Sexually Transmitted Diseases

Did you know that up to 340 million people in the world are infected per year with only a case of syphilis, gonorrhea, chlamydia and trichomoniasis worldwide? Sexually transmitted infections (SDI’s) are a major global concern in developed countries and developing countries. I will discuss the following topics; the SDI’s syphilis, chlamydia and trichomoniasis, and generally if sexually transmitted diseases/infections are dangerous or not.

A Penis with sores The SDI- syphilis is a bacterial infection that can be passed on from person to person through unprotected vaginal, anal and oral sex only, it cannot be spread by contact with toilet seats, pools, food or clothing and an infected pregnant women can pass the disease on to her child. If you have been exposed to syphilis you may get symptoms of such as sores appearing on the part of the body were the infection was transmitted for example; genitals (look at source A), rectum, tongue, lips and swelling of lymph glands.

After 3 – 6 weeks the sore will disappear and if left untreated syphilis will move into its second stage. The symptoms of the second stage begin 3-6 weeks after the primary phase and may contain- rash, tiredness, headaches, fever, hair and weight loss and joint pains. These symptoms may come and go for a couple of weeks and if left untreated there will be long health effects also known as the tertiary stage were you may get strokes, loss of coordination, numbness, blindness, deafness and heart disease. Primary and secondary syphilis can be successfully treated using a 10-14 day course of antibiotics.

Penicillin is normally used, though other antibiotics can be used if you are allergic to penicillin. Pregnant women can also be treated from syphilis with using antibiotics. There are no risks to the baby , It is vitally important that pregnant women receive treatment for syphilis as untreated syphilis causes serious birth defects, miscarriages or stillbirths. Treatment of tertiary syphilis is also done by antibiotics but directly into the vein although treatment can stop the infection, it cannot repair any damage that was caused by the tertiary syphilis.

This treatments/ cure is available to all developed countries although in developing countries such as Africa there is not as large a supply of antibiotics as needed and may not have enough for everyone. Genital herpes is another SDI, it is an infection of the genitals that is caused by the herpes simplex virus (HSV). There are two types of HSV: type 1 (HSV-1), and type 2 (HSV-2). HSV-1 and HSV-2 can be found in and released from the sores that the viruses cause, but they also are released between outbreaks from skin that does not appear to have a sore. Men get genital herpes around their penis and woman around their vagina.

First symptoms on genital herpes are muscle aches, head aches, vaginal discharge, painful urination and swollen tender lymph nodes. Later outbreaks are much less severe such as a tingling sensation near infection just before blisters, and inflammation. Generally, a person can only get HSV-2 infection during unprotected sexual contact with someone who has a genital HSV-2 infection.

Transmission can occur from an infected partner who does not have a visible sore and may not know that he or she is infected. HSV-1 can cause genital herpes, but it more commonly causes infections of the mouth and lips, so-called “fever blisters. HSV-1 infection of the genitals can be caused by oral-genital or unsafe genital-genital contact with a person who has HSV-1 infection.

Genital HSV-1 outbreaks recur less regularly than genital HSV-2 outbreaks. Using medication can shorten the outbreak of the infection and lowers chances of the infection coming back and making later outbreaks less severe. Using antiviral drugs such as acyclovir, famciclovir and valacyclovir all of them must be taken for 7-10 days.. All of these medications have different prices and are available and can be afforded in all developed countries but not in developing countries.

It is improving, there have been many studies and ‘medical stations’ built to improve in availability of antiviral drugs in third world countries. There are generally no long term effects with genital herpes if treated. Source B Vagina with sores Trichomoniasis is caused by a protozoan a unicellular parasite. It is usually spread through unprotected sexual intercourse. Anyone who’s sexually active can catch the infection then pass it on. An infected pregnant woman can also pass on the infection to her unborn child.

Trichomoniasis cannot be spread through contact with toilet seats, doorknobs, swimming pools, hot tubs, bathtubs, shared clothing, or eating utensils. Only 50 % of all women that get exposed to an HSV virus show any symptoms, but some of the symptoms may appear 5-28 days after being exposed will cause soreness and itchiness near the vagina (see source B), thick vaginal discharge, pain whilst passing urine and discomfort during sexual intercourse. Males hardly ever get any symptoms but if they do they will be; pain whilst passing of urine, white discharge from the penis and discomfort during sexual intercourse.

Trichomoniasis can be cured but if not completely treated the infection could get passed on and you pay get a higher chance of getting a HIV or another STI. Trichomoniasis is usually treated quickly and easily. Most cases will be treated using an antibiotic known as metronidazole, which if taken correctly, is at least 95% effective. You will usually have to take metronidazole twice a day, for 5-7 days. Metronidazole can cause nausea, vomiting and a slight metallic taste in your mouth.

In third world countries such as Africa studies and tests are going on and they found out that 65% of all pregnant women had trichomonas, this was cured as fast as possible but metronidazole is not a very available drug in Africa having to have everything brought from abroad. All three STI’s can lead to severe consequences if left untreated but are also easily prevented by for example using protection such as a condom available every where. There are also many other ways to prevent from getting STI’s for example, for women using a cap that you place in your vagina.

In third world countries you are extremely lucky if you get to go to school and get a job other than working in agriculture. In more developed countries such as the Netherlands, even during crises there is enough money and everyone can go to school. It would be very difficult to teach children and adults there without disrupting their culture about the about sanitary and other basic health care issues which are not known there. That wouldn’t even be possible due to the lack of money and power in hands of the country and government

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