Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs), also known as Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs) or Venereal Diseases (VD) are diseases that are passed on from one person to another through sexual contact, and sometimes by genital contact – the infection can be passed on via vaginal intercourse, oral sex, and anal sex.
Some sexually transmitted infections can spread through the use of unsterilized IV drug needles, from mother to baby during childbirth or breastfeeding, and blood transfusions.
Sexually transmitted infections have been around for thousands of years.
Microorganisms that exists on the skin or mucus membranes of the male or female genital area can be transmitted, as can organisms in semen, vaginal secretions or blood during sexual intercourse.
The term “venereal disease” is much less used today, while “sexually transmitted diseases” is slowly giving way to “sexually transmitted infections”, because the last term has a broader range of meaning – a person can pass on the infection without having a disease (they do not have to be ill to infect other people).
The genital areas are generally moist and warm environments – ideal for the proliferation of yeasts, viruses and bacteria.
Sexually transmitted infections are more easily passed on during unprotected sex – without using a condom.
STIs can have serious CONSEQUENCES beyond the immediate impact of the infection itself.
STIs like herpes and syphilis can increase the risk of HIV acquisition three-fold or more.
Mother-to-child transmission of STIs can result in stillbirth, neonatal death, low-birth-weight and prematurity, sepsis, pneumonia, neonatal conjunctivitis, and congenital deformities. Over 900 000 pregnant women were infected with syphilis resulting in approximately 350 000 adverse birth outcomes including stillbirth in 2012.
HPV (Human PapillomaVirus) infection causes 528 000 cases of cervical cancer and 266 000 cervical cancer deaths each year.
STIs such as gonorrhoea and chlamydia are major causes of pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) and infertility in women.
WHAT’S THE MOST COMMON SYMPTOM OF AN STI?
Not having any symptoms! Our bodies are so incredible that our immune system tries to protect us from feeling uncomfortable symptoms. Most of the time, this is a good thing! When it comes to STIs, it could be working against us. If we don’t have symptoms and aren’t routinely getting tested, we won’t know our status. If we have an infection and don’t know our status we could unknowingly be passing it onto other partners and/or the infection could be doing some significant harm to our bodies. Some of the best tools for prevention and early detection are communicating with partners about their STI status, routine testing and safer sex practices that work for our lives.
Every sexually active person should take action for a more conscious sexual health.Visit your doctor for counselling; Get tested for STIs like Chlamydia,Genital Herpes, hepatitis B, HIV, Gonorrhea,Trichomoniasis, Syphylis,HPV.etc
Sources:WHO/MNT/CDCLeave a reply →