenge of antibiotic resistance to gonorrhea, and therefore, this is one of the significant problems associated with treating it. The resistance raises many questions and a lot of concerns because it makes people worried about how treatment will be possible if the bodies become unresponsive to medication.

Syphilis

It is caused by Treponema pallidum, and it is a notorious sexually transmitted infection in that it can cause a lot of complications in the health of a person if left untreated for long periods. It is highly infectious in that it can be transmitted even from pimples on the outer part of a person’s body, from the penis, vagina, and rectum. Therefore a person can transfer the disease through the above different ways and therefore pass it to another person (Brown, & Frank, 2003). Once syphilis gets into a person’s body, they experience small sores, which are referred to as chancres. However, within a short time, these pimples are lost, and it is easy for the disease to subsidize and therefore be unable to be detected. It even gets worse because it keeps on growing into the person’s body when it doesn’t show signs and symptoms, and therefore with time, it becomes a massive problem to the person (Goh, 2005).

Trichomoniasis

It is one of the most curable STDs. It is durable because it is easily recognizable, and therefore it makes it easy for the person who has it to receive treatment. Among the ladies, the common symptoms include; discharge, a strong vaginal odor, itching, pain during sex, and irritation. Even though men may get the disease, they do not have symptoms, and therefore they can act as carriers of the disease.

Herpes

Herpes is a viral sexually transmitted infection, and it has two versions that are one and two. HSV1 can be said to be represented by cold sores, while the second version, HSV2, is associated with genital sores. It is also possible to transfer this disease orally from the mouth to the genitals and vice versa. Even though this disease is treated with antiviral drugs, it is impossible to completely do away with this disease as it is a viral one. Therefore anyone with the infection can pass it anytime without any sores, signs or symptoms (Mayo Clinic, n.d.).

Hepatitis

Hepatitis is a sexually transmitted disease, and even though it is hepatitis B which is likely to be transmitted sexually, hepatitis C also can be transmitted sexually. Hepatitis leads to the destruction of the liver and sometimes through liver cancer. However, there is a vaccine for this disease, and therefore it is not prevalent in most parts of USA.

HIV

HIV is a viral infection, and it is only transferrable through the exchange of body fluids. This disease is highly contagious, and most people take medications to prevent them from arriving towards AIDS, which is the final stage of HIV (Hoover, 2010).

Reasons for the Spread of STIs

The reason for too many and widely spread sexually transmitted infections are many, including poverty, the use of drugs, and stigma, among other factors. Other factors which lead a person to be at a higher risk include; having more than one partner, failure to use protection when a person is having sex, having sex with a person who has many sex partners, and having sex for money.

Poverty, even though less estimated to cause sexually transmitted infections, can be a huge factor in determining if a person gets an STI or does not get it. For example, a person may be willing to use protection when they are having sex, but then due to their poor conditions at that particular moment, they are unable to purchase protection like condoms. Therefore this makes a person prone to having sex without any protection, and consequently, this makes it difficult for them to seek medical attention when they do not have money to do so.

Drug use

The use of drugs makes a person prone to getting STDs, and this is because the use of drugs makes a person unable to control themselves fully. The use of drugs makes a person easily convinced about some things. Therefore, when a person uses some drugs like alcohol or marijuana they can engage in unsafe sex, and being unable to control himself or herself get infections through the sex. This engagement in unprotected sex makes it very difficult for the person since they are constantly exposed to all types of sexually transmitted diseases.

Stigma

Stigma is also another problem when it comes to the issue of sexually transmitted diseases. The fact that they are spreading so fast means that many people feel the stigma to look for medication, and therefore when a person experiences stigma, they are unable to keep their health fit. Stigma is a big problem because even to some children who suffer from sexually transmitted diseases, it is not easy for them to talk to their parents about the issue. Therefore they end up being alone and trying to console themselves. When these individuals get to have sex, they quickly transfer the sexually transmitted infections to their partners. Most of the time, a person gets a sexually transmitted disease, and they cannot say it. Some signs and symptoms of some sexually transmitted infections disappear after a short time, and therefore it is easy and possible for these individuals to ignore them because of their stigma. When they get lost, the individuals get happy, and therefore, they can have a life that they think is normal.

More than one partners

Having more than one partner is also a dangerous behavior, making a person unable to keep healthy. It exposes a person to many issues since one of the partners may have a sexually transmitted disease. Therefore it becomes a problem to the individuals since once they get the condition, they have to treat it and look for ways to deal with it. It also becomes a problematic issue since the person who has many partners will most likely be transferring the infections to those other people. It makes the person’s life complicated, but it also makes the society and the community in which the person lives prone to having sexually transmitted infections due to one person’s behavior. Therefore, it is dangerous behavior and can lead to multiple people with sexually transmitted diseases.

Failure to use protection

Some individuals also fail to use protection when they are having sex, and this is a dangerous practice. It makes them prone to getting sexually transmitted infections, especially from those they are not well acquainted with and those they don’t know. Therefore, they might be exposing themselves to a lot of danger. The use of protection, especially condoms, is a critical practice as insisted and advanced by the health officials. However, some people never take it seriously and therefore expose themselves. It is a good practice to practice protection measures unless one only has sex with only one partner. It makes the person healthy and the general society healthy as well.

Sex for money

Sex for money is a culture that has been developing for a long time, and it is this culture that is considered one of the most dangerous ones in any society. It is because some people have sex for the sake of having money. It, therefore, turns out that a person can have sex with anyone and everyone as long as they get money. Therefore even if their health is at risk, they still have sex. It is a dangerous practice, and ladies are the ones most affected by this. It turns out that some ladies only go out with the person who has lots of money. Some of the people who have lots of money can also have sexually transmitted infections, which makes it very dangerous for those ladies having sex with them (Laumann & Youm, 1999).

Prevention

Prevention of sexually transmitted infections is possible. However, abstinence from sex is the only surest method for this. When having sex, however, it is possible to make it safer and therefore make the conditions suitable for the person who is having sex. For example, the use of protection is essential for personal safety, and therefore if a person uses protection, they are less likely to get sexually transmitted infections. Other protection methods include having sex with only one person who is faithful and reducing the ability of a person to get sexually transmitted diseases. Other preventions and control measures include frequent checks and screening to see if a person is suffering from a sexually transmitted disease. Therefore through periodic screening, a person can determine their status, and if there are issues, that person can take action and prevent the problem from expanding and becoming advanced (Aral, 2002).

Living with STDs

Even though most sexually transmitted infections are treatable, some cannot be treated, and therefore a person has to figure out ways to live with them. The most common STD which is not treatable is HIV. Therefore most viral infections are untreatable, and they can just be maintained rather than treated. Therefore it is necessary to observe hygiene to the highest levels when a person is living with an STD or undergo medication to make sure that they do not pass it over to another person (CDC Press Release, 2019). Those who have viral infections like HIV should also be open about their status to their partners. It makes it easier for a person to manage and live with the STDs peacefully, and most of them diminish if good care is taken (Cates, 1999).

In conclusion, therefore, a person needs to make efforts and remain healthy as this affects not just their health but also their partners’ health, the people around them, and if planning to bear children, the children’s health. It is, therefore, a noble practice to make sure that everything is done correctly and that there is no infection of the other people one interacts with daily. References

‌ STDs Continue to Rise in the U.S. Press Release. (2019). https://www.cdc.gov/nchhstp/newsroom/2019/2018-STD-surveillance-report-press-release.html

Aral, S. O. (2002). Determinants of STD epidemics: implications for phase appropriate intervention strategies. Sexually Transmitted Infections, 78(suppl 1), i3-i13.

Aral, S. O., Fenton, K. A., & Holmes, K. K. (2007). Sexually transmitted diseases in the USA: temporal trends. Sexually transmitted infections, 83(4), 257.

Brown, D. L., & Frank, J. E. (2003). Diagnosis and management of syphilis. American family physician, 68(2), 283-290.

Cates Jr, W. (1999). Estimates of the incidence and prevalence of sexually transmitted diseases in the United States. American Social Health Association Panel. Sexually transmitted infections, 26(4 Suppl), S2-7.

Goh, B. T. (2005). Syphilis in adults. Sexually transmitted infections, 81(6), 448-452.

Hoover, K. W., Butler, M., Workowski, K., Carpio, F., Follansbee, S., Gratzer, B., … & Kent, C. K. (2010). STD screening of HIV-infected MSM in HIV clinics. Sexually transmitted diseases, 37(12), 771-776.

Laumann, E. O., & Youm, Y. (1999). Racial/ethnic group differences in the prevalence of sexually transmitted diseases in the United States: a network explanation. Sexually transmitted infections, 26(5), 250-261.

Rietmeijer, C. A., Van Bemmelen, R., Judson, F. N., & Douglas Jr, J. M. (2002). Incidence and repeat infection rates of Chlamydia trachomatis among male and female patients in an STD clinic: implications for screening and rescreening. Sexually transmitted diseases, 29(2), 65-72.

Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) – Symptoms and causes. (n.d.). Mayo Clinic. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/sexually-transmitted-diseases-stds/symptoms-causes/syc-20351240#:~:text=Sexually%20transmitted%20diseases%20%28STDs%29%20or%20sexually%20transmitted%20infections