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Sexually Transmitted Diseases


Sexually-transmitted Diseases or STDs, are a group of diseases most commonly spread through sex. Some of the more common ones are Gonorrhea, Non-specific Urethritis, Syphilis, Herpes and AIDS.

Syphilis

Syphilis is caused by a germ called Treponema pallidum which enters the body during sex with an infected partner. At first, a painless sore called chancre appears at the site of entry of the germ, for example, the penis in the male and the vulva in the female. This happens about three weeks to three months after infection.

The chancre disappears by itself in a few weeks even without treatment. This makes people think that they have recovered and are well. However, if the disease is not treated, the infection goes on to the second stage. Two to six months after being infected, a skin rash, sores in the mouth and genital area, temporary hair loss, fever and swollen lymph nodes may appear. Even though these signs may also go away untreated, the disease is not cured and may go on to the final stage.

In the final stage, which may occur many years later, infected persons may become insane, blind or paralysed. Some get diseases of the heart valves, or develop bone and joint diseases.

Gonorrhea And Non-specific Urethritis

Gonorrhoea is caused by bean-shaped germs called gonococci. Signs of gonorrhea appear one to fourteen days after a person is infected and include discharge of pus form the penis or vagina and pain on urination. However, 20 per cent of infected males and most infected females have no signs or symptoms. They can therefore pass the disease unknowingly to their sexual partners.

Gonorrhoea can also affect the eyes of babies born to an infected mothers, causing blindness. Sometimes, it can spread to other parts of the body like the joints and the heart. Non-specific urethritis (NSU) also causes pain on urination and a discharge from the penis or vagina. It is caused by a number of different germs, the most common of which is chlamydia.

Herpes

In genital herpes, there are painful sores on the genitals. These sores appear about five days after infection and usually disappear after five to twelve days. But they return over and over again. Attacks may be triggered by emotional stress or fever. An attack starts with stinging, tingling or burning sensation over the affected areas.

Small blisters usually follow. These break down to become crusty-looking sores. The herpes virus can also affect other parts of the body such as the lungs and the brain. A woman with genital herpes may give birth to a baby with a serious and even fatal brain infection. There is no drug that can cure this disease completely.

What To Do If You Think You Have STD?

If you think you have any sexually-transmitted disease, make sure you get proper medical treatment early. Do to seek treatment from non-medically-qualified people as inadequate treatments can result in complications which are more difficult to treat. STDs are usually treated with antibiotics given either orally or by injection, depending on the germ. Besides getting treatment for yourself, it is also important to get help for your sexually partner(s) before they fall ill or infect others.

Diagnosis And Containment Of Contagious Infections

Researchers recently found that spit contains as many diagnostic molecules as blood does, and now they're creating a more convenient way to measure them. Scientists at the University of Pennsylvania are developing portable saliva tests that can reveal viruses and bacteria, as well as antibodies to HIV, in about an hour. They hope the new tests will help in the  diagnosis and containment of contagious infections before they become public-health emergencies.

 

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